At the beginning of my senior year I made a bid to get the job of covering the football team for The Chronicle. Instead I made a deal with my boss Grant Nussbaum ’14 that I would get to be the beat writer for the defending national champion baseball team.
It was actually better this way. I started off the season by following Coach Matt LaCour’s Wolverines from Encino to Moorpark and religiously attended the first handful of games of the season. What I saw was one of the most talented baseball teams in the country play with a sense of purpose and discipline that I came to admire.
I remember, last year, being puzzled when I saw our very own six-foot-four 205 pound MLB prospect Jack Flaherty ’14 bunt multiple times in big Mission League games. Flaherty didn’t pout or look upset that he couldn’t show off his soon to be million dollar swing, instead he laid down bunt after bunt when LaCour’s small ball game plan called for it. After winning a CIF and National Championship last year, it’s hard to argue that LaCour’s strategy isn’t working, and Flaherty would be the last one to do so.
Flaherty, the biggest name on campus, was still not bigger than the program LaCour has built, and this humility has been a big part of the baseball team’s success. The Wolverine baseball team is a rare example of extremely talented individuals willing to take instruction and truly do what’s best for the team.
There are a lot of things I like about going to baseball games. Being in Southern California, we always have great baseball weather, one can never have enough sun flower seeds, and the song “Sweet Caroline” never gets old, but I what I have enjoyed most about Harvard-Westlake baseball is watching players of Flaherty’s caliber do the little things for coach LaCour.