College athletics is big business, and when parents and their children are deciding on which school to choose it’s not as easy as it used to be.

My dream was always to go play college baseball and from there, go on to play professionally.

From the small town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, in Ontario Canada, it’s not too often that you hear of one dreaming of playing professional baseball. Many dream of making the NHL, but I preferred to take the more difficult route. Most of it had to do with the fact that I couldn’t skate. Wait, let’s clarify that. I could skate but had difficulty stopping and turning left!

Baseball was always my game though. There was just something about standing on that mound, going one on one with the batter. Of course your defence is ready to back you up, but when you have that ball in your hand, all the responsibility lies with you.

When it did become my time to start to seriously look at/for scholarships, it was a lengthy process, but one that brought me to a reality that some don’t find until it’s too late; how good am I, and what school will take me to the next level while preparing me for life after baseball.

After I identified an area of where I was willing to travel and where I wanted to play, it was time to let the self-promoting begin; videos, baseball specific resumes and multiple trips to the post office.

I was fortunate enough to receive offers from several schools, based out of various organizations; Duquesne University (NCAA DI), Calvin College (NCAA DIII), York College (NAIA), some interest from Niagara County Community College and a local Canadian institution, Brock University.

Many, and I mean many hours went into the selection process; will I start, will I sit for two years before seeing the field, how good is the team, can I play beyond my collegiate career, do I want to stay close to home, and will I get the necessary attention in my classes so that I will get an education?

A huge credit to York was their small class size. It’s not often you hear of 20-25 students in a college class with hands-on instruction from your professor.

If you ever get the chance to become a part of the NAIA family, you really get your money’s worth. The NAIA produces multiple drafts picks every year (45 in 2011), and has a long history of turning out some very high profile players like:

Luke Appling
Vida Blue
Lou Brock
Jeff Francis
Keith Foulke
Tommy John
Jerry Koosman
Gene Lamont
Jason LaRue
Dave Lopes
Hal McRae
Joe Niekro
Phil Niekro
Gaylord Perry
Mark Portugal
Dan Quisenberry  
Rick Reuschel
J.C. Romero
Mike Timlin
Randy Velarde
Pete Vukovich
Lloyd Waner
Bob Wickman
Tony Womack

With the four-year scholarship offer and a chance to start from day one, my choice to go to York was the best decision I could have made.

We struggled during our first two seasons, as would any rebuilding program; nonetheless, with high quality recruits, and a new outlook during my junior and senior season, we went from division doormats to receiving votes nationally. It really makes you think back and reminisce about all the hard-work it took to achieve that status.

Because of my immediate playing time, and various amounts of success, I became one of a handful of Panthers to go on to play professionally, a time I most certainly will never forget.

The NAIA claims to be Champions of Character. I could not agree more. The NAIA allowed me to live my dream as an amateur and a professional. At the same time preparing me for life once my time on the field ended. What else could a parent or potential student-athlete want in a college experience?

I truly thank the NAIA and York College for helping to mold me into the person I have become today.

Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective and is an Associate member of The Professional Writers Association of Canada.

Devon Teeple

He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies.

Currently, Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com

You can follow The GM’s Perspective on Twitter and Facebook.

 

13 Responses to “NAIA Student-Athlete Rewind: Devon Teeple, York College”

  1. Liz says:

    Very well written and the truth. Good things do happen to people who work hard. From the very proud mother of the above subject of the article and the author of the article.

  2. PEDRO LEON says:

    GREAT ARTICLE,

    NAIA GIVE A LOT OPORTUNITIES TO A LOT OF STUDENTS ATHLETES THRU THE WOLRD OF COLLEGE SPORTS, FOR MY PUERTO RICO HOME I SAW PLENTY OF TALENT YOUTH MEN & WOMENS GOES THRU NAIA AND GRADUATE THEN MAKE CAREER FOR THEMSELF,JUST TO MENTION ONE SPECIAL TALENT JONATHAN SANCHEZ WENT TO OHIO DOMINICAN COLLEGE THEN DRAFTED 24 ROUND NOW WAS A WORLD SERIES CHAMPION LAS SEASON AT MLB SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS,BUT THIS IS JUST 1 SPECTACULAR ALSO ARE PLENTY EXCEPTIONAL LIKE HECTOR MERCADO GRADUATE FROM JARVIS CHRISTIAN COLLEGE AND 20 MORE STUDENTS ATHLETES AMERICANS LIKE YOU LIKE ME.NAIA GIVE A LOT THE UNIQUE OPORTUNITIES TO MY PROGRAM GIVE THE BLESS CHANCE TO GET BETTER EDUCATION, I WILL SAY GOD BLESS YOU NAIA ALL STAFF AND ALL CHAMPIONS CHARACTER . ATT PEDRO LEON PRESIDENT NLAAA( NEXT LEVEL AMERICA ACADEMY) BASEBALL OUT OF LUQUILLO ,P.R

  3. Devon Teeple says:

    Thank you so much for your comments, I really appreciate it

  4. JoAnn Immele says:

    Devon,

    KC Royals Hall of Fame pitcher, Paul Splittorf, graduated from Morningside College in Sioux City IA. He should be added to your list of having attended a NAIA school and succeeding in the majors.

    Enjoyed your article. An athlete doesn’t have to attend the biggest and grandest school to succeed in their sport. Sometimes, it’s all up to them and how they go about it!

  5. Devon Teeple says:

    JoAnn, thank you for the comment and I will update my list with Mr. Splittorf.

    I am glad you enjoyed the article and I hope others did to.

    It’s always interesting to hear the journey’s of others and how they got to where they are today. It’s a long road, but well worth it.

  6. That’s wonderful. i can’t waitv to play NAIA sports with an NAIA School.

  7. Devon
    There is a force that makes things happen for a reason. At times, we don’t understand why but it does become clear. You were blessed with a talent and got to realize your baseball dreams. Good for you for following through. With your experiences and successes in baseball, your path then took you to becoming a very successful sports analyst/writer. I, for one, am very grateful. Your honourable character and wealth of expertise show through in every word you write. Keep up the great work. You offer inspiration and that is giving back in a big way.

  8. [...] Teeple is a former NAIA student-athlete and played baseball at York College (Neb.). Teeple was a guest blogger over the summer and we recently invited him to be a guest on the NAIA’s first podcast. Listen [...]

  9. Kevin Nash says:

    Steve Reed, another NAIA’r who made it to the show

  10. Do you mind if I quote your writing on my Self Help Forum? I would think this article suits my topic perfectly. Well, thanks for writing this.

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  12. Can’t stand this fraud. He just wants to keep love in South Florida for recruiting. Why would any Florida news do a piece on this Dud? He walked out on the Gators because he was burnt out/ heath issues? Please… I think he wanted more $$ now he’s got it. O State stinks and he blends right in!

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