Claire MacDonald

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Projects by Claire MacDonald

Fall Ball Kings

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Baseball; it’s a spring sport—right? Essentially, in high school and college, it is considered a Spring sport. However, some type of preparation for the Spring is necessary. What is categorized as “preparation?” Well, Indiana University’s way of preparing for the Spring is holding practices year around, weight lifting, and holding “intrasquad scrimmages” during the Fall that are open to the public. These scrimmages are held on weekends, Thursday through Saturday. They are not against other teams, but against each other. Indiana University calls this preparation for Spring, “Fall ball.”


The HydroFlask

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The Importance of “Fall Ball”


Baseball; it’s a spring sport—right? Essentially, in high school and college, it is considered a Spring sport. However, some type of preparation for the Spring is necessary. What is categorized as “preparation?” Well, Indiana University’s way of preparing for the Spring is holding practices year around, weight lifting, and holding “intrasquad scrimmages” during the Fall that are open to the public. These scrimmages are held on weekends, Thursday through Saturday. They are not against other teams, but against each other. Indiana University calls this preparation for Spring, “Fall ball.”

The importance of “Fall ball” not only includes weekend scrimmages, weight lifting, and daily practices, but also hours of sweat, tears, and hard work. The normal day for a baseball player begins with an early morning weight lifting session. Following the early morning weight lifting comes with a day full of classes—that is until the next practice. After practice, the team has time to grab dinner before heading to the required study tables at Indiana University’s Academic Center. Each week, every player must have at least 8 hours of studying logged. Not only are the players dealing with tiring practices, but they are also balancing academics as well.

On two separate occasions—September 16th, 2017 and September 23rd, 2017—I had the chance to attend two “intrasquad scrimmages.” While at the scrimmages, I explored different views from inside the Bart Kaufman Baseball Diamond. From sitting next to the dugout to sitting in the bleachers, I experienced a day in the life of an Indiana University baseball player. While exploring the diamond, I was able to capture a collection of images that best portray the action and what goes on behind the scenes during an “intrasquad scrimmage.”

There is more to these scrimmages than just practice. These scrimmages not only mimic a real baseball game, but they help the players improve their batting, catching, pitching, techniques, and baseball strategy. During and after the scrimmage, the team assesses what needs to be worked on and improved by the time Spring comes around. Another aspect to the importance of these scrimmages is that it allows the coaching staff to teach and work with the players.

When I asked Matt Petrosino, sophomore pitcher, why the team scrimmages during the fall, he confidently answered with, “we play fall ball because it helps us as players, and the coaches as well, to see where we are at physically and mentally and [recognize] what we need to improve on for the upcoming Spring season.” This is Petrosino’s second year of being a member of the team and believes all of the preparation will pay off.

Not many people get to hear the other side of the players’ point of view when it comes to the practices and preparation. Although the training season seems to last forever, the players do believe it helps tremendously. I got an inside on Petrosino’s thoughts about whether or not the players think “intrasquad scrimmages” help with improvement. Petrosino states, “I think it gives me a chance to improve my game on a day-to-day basis. It also gives me the opportunity to show the hard work that I put in during the off-season.

While the outside world only thinks of sports as a part of their designated season, teammates are putting in hard work in the off-season. Indiana University’s baseball players put in countless hours at the best of their ability—individually and as a team—so they are able to hold an improving record when Spring time rolls around. Although the players are busy with preparation, the expenses will lead to game winning and possibly record holding changes in the Spring time.