Editor’s note: This story from WDAY-TV’s Kevin Wallevand focuses on Austin Ver Steeg, who is from Glenwood and has appeared in the Echo Press Sports section several times.
FARGO — Austin Ver Steeg grew up in west central Minnesota. He played baseball at Concordia College and graduated with a degree in health care administration last year. Starting Tuesday, May 25, he joined the Redhawks in his first home opener.
"Every year as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a professional baseball player," Ver Steeg said.
But the pitcher already had a moment in the sun. His professional baseball debut with the Redhawks was in Kansas City where he got his first strike-out in his professional career.
"It was really awesome to run out there in front of a big crowd and play baseball; to get that opportunity to live that dream is incredible," Ver Steeg said
While he is pitching for the Redhawks by night, Ver Steeg spends his mornings working with memory care residents at Eventide's Sheyenne Crossings in West Fargo.
"I have always been comfortable around the older generation," Ver Steeg said. "I have always related well to them and talked with them and I just like to learn from their experiences."
Ver Steeg volunteered with seniors at Eventide while attending Concordia, so it seemed like another good fit. When baseball players ask what he does off the field, he tells them, and gets some interesting reactions.
"When I tell them what I do, I know it doesn't sound too exciting, but when you do activities like that, it is fun," Ver Steeg said. "The best part is knowing the residents enjoy themselves too."
They say baseball is more than a game — it's really life played out on a field. It seems Ver Steeg has found a good balance, with memorable days as a young, professional ball player who still has time to spend with those who simply appreciate the moments he gives them.
To see the WDAY story on Ver Steeg, click here.