Born to Play Ball

Catching Up With Knights Catcher Evan McDonald

Baseball gear dots the field. Photograph by: Larry Levanti
By Sara Campione

His first word was ball — a sign — for senior Evan McDonald, who plays baseball for the Knights. Growing up in Circleville, Ohio, 
McDonald knew he wanted to play college ball. “I can’t remember life without baseball,” says McDonald. “And I always wanted to play Division I.” After attending a baseball camp at FDU, he knew he had found his home on the field and in the psychology program. “I walked around the campus and fell in love.” Fit like a glove — perfect for a catcher.

Evan McDonald, number 12, playing ball against Wagner College. Photograph by: Larry Levanti

One of the reasons McDonald chose psychology is the mental component of sports. “In baseball, there are so many opportunities for the brain to become disorganized. You either have to calm yourself down or hype yourself up.” He’s using his college classroom experience on the field.

“We learn about emotional intelligence and mindfulness. Emotional intelligence is being able to regulate your own emotions as well as perceive others’ emotions and being able to motivate and influence others. Mindfulness is about calming yourself down and focusing in a clutch situation.”

Developing camaraderie and chemistry with the team has been his favorite part of being a Knight. “Each player has a different personality, skill and ability. But we all want to win and improve. We have to have a great chemistry on and off the field. That’s what our team is known for.”

Being the catcher and a team captain means a lot of responsibility. “You’re the only position on the field who can see every position, almost every play and every pitch. The coach will tell you the plays, and you relay that to the infielders and to the outfielders. Every call is run through you,” he says.
“I enjoy being a team captain. You get to implement the core values of the team, and I like being there for my teammates if they have any issues or problems.”

McDonald entered the 2018 MLB Draft in June. “I just want to keep playing.” 
Later, he says, he’ll work toward a doctorate. “I would like to be a professor and a coach.”

Ed. note: A version of this article first appeared in the Fall 2018 edition of FDU Magazine.