Catcher Matt Colantonio is turning in the rainy days of Providence for the sunshine of San Diego, as the baseball squad’s senior captain was selected by the Padres in the 21st round of the 2011 MLB draft. Of course, though, it won’t be a direct flight. Colantonio is set to report first to mini-camp in Phoenix before heading up the West Coast to Eugene, Oregon to join the Padres’ Single-A affiliate and enter the farm system. Here, the real journey will begin for Colantonio in his attempt to navigate the minor leagues and break through into the big show.
Colantonio will look to join a slew of Ivy Leaguers who have left a mark on baseball’s modern game. At his own position, recently retired Dartmouth alum Brad Ausmus won three Gold Gloves and was once named an All Star. Former Princeton pitchers Ross Ohlendorf (Pirates) and Chris Young (Mets) have proven themselves as reliable starting pitchers. Yale alum and Athletics relief pitcher Craig Breslow has been dubbed “the smartest man in baseball.” And while no Bear has made a huge impact on the game since Lee Richmond 1880 threw baseball’s first perfect game in 1880, Brown is not unfamiliar with seeing its players drafted. Colantonio’s predecessor at backstop, Devin Thomas, was drafted by the Tigers in 2007 along with teammate Jeff Dietz (Diamondbacks), and in 2009, shortstop Matt Nuzzo was taken by the Blue Jays.
For Colantonio, who started all four years and led the Bears in seven offensive categories in 2011, the journey is just beginning, and the future looks bright.
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