The 2022 Ocean State Waves, of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, have a roster full of top collegiate baseball talent from some of the best college baseball programs in the USA. Players travel from all over the country, stay with host families, play in a highly competitive environment game after game in front of scouts and fans, and become a part of the Waves community from roughly the end of May/early June until sometime in August. This 2022 Waves team is absolutely stacked with baseball talent, take a look at this photo posted on the Ocean State Waves Instagram page. It showcases the college programs that will be represented this summer in the Waves dugout. Very impressive!!!
I am very excited to introduce you to these 2022 Ocean State Waves players, one at a time. This is the next installment of a long series of interviews I have done with the incoming players slated to play for the 2022 Ocean State Waves. The players answered questions on their baseball journey, their mentors and childhood baseball heroes, the process of going from top high school talent to collegiate student athlete, and what their expectations are for their Spring and Summer Baseball seasons. Next up, from Oak Park, Illinois and Indiana University, Pitcher Grant Holderfield.
Tell me a little bit about your baseball roots starting with your local Little League and then
possibly your AAU or travel ball. What was that experience like?
- Growing up I played youth Tee ball, a community league, and a community based travel team with all my best friends. Those experiences taught me to love the game.
If you would like to, name some of your baseball and life mentors who helped you along the way.
- My Dad, brother, and pitching coach Mark Sheehan
Think back, what is your earliest memory of baseball? A catch with a sibling, your first hit, a trip to an MLB or Minor League game?
- My earliest memory of baseball – making a game ending unassisted double play to win my t-ball playoff game.
How about childhood idols – a professional baseball player, actor, musician – who was a person or persons who you wanted to meet as a kid? And did you ever get the opportunity to meet that person(s)?
- My childhood baseball idol was Albert Pujols. I dreamed of being a professional baseball player like him. Unfortunately, I have never met him.
Did you have a favorite ballpark growing up that you played in or saw a game at?
- Busch Stadium
Were you a talented player from the start or did your success come gradually throughout your youth playing days?
- I’d say I was a talented player to start. I think it’s because I understood the game more than everyone else from a young age.
What was your primary position in youth baseball, high school?
Did you play multiple sports growing up or did you focus primarily on baseball? Do/Did you see a benefit to playing multiple sports?
- I played baseball, soccer, and basketball growing up. I believe playing 3 different sports really helped my athleticism
Brag a little bit, what would you say was your best game? Could be a Little League game or High School game or something more recent. What made this game stand out in your mind?
- During fall baseball going into my senior year (in High School) I threw a no hitter through 5 innings with like 8 k’s against a really good scout team.
You are from Oak Park, Illinois and now attend Indiana University. I’m fairly confident you received offers from schools outside of your home state. What was it about the Hoosiers baseball program that interested you to play there?
- I chose Indiana over all the other schools because of the coaches, the culture, the amazing facilities, and the great education. To me, Indiana had the whole package and it was also close to home so that my family could see me. I fell in love with it almost immediately.
Academically, where are you headed degree wise, and down the road maybe career wise?
- I’m a marketing major. I see myself being a leader in the business world after baseball.
Speaking of choosing a school, what other important factors should high school student athletes be considering when making this life changing decision.
- Don’t rush your decision and make sure you see yourself fitting in there. Ask lots of questions.
On the baseball front, what are some of your personal and team goals for yourself and your baseball program at (school) this Spring?
- Win the Big 10 Conference Title.
You are slated to play for the Ocean State Waves in the New England Collegiate Baseball League, one of the top summer baseball collegiate leagues in the country. First off, congratulations. What was your reaction to finding out you will be suiting up for the Waves this summer?
- I was really excited. I have some teammates who have played for them in the past and they really enjoyed it. I’ve also never been to Rhode Island. It seems like a super cool area.
First thing that comes to mind when someone mentions “Rhode Island,” which happens to be the Ocean State. Second, do you plan on taking a surfing lesson when you arrive here this summer?
- I think of good seafood when I think of Rhode Island. I also have never been surfing and would be down to trying it this summer. I have no connections to Rhode Island.
This summer, you will be playing with and against some of the top collegiate baseball players each game for the Waves. What do you think playing top competition will do to your game?
- I think it will give me a lot of experience. I’m currently a freshman so getting these quality innings in over the summer will really help me.
Is this your first summer of collegiate baseball or did you play in previous summers? If so, which league(s) and for what team(s)?
- This is my first summer college baseball league.
Play scout for a moment. What should Waves fans know about your game? Are you a power pitcher? Home run power? Going to lead the league in steals? On base percentage guy?
- I’m a lower slotted left handed pitcher that has a heavy running sinker, a power slider, and a plus plus change up.
The Ocean State Waves have an incredible legacy of community service work with local youth baseball leagues, schools, and other local non-profits. Can you give me an example of a non-profit or charity that you have done community service work for and why did you choose that charity?
- I raised money for Sarah’s Inn in High School. I chose this charity because it is close to my hometown and it is for a great cause.
Where can Waves fans find you this upcoming collegiate baseball season at Indiana Baseball and follow you this Spring?
- Indiana University Baseball Website – Indiana Baseball
- Grant Holderfield on Twitter
- Grant Holderfield on Instagram
And stay tuned each week for another Waves roster player profile and as always, any Waves news and notes to keep you up to date on their 2022 summer baseball season.