Travis Frank made the significant sacrifice to be far away from his family because of his deep passion for baseball.
Three years ago he left home in Terrace, B.C. to live on Vancouver Island where he could continue to play baseball at a level not available in his hometown.
Frank had received encouragement from coaches he met at various baseball camps, who pointed out his potential to become a good player, and that led him to make the hard choice to leave home and further his career.
Frank went on to live with a family friend in Nanaimo and attended Dover Bay Secondary, but he chose to play for the Parksville Royals after meeting Royals senior coach Frank Kaluzniak at the Big League Experience held in Oliver, B.C., one of the longest-running summer baseball camps in North America.
He was only in Grade 10 when he joined the Parskville Junior Royals and in the last two years he played for the senior Royals.
Last February, Frank got some validation for the sacrifice he made in the last three years, as he was recruited to play for McCook Community College in Nebraska.
He recently signed a commitment to attend the school.
“It feels good to get a scholarship,” said Frank.
“It’s been one of my goals. It really makes me feel good that I made the right choice. It was tough. There were hard times but I was able to work through them and got it done.”
Frank, who pitched and played outfield for the Royals, drew the interest of McCook through the recruiting app FieldLevel online, where he has a video that highlighted his pitching, fielding and hitting skills. He was also endorsed by coach Kaluzniak.
“It’s an awesome app because it’s hard to get scouted, especially here in Canada,” said Frank.
Growing up in Terrace, Frank took up hockey, basketball and volleyball up until middle school. He loved baseball but wasn’t able to play it in Terrace. He did join softball leagues but it wasn’t enough to quench his desire to play baseball.
“Softball has always left me wanting more,” Frank recalled. “So I went to a few Honda Blue Jays Camps. Then I went to Oliver and attended the Big League Experience camp. I did that for three years and made some great connections there. They thought I have a future in baseball and would not like to see me waste it.”
Frank is currently back home in Terrace. He is nursing a foot injury which he hopes to overcome before he and his father drive to Nebraska in late August. He said he’s eager to play for McCook Community College Athletics in the National Junior College Athletic Association. He hopes to sharpen his pitching skills.
“I have done some research on the school and look at the players that have gone through,” said Frank.
“It’s a two-year program and from what I have seen, they do a good job of developing players. So I am just going to go down there and work hard and hopefully be able to transfer to a four-year school.”
Frank said he will miss playing for the Royals as has made good friends and forged strong relationships with his fellow players and coaches.
“I have met a lot of good people there,” said Travis.
“I love Parksville. It was kind of weird living in Nanaimo and playing for the Royals but I liked it there and I got to live my passion.”