Baseball players at Chicago State University, including Reggie Brock, have been left with an uncertain athletic future after the school voted to get rid of men’s baseball.
“It means a lot to me,” Brock says of the game. “It got me off the streets of Chicago and (encouraged) me to just be a ballplayer and to support my city.”
The 21-year-old outfielder was living out his dream at the school, just like his father did, but that came to a crashing halt this week after the university got rid of the baseball program.
Instead, Chicago State will introduce men’s soccer to their athletic lineup.
“It won’t be the same,” he said. “I made a lot of great friends. That experience alone was great and I may not experience that ever again.”
Brock, like many other athletes, are hoping to transfer to other schools to continue their collegiate baseball careers. The school has said that it will allow the players to keep their scholarships, but Brock is hoping that he’ll be able to take the diamond again, even if it’s in another team’s colors.
“I want to see my mom come to games again, because it’s not far from my home,” he said. “But now I have to go far and it will be hard for my family to come watch me play baseball again.”
Brock says that he is talking to multiple schools, hoping to transfer in the fall so that he can be eligible to take the field again in the spring.
He is running into a lot of issues even in that quest, as many college rosters remain well-stocked after NCAA rule changes amid the coronavirus pandemic. Baseball players were granted an extra year of collegiate eligibility after the season was stopped because of the virus, meaning that roster spots are hard to come by.