Comox Valley baseball player Thomas Green wants to follow in his cousin’s footsteps.
To date, Thomas’s cousin Taylor Green has been the Valley’s biggest success story in baseball. The Mark R. Isfeld alumnus and former Parksville Royals player left Vancouver Island after high school to play collegiate baseball in California, before eventually being drafted by the MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers in 2005.
After getting called up to ‘the Bigs’ for the first time in 2011, Taylor retired two years ago after a 10-year playing career as an infielder in the U.S. He featured in both the minors and the major league.
His younger cousin Thomas’s path is showing striking similarities.
Like Taylor did before him, the younger Green attends Mark R. Isfeld Secondary and plays for the Parksville Royals in the B.C. Premier Baseball League.
And like Taylor, the 18-year-old shortstop will begin his post-secondary career in the California Community College Athletics Association, after signing a letter of intent earlier this week to commit to the Cuesta College Cougars for next fall.
Thomas said he is eager to make the step up to play college ball.
|Thomas Green committed to the Cuesta College Cougars of San Luis Obispo earlier this week. Photo supplied.|
“I committed and signed a few days ago and couldn’t be more excited,” he told The Record on Thursday. “The process was fun. It was hard but fun. A lot of work, for sure, just taking all my options and having to do so much research on all of them.
“I looked at everything from the academic standpoint to the baseball standpoint. Everything weighed into my decision and ultimately I decided [on Cuesta].”
While he had the option to pursue a four-year university, Thomas said there were multiple reasons why he chose to commit to a junior college instead.
“I felt it was a necessary stepping stone to take the two extra years before going onto a four-year school to develop more,” he said. “[Cuesta College’s] history of moving guys onto the NCAA D1 level is really good. Coach Miller has been there for 13 years and in the years he’s been there, he’s moved on 64 players to the D1 level.
“That’s a ratio I really looked at in the recruitment process and something I weighed at the top of the importance level.”
While baseball is his main sport, Thomas is no stranger to other athletic endeavours. He also played senior boy’s basketball and volleyball for the Isfeld Ice, qualifying for provincials in both sports this year.
In the months leading up to his departure to California, Thomas will continue to play with the Parksville Royals in the BCPBL, alongside his individual training regime. The Royals are currently fourth in the 13-team BCPBL, which is the highest level of youth baseball in the province.
“It was hard work that got me here, with countless hours of working on my game and playing,” he said. “I had this dream and wanted to follow my cousin Taylor. I just continuously worked on it and stayed with it. There were a lot of ups and downs, but it’s the ups you have to focus on while building on your downs.
“Little curveballs get thrown here and there, but you just got to hit them and make the best of them.”