Dartmouth baseball players step up to the plate in summer league ball

Dartmouth baseball athletes discuss summer league ball in the midst of sophomore summer.

by Lenox Huh | 8/11/23 1:00am

by Hannah Li / The Dartmouth

For collegiate baseball players, summer is far from a break, as they trade textbooks for gloves and the lecture hall for the pitcher’s mound. Although summer leagues vary by duration, region and skill requirement, each offers a unique opportunity for NCAA student athletes — allowing them to hone their skills, maintain shape in the off-season and improve their potential draft-stock for Major League scouts and recruiters. The Dartmouth sat down with baseball players at the College to find out why they chose to devote their summers to such demanding leagues. 

Shortstop Tyler Cox ’24 shared his perspective on the commitment level for the summer league. 

“Playing in summer leagues is both an incredible opportunity and a significant sacrifice,” he said. “We know that by investing our summers into these competitive leagues, we’re investing in our potential success as baseball players.”

 According to catcher Luke Carroll ’25, players often miss out on the enriching academic and social experience of sophomore summer to participate in the summer league, choosing instead to continue their training and competition.

“The experience that we miss out on by being ‘off’ during sophomore summer is tough, but the reality is we came to Dartmouth with the goal of excelling on the baseball field,” Carrol said. “From what I’ve heard, it’s a great time and awesome bonding experience, but that sacrifice is something that we are aware of even before committing. Dartmouth baseball is important to us, and preparing ourselves for the upcoming season is our main priority.”

Relief pitcher Jeff Lee ’25 said the decision to participate in summer leagues can also limit internship opportunities,  since many students use the summer to engage in off-campus internship or work programs.

“It’s not an easy choice, especially considering what we miss out on at Dartmouth, but it’s a decision we make with our eyes set on the future.”

The Dartmouth baseball team is coming off one of its most challenging seasons in program history, according to The Dartmouth’s past coverage. With a combined record of 1-13 at home, 2-19 in Ivy League play and finishing 3-38 overall, Dartmouth baseball finished the 2023 season with its worst record in recent memory, according to Dartmouth College Athletics. 

While the past season may have presented its fair share of obstacles and disappointments, it has also served as a driving force for players to come back stronger, more determined and ready to rewrite their narrative, according to some players.

“[The summer season is] all preparation for the spring, and it often shows when you return to campus in the fall if you played summer ball or not,” outfielder Jackson Hower ’25 said.

The answer to what drives Dartmouth baseball players to commit their summers to such demanding leagues lies in the undeniable value these leagues provide. The summer provides an opportunity for collegiate players to prove themselves, to showcase their talent and determination and to potentially carve a path toward a professional baseball career, as they compete in front of scouts and recruiters from MLB.

As Dartmouth’s baseball players embark on their summer league journeys, they do so with a determination that goes beyond the diamond. While the challenges may be steep for the upcoming season, the team seems poised to seize the opportunities that lie ahead, embracing the summer as a season of growth and transformation.