This archived article was written by: Chase Castleberry
“One of the beautiful things about baseball is that every once in a while you come into a situation where you want to, and where you have to, reach down and prove something”-Nolan Ryan
Often times in life, people seem to give up on their dreams and surrender their passions, but for starting third baseman Hadley Thorpe, giving up was never an option. Thorpe batted an impressive .322 average and is now leading the team with the most hits, most doubles, and most total bases. Oh, did I mention he hasn’t played a single game of competitive baseball for over four years?
Thorpe graduated from Spanish Fork High School in 2009 and went on to play at SUU. However, during the following summer, Thorpe broke his arm while working at his summer job, making baseball too difficult to play.
He may have felt his college dreams were slowly fading away, but little did he know his college baseball career was just beginning. “I really just missed being competitive,” Thorpe says. “It wasn’t just baseball I missed, but being a competitive athlete.” After four summers of working in Spanish Fork, another window of opportunity arose for Thorpe.
High school teammate Greg Money made plans to play for the Golden Eagles. Thorpe said, “One of my good friends, Greg Money, was planning on playing, so I decided to come down for the fall and give baseball another shot.” Money said “I knew Hadley was good, and could compete at the next level, I really wanted to keep playing ball with one of my best friends.” Thorpe decided to join his close friend and move to Price.
Being the oldest player, Thorpe didn’t dread his situation, but embraced it. Taking a four-year break from anything is difficult, “I was worried about my skill level coming back. I wasn’t sure if I could still play like I could before.”
Thorpe exceeded all expectations by becoming better than ever and having a successful fall. “I feel I’m better now. I feel being older, I’m more confident than I was in high school.”
The Golden Eagles have been fantastic this season under the coaching of Scott Madsen. “I really like how Coach Madsen gets to know you on a personal basis,” Thorpe explains. “He gets to know you on and off the field; it’s not just only about baseball.” The relationship between a coach and a player has a huge effect on the outcome of a season. The relationship between these two is very personable.
Thorpe has played a key role for the Golden Eagles during this season, and has enjoyed every minute of it. “I have loved spending time with my friends and getting to know all of the guys on the team.”
He has done some incredible swinging for the Golden Eagles, but his passion is his glove. “I like playing defense most, there’s nothing better than taking a hit from somebody and helping your pitcher.”
We have all been in situations where we just want to hang the cleats up and give up, maybe due to some lack of motivation, but Thorpe has something to play for. “I don’t think there is anything better than winning; trying to make myself as good as I can be to help the team succeed is my motivation.” On and off the field, baseball has taught Thorpe to keep working hard and never yielding to his expectations.
What can we learn from a baseball player? What can we learn from a guy who refuses to let go of his dream? “Anyone who has a chance should play, we only have a little while, and you’ll never regret taking a chance.” Thorpe has taken his chances here for the Golden Eagles and has been an inspiration. He is definitely reaching down and proving something.