Michael Sherwin, the Designated Student

Chloe Vignolles-Jeong

As Hall of Fame inductee Tommy Lasorda once said, “There are three types of baseball players: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happens.”

Glendale baseball player Michael Sherwin is the type who makes it happen.

Now we’re not talking about a kid who straight out of high school went to play for the Dodgers or the Yankees, or even a minor league team, we’re talking about a kid who has more than just talent and athleticism. He has smarts as well.

Sherwin, a California native, began his baseball career back when he was just 4 years old on a little league team known as the Rangers. Outfield was his spot.

He went on to attend Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills, and continued to play baseball as an outfielder. He excelled in the classroom as well as on the field.
That’s where his story begins to unfold itself.

He began to catch the attention of several major league teams his freshmen year, but during his sophomore year he injured himself while pitching. He sat out of baseball his junior year and senior year in high school, but he continued to play sports. During his senior year he joined the volleyball team.
Sherwin graduated in 2008 with a 3.3 GPA, but due to his injuries he lost all scholarships he had earned during his first two years in high school. Remarkably, he was recruited by both the Cincinnati Reds and the Florida Marlins, but they both lost interest after his injury.

However, even with the minor setbacks and the injuries, Sherwin overcame his injuries and demonstrated that he had passion for the game and continued to play at the college level.

Now an honors student and starting first baseman, Sherwin carried his study habits and baseball talent from high school into college and continues striving for excellence.

This semester he’s taking 18.5 units and has a cumulative GPA of 3.5. And as if that wasn’t enough pressure, baseball season is in full swing.

And it’s conference play now. Every game, every inning, and every out counts more than ever.

How does he do it?

“I have the natural ability, love for the game and I like the challenge,” said Sherwin.
Natural ability? Yes. At 6 feet 6 inches with a good arm and the ability to play for the majors, you can say he has the talent.

Love for the game? Another yes. Sherwin has suffered major injuries such as two concussions, a hyper-extended elbow, compressed vertebrae, pinched nerves and a car accident that put him on the injured list in the 2009 season. These type of injuries would keep some players from ever stepping foot on the field again.

And the challenge? Well, you can say it’s a challenge. The team practices Monday through Friday from noon to about 5 p.m. Add the Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday games into the schedule and you can say it’s almost a full-time job.

For most, it’s all about being the best player out there, the one who has the most RBIs or who pitches the perfect game, but for Sherwin it’s slightly different.
“I pride myself in being educated,” said Sherwin, and indeed he should.

The counselors aren’t the only ones impressed with Sherwin’s academic and athletic success, so is head coach Chris Cicuto.

“It’s good to see a kid like that who is extremely successful off the field and have some success on the field, especially after not playing for such a long time.”

Sherwin hadn’t played for two years on a team, and with the injury in the ’09 season it made it difficult for him to get back up to where he used to be. After a few months with physical therapy and rehab with the school’s athletics trainers, he felt like he was ready for the new season.

“We didn’t know how he was going to be, he hasn’t played in quiet a while. We gave him a couple of shots and at first it wasn’t very pretty, but eventually after two or three games he proved himself,” said Cicuto.

And without a doubt Sherwin proved himself. He got his first hit at Moorpark College in the 10th inning. He also hit a home run against Rio Hondo College to help the team earn a 6-5 victory.

And to prove that Cicuto has seen both the athletic and academic side, Sherwin has a special connection to the coach. “His first class at Glendale, he took my health class and watching the scores were just ridiculous, 95s and 98s on every test.”

Sherwin quickly took the major role on the field, being a team leader.

And a great one, too.

He sets an example for the freshmen on the team, and any other athlete for that matter, to be successful both on and off the field.

“The guys look up to him and when he starts saying, ‘Hey this is how we want to do things,’ he starts getting the troops behind him, guys are following him, which is great for us.”

That’s the kind of athlete any coach would want. And any professor as well.

Sherwin isn’t too sure about his future in the major leagues, but two things he would like to do once he graduates from Glendale is to attend UC Irvine and continue playing baseball.

In addition, he also plays basketball, recreationally, and one thing he wishes he played is football, as the quarterback.

Sherwin takes pride in his accomplishments, but is particularly encouraged by the support he receives from his coach.

Cicuto said: “Everyday he grows, and as a coach it’s really exciting to see that. Great example for our guys. He’s a good young man. [I’m] real proud of him.”