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For The Love of the Game – Collegiate Club Baseball

For The Love of the Game – Collegiate Club Baseball

Serving as President of UCSB Club Baseball has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, experiences I have had in baseball. We just finished up our season with an overall record of 16-6 (11-3), coming in second at our Regional Tournament and being 1 win away from a National Club Baseball Association (NCBA) World Series appearance for the first time in over 10 years. I was reconnected with old Warriors teammates, Jake and Jesse Gassman, who would become vital pieces to our team this season. I also got the opportunity to play against other California Warriors alumni on both Oregon (whose team is now in the World Series) and USC.

In club baseball, we get to play against many other major universities in our respective regions. For UCSB specifically, we play in a conference that consists of Cal Poly, UCLA, USC, CSU Fullerton, and Long Beach State. This year, we finished in second in our conference during the regular season, being awarded the at-large bid as the #4 seed in our Regional Tournament. It was at this tournament that we took down the #1 seed UC Davis in a massive upset. This season and my past 3 years overall on UCSB Club Baseball have revitalized my love for baseball and let me approach the game in a mindset that has made me a more successful human being both on and off the field.

What I love about club baseball, aside from having a great team of guys who I can call my lifelong friends, is that we do it for the love of the game. I was fortunate enough to have had the experience as being elected as President, which has taught me quite a bit about my own leadership, management, and coaching capabilities. I have learned the ins-and-outs of the aforementioned and feel as though my experience has better-prepared me for the professional world than I had been before I took on this role. As for the team, our time commitment is relatively light compared to varsity teams, where we practice 2-3 times a week and play 3 games on the weekends in the Spring. Personally, this schedule flexibility has allowed me to become an integral member of multiple other campus organizations in addition to club baseball. Players get to decide how to make room in their academic and social schedules for baseball; and I must reiterate here, they do so because of the fun they have playing baseball.

Ultimately, with this experience, I have had it engrained in mind how baseball can bring people together- even if they are unable to play at the highest level. Club baseball forms life-long friendships, while it also offers one the option to continue playing the game they love. I cannot recommend club ball enough to anyone who may be considering it. Go Gauchos. Plz.

Conor Mack Aldrete is a California Warriors Alumnus, 2024 graduate of UC Santa Barbara, and President of the UCSB Club Baseball Team who plans to work in the music industry

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