There are nine positions in the game of baseball, but there’s a multitude of people behind the scenes who’re just as much a part of the team as the pitchers and fielders. Charlotte’s baseball team is loaded with promising athletes who perform admirably each inning, but what about the unsung heroes who assure the team’s prepared before each at bat or pitch.
Baseball managers Sydney Pike and Jordan Hoskins don’t play on game-day, but they’re around the game as much as the players are. Both former baseball and softball players respectively, their love for the game brought them back to home plate. While they’re no longer swinging bats or throwing baseballs, they maintain their enthusiasm and glee each time they take a step into a ballpark.
“It’s a whole lot of fun, it’s a lot of work, but I love to do it. It keeps me around the game,” said Pike.
Pike’s currently a freshman at Charlotte, and before becoming a manager he played first baseman at McDowell high school in Marion, North Carolina.
“I played baseball in high school and turned down an offer to go play somewhere else and just wanted to stay with it,” said Pike.
The 6-foot former first baseman’s passion and urge to be around the game led to him becoming a baseball manager.
“I just sent an email to the coaches and said, ‘do you have anything to do because I want to stay close to the game,’ and they emailed me back and said ‘yeah,’” said Pike.
An email brought Pike back to the game that he couldn’t leave, while Hoskins became involved with the team because of an uncanny relationship.
“I played softball with the head coaches’ daughter in high school, so it got me connected to it,” said Hoskins.
Hoskins is a female in a male driven-sport, but being the only girl doesn’t faze her, on the contrary it’s the complete opposite.
“It’s really interesting being around all the guys, especially being a girl doing it, it’s a lot of fun,” said Hoskins. “It’s a different environment than softball, but I love it. It keeps my life interesting.”
Hoskins played shortstop for Central Academy of Technology & Arts in Monroe, North Carolina. She was a part of the Cougars softball roster until she graduated in 2017. The 5-foot-2-inch shortstop played with Coach Loren Hibbs’s daughter Lanie Hibbs who’s a year younger than her. The two played together through the 2015-2017 seasons.
Being a baseball manager isn’t a walk in the “ball” park, there’s hardships that accompany the job.
“Just how time consuming it is, and balancing that with classes is kind of hard, but good time management and you’ll be fine,” said Pike.
Hoskins echoed Pike’s sentiment.
“I agree, it’s definitely time consuming,” said Hoskins.
Managers of any sport have numerous duties to perform throughout the day and baseball is no different.
“I usually go to class and then I’m here at the field around 11 [a.m.]. I set up the field for early work around at two o’clock. We have practice from about 2:30 [p.m.] to around 5:30 or 6 [p.m.],” said Pike. “After that, we clean up practice and do laundry that night, or whatever they need done. Then we hang laundry and do it all over again.”
A manager’s responsibilities being completed are instrumental in the team’s preparedness, so it’s imperative that they’re done so the team can perform to their full capabilities.
This being Pike’s first year as a manager, he’s taking in all the cool experiences and perks that the job entails.
“Getting to travel around to universities and meeting a ton of people, and a ton of different coaches and players is probably the coolest experience,” said Pike.
Hoskins offers similar insight and thoughts concerning the benefits of being a baseball manager, but the competitiveness of collegiate baseball appeals to her also.
“I’d say definitely traveling and getting to experience the college baseball experience and seeing how competitive it all is,” said Hoskins.
The two have visited Clemson, Arkansas, Old Dominion, Wake Forest and Western Kentucky thus far. Hayes Stadium remains their home.
Hoskins and Pike are invaluable pieces to the team, they’re the glue that holds the team together. Regardless of whether or not the the team’s winning or losing, Hoskins and Pike will be tirelessly working to make sure Charlotte’s baseball team is prepared to conquer its next opponent. The 2019 season isn’t over so these two have a lot of baseball ahead of them, which I’m sure they don’t mind.