Ask Doug: The Ivy Experience
Doug Glanville is working with the Baseball Factory and Team One Baseball as a Special Consultant. He will be writing articles and looking for your questions and feedback. If you have a question for Doug, please email him at [email protected]
Q: I wanted to just write to say I think guys like you should be held up more in front of the national media as true role models. Also, I know you are from Teaneck, so am I. I grew up playing TSLL and enjoyed the game as a kid, now I have three boys. They all have played TSLL the youngest is still playing there. Anyway my oldest has been receiving some interest from high academic institutions for baseball. Is there anything you would tell a player about the IVY experience and how they can still have their dream of being a pro ball player, thanks for your time.
A: Choosing the right college is a tough task, especially when it is a choice that involves the Ivy League. If you are a student that is in this position, I am here to tell you that you can still have the exposure that would give you a chance to play at the next level, but it may take a commitment to go the extra mile.
Playing at an Ivy League institution is challenging for a baseball player because the schedule is limited. 40 games sandwiched in on weekends and a few spots during the week. When comparing this to the Pac-10 or the ACC, Ivy League players just don’t get the same amount of playing time.
But, even in my day at Penn, there was substantial representation in the Cape Cod Baseball League. More specifically, there were four players from my college team in the league. Two of the three top awards in the league went to ivy leaguers. So, it is possible to get national notice at an Ivy League school. These days with the Internet and the information highway, if you perform, they will find you.
I took a lot of heat for choosing an Ivy League school when I could have attended a bigger baseball program like the University of Miami. But, when the scouts questioned my commitment to the game, I could point to the fact that I wasn’t on scholarship, that I was playing in front of small crowds and that it was cold for a good part of the season. Not to mention the professors were not lenient (in a good way) about missing classes. So I argued that I was playing because I loved the game, since there were not a lot of the same “advantages” as the other schools. I think they appreciated that argument.
It comes down to a student-athlete’s goal for attending college in the first place. As baseball players, it is important to find the right baseball home to help propel him to the next level. An ivy leaguer may have to commit to playing more in the summers or jumping up and down a little to get noticed, but these days, the gap is closing, partly because of such wonderful programs as Baseball Factory.
In the big picture, it is about a long-term goal. Choosing a college should include many priorities, but in the end the education should be the top vote getter. There are many quality schools out there that are not ivy league that will provide a wonderful education while having national exposure in sports (Stanford, Duke, Rice are examples). But, I will say that choosing an Ivy League school will still give you an opportunity to excel at the next level and for sure it is a top performer for life after the next level.
If you have a question you would like to “Ask Doug,” please email [email protected].
Doug Glanville attended and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Systems Science and Engineering. Glanville was drafted 12th overall by the Chicago Cubs in the 1991 amateur draft. Glanville played nine seasons in the Majors, getting his break with the Cubs. He also spent six seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies and a portion of the 2003 season with the Texas Rangers. In 1999, Glanville batted .325 with 204 hits, 101 runs, six homeruns, 73 runs batted in and 34 stolen bases. He led the league in singles with 149 that year. Glanville joined the Baseball Factory as a Special Consultant at the end of 2007.