Tommy Shaw Gives a Second Chance to Baseball

April 12, 2021

Tommy Shaw, a freshman at Millikin from Elburn, Illinois, who is still undecided in his major, has one main passion: baseball. While Shaw has been playing baseball for Millikin since he arrived on campus, it has always been a huge part of his life.

“I’ve played baseball my whole life,” Shaw said, “Ever since I can remember every summer we would take trips and play in tournaments. I played basketball and football as well but I always knew baseball would be the sport for me.”

Baseball has been such a big part of Shaw’s life even through high school, however Shaw never knew what would come after graduation. Although he had thought about continuing his playing throughout college, Shaw was not even set on going to college in the first place.

“I signed up for trade school and wanted to be an electrician but decided to give baseball a shot,” Shaw said.

After deciding to give college and baseball a second chance, Shaw began looking at schools to play at. He had heard about Millikin through some friends and his high school baseball coach suggested he come here. Shaw did some research into the university and into the baseball program and he was sold.

Now, as a freshman, Shaw plays second base for Millikin men’s baseball team. Shaw has helped lead the team through what has been a pretty successful season so far, despite the uncertainty of Covid-19. The team currently has 16 wins to only 4 losses for this season.

At the start of this school year, playing baseball or any sport was borderline non-existent due to Covid-19. This especially hit students like Shaw, who came here to continue their passion and play their sport, hard as they were extremely limited to how they could practice or have games.

“At the beginning of the year it was very strict and we could only practice with a certain group at certain times, which wasn’t fun,” Shaw said.

As things open up and as Millikin plans for a 100% in-person semester next school year, Shaw is looking forward to learning how a “normal” Millikin semester operates. 

“It’s time for the real college experience,” Shaw said.

For Shaw, the “real college experience” just includes the day-to-day life of campus before Covid and more opportunities to play the game.

“[I’m looking forward to] Meeting new people and things being opened up back to normal, the caf where we can actually sit and eat, and the gym where we don’t have to wear masks all the time,” Shaw said.

Not only does the next semester mean a “normal campus” for Shaw, but it also allows Shaw the time and ability to find his other passions. As an undecided major, Shaw will continue to explore classes and decide what he will choose to major in.

When asked about his next few years at Millikin, Shaw said, “I want to figure out my career path and find what I am passionate about, as well as continue to progress in baseball and see how good I can be.”

Shaw explained that he’d love to play baseball professionally, but he is going to explore his options in construction management, a job he typically works in the summer. 

While he looks toward an exciting, unprecedented future at Millikin, Shaw knows one thing for sure: he loves baseball. Deciding to give a second chance on baseball is what brought Shaw to Millikin and if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that Millikin will give him the ability to find his passions, explore them, and give him the opportunity to make a name for himself in whatever he chooses to do.

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