/From Jayhawk to Skipper
Ryan Walling, short stop, preps with his teammates to face the Kellogg Community College Bruins. Photo credit: Brendan Buffa

From Jayhawk to Skipper

Ryan Walling see’s baseball in a new light

Brendan Buffa
Sports Editor

Every athlete begins somewhere. Each has their story of where they came from and how they got where they are today. Ryan Walling, 22, short stop for the Skippers, follows the same equation – yet being special in his own way.
Walling, born south of Grand Rapids in Spring Lake, Michigan, comes from Muskegon Community College, where he played baseball as a freshman.
“It’s a lot faster paced down here,” says Walling in reference to the difference between Muskegon and St. Clair. “They [Muskegon} has their style, and St. Clair has theirs. Muskegon is a lot of small ball.”
Already achieving something he has not in his baseball career, Walling stepped up to the plate against Ancilla College and cranked his first out-of-the-park home run.
“I have had multiple inside the park home runs,” said Walling, “when I do get a hold of one, it’s fun. It was the best feeling.”
Walling’s 2-run homer on April 10 put the Skippers on top of Ancilla, which led to winning the double header, 6-3, and 3-0.
The Skippers are still in the act of getting the ball rolling with a 7-15 record, but that doesn’t shy Walling away from taking the initiative to win.
“I always try and bring energy to the table. I want to be the glue of the team and play with a lot of emotion,” said Walling.
Originally, Walling said that he was not the biggest baseball fan.
“I didn’t really like baseball. I was a big soccer, football and basketball player. When I was about 12, my Dad made me try out for my first travel baseball team, and I did not want to.
“I made it on the team and I was pretty good, and my father and I grew a huge passion for it.”
Aspiring to not only to be a ball player, Walling also looks to be in the front office at an MLB organization.
“I’m trying to go pro, but if that doesn’t happen, I want to get my masters in sports management.”
Walling learns lessons in baseball, but also picks up life lessons as he plays the game he has grown to love.
“In life and in baseball, it’s all about how you respond. Either I can dwell on my errors, or I can think ‘it’s okay, I’m going to get 10 more balls today and make every one of them,’” said Walling, “you can’t turn a mole hill into a mountain. It teaches me a lot. It’s a life changing game.”