April 26, 2005
Greg Reynolds has known what he's wanted for a long time. Growing up near the Bay Area as a kid, he made the trek from Pacifica to Stanford many times with his family to watch football and baseball games on The Farm.
Even as a child, Reynolds knew there was something about the Stanford baseball team that he liked.
'There was just something special about the people and the atmosphere that I felt here,' he remembers.
From that point on, he always dreamed of playing baseball for the Cardinal.
Throughout high school, Reynolds worked hard to get a chance to make that dream come true.
'I wanted to put myself in the position to go to a great school like Stanford,' says Reynolds.
He was rewarded for his efforts as a lifetime member of the California Scholarship Federation and Scholar Athlete of the Bay Area his senior year in high school.
When the opportunity to play at Stanford presented itself during Reynolds' senior year, the situation wasn't quite as he expected. He had the opportunity to come to Stanford to play baseball as a top recruit. However, Reynolds was also selected in the MLB First-Year Player draft by the Philadelphia Phillies and had the opportunity to play baseball professionally.
For most high school baseball players, a chance to play professionally would be hard to pass up. However, Reynolds had worked hard to prepare himself for a distinguished school and playing for Stanford was still one of his goals.
'It was a big decision for me and my family,' recalls Reynolds, 'My parents had always stressed the importance of school. It was just the right decision.'
Reynolds has not regretted the decision to come to Stanford and postpone professional baseball.
'All the guys on the team are great. It's a family atmosphere because most guys don't get to see their families very often,' says Reynolds.
Reynolds came to Stanford because he knew he would be getting more than just a chance to play for a successful baseball program. He would be getting a chance at one of the best educations available, as well. The key would be maintaining both.
'I've learned a lot of lessons that I wouldn't have learned without the combination of both school and baseball,' he offers. 'Balancing both has been tough, but it's made me a better person.'
Reynolds also values being able to share the college experience with his teammates. Living with five of his teammates in SAE, the group has formed a close-knit core of friends.
'We've been able to grow away from the baseball field, as well as on it,' says Reynolds. 'All the guys are good people, and we all have the same challenge of school and baseball.'
Attending school near his home is something Reynolds has always hoped for, and something both he and his family value in his second year at Stanford. The short drive from Pacifica to The Farm allows his parents to bounce between both his baseball games and his younger sister's basketball and volleyball games.
'They get a chance to see both of us play,' says Reynolds. 'Otherwise they wouldn't have had the opportunity to see me play as often.'
Family is important to Reynolds, and in addition to his parents he also has two older brothers in the area who are able to see him play frequently. His sister-in-law Robyn Kamisher-Gordon works for Stanford Football and the two have become close during Reynolds' time at Stanford. In the midst of busy schedules, they make time to have lunch together at least once a week.
'Robyn's been awesome,' says Reynolds. 'Whenever I need something, she's been there for me. She's my in-law, but I consider her my sister.'
In the past few games the Cardinal has turned it on, sweeping Washington and holding down a season-high-tying four-game home win streak. For Reynolds, the season has been full of opportunities to learn more about himself and the game.
'I'm trying to be more consistent and put out back-to-back good performances,' Reynolds explains. 'That hasn't necessarily been the case this season. For every good moment, there has been a bad moment, but I'm learning how to handle myself when things start to go bad and pull myself together.'
Despite the challenges that have come along with playing at the collegiate level, Reynolds has never regretted his decision to come to Stanford. He is learning how to become a better player, all the while balancing being a student at a highly respected university. The same tradition of talent and integrity that attracted him as a kid continues to challenge him to hone his skills on and off the field today.
by Jeane Goff