Baseball History

A Thesis Could Be Written on Haverford College’s Influence in Baseball (New York Times)

Former Haverford baseball players have enjoyed much success in various careers, and many of them have gone on to prominent careers in baseball, including...

Haverford Alumni Working in Major League Baseball

  • Ron Shapiro ’64 (Attorney, Sports Agent, Best-Selling Author)
  • Tony Petitti ’83 (Chief Operating Officer, Major League Baseball)
  • Josh Byrnes ’92 (Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations, Los Angeles Dodgers)
  • Jon Fetterolf ’93 (Attorney & Sports Agent, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP)
  • Thad Levine ’94 (General Manager, Minnesota Twins)
  • Tal Alter ’98 (Vice President, Washington Nationals, Dream Foundation & Youth Baseball Academy)
  • Eric Lee ’04 (Senior Director of International Operations, Cincinnati Reds)
  • Jim Thompson ’04 (Mid-Atlantic Area Supervisor, New York Mets)
  • Nick Chanock ’05 (Sports Agent, Wasserman Media Group)
  • Jeff Graupe ’06 (Director of Player Development, Cincinnati Reds)
  • Tim McLean ’06 (Baseball Relations Specialist, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP)
  • Jamie Hollowell ’09 (Data Architect, Colorado Rockies)
  • Jeremy Zoll ’12 (Director of Minor League Operations, Minnesota Twins)
  • Josh Studnitzer ’14 (Advance Scouting, Philadelphia Phillies)
  • Casey Fox ’15 (Assistant for Player Development, Texas Rangers)
  • Pat O'Shea '18 (Minor League Video Coordinator, Tampa Bay Rays)

 Haverford Baseball Draft Picks

  • Chaon Garland ’91 (Athletics; third round, 99th overall pick)
  • Dean Laganosky ’09 (Indians; 45th round, 1,368th pick overall)
  • Tommy Bergjans ’15 (Dodgers; eighth round, 252nd overall pick)
  • Stephen Ridings ’17 (Cubs; eight round, 254th overall pick)

 Chaon Garland '91 was a third round draft pick of the Oakland A's who progressed to Double-A before an injury curtailed his professional career. Jake Chaplin '12 became the second Ford to don a Major League uniform when he signed a contract in the summer of 2012 to join the L.A. Dodgers' Rookie Arizona League affiliate. Dean Laganosky '09 was a 45th round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians in 2008, but decided to return to Haverford to complete his pre-med studies and his collegiate baseball career.  Tal Alter '98 (The Netherlands), Mark Welles '01 (Belgium), Tim McLean '06 (Belgium), Nat Ballenberg '07 (Israel), Ben Field '07 (Israel) and Travis Zier '07 (Israel) played professional baseball overseas after graduating from Haverford. Hunter Rawlings '66 had tryouts with Major League Baseball organizations before becoming the President at the University of Iowa and at Cornell University.

Most recently, three-time All-American and Centennial Conference Pitcher of the Year Tommy Bergjans ’15 was picked in the eighth round of the major league baseball draft. Bergjans made his professional debut with the Ogden Raptors, an advanced rookie affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Various versions of baseball have been played at Haverford since its founding in 1833. In the 1880s, teams began to play a couple of games a year against outside opposition and once defeated Villa Nova College, as Haverford's Main Line neighbor was then called. During this period, Haverford's only full-fledged major-leaguer, Bill Lindsay '06, graduated and went on to play for the Cleveland Naps, precursors of the Indians. Not until after World War I did American's National Pastime become a full-fledged varsity sport at Haverford, its formal recognition delayed by the great focus on cricket at Haverford and in Philadelphia long after most places had abandoned it.

Greg Kannerstein '63 took over as head coach in 1977 for 15 seasons. The teams of the early 1980's, featuring pitcher Rich Pressler '81, who beat Swarthmore four straight years, and outfielder Matt Sekelick '81, were quite strong. Haverford continued to play consistent baseball into the early '90's when All-America catcher John Loughnane '87 and pitcher Chaon Garland '91 led surges in the baseball program.

Since taking over as the head prior to the 2001 season, current head coach Dave Beccaria has led the Fords to unprecedented heights. His team hit the pinnacle during the 2012 season when it captured the first Centennial Conference championship in program history. Two years later, the Fords repeated that feat by claiming the 2014 Centennial Conference title. Beccaria led the squad to a third Centennial Conference title in 2016. In each season that the Fords have won the conference championship, Beccaria’s team has gone on to win a game at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional. In addition, Beccaria’s squads achieved national rankings during the 2011 and 2013 seasons, rising to as high as No. 13 in the NCAA during the 2013 season.

Individual award winners under Beccaria’s watch are currently highlighted by Charlie Carluccio ’11 and Tommy Bergjans ’15. Carluccio become the first Centennial Conference Player of the Year recipient in program history before going on to earn first-team All-American accolades as well following his senior campaign.

Bergjans became the first player in program history to be named Centennial Conference Pitcher of the Year as he earned those honors during the 2013, 2014, and 2015 seasons. The right-hander also garnered All-American accolades during those three seasons in which he rewrote the Haverford pitching record books. Bergjans, an eighth round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers, was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies as a part of the Carlos Ruiz trade where he was assigned to the Clearwater Threshers in the Advanced-A league to finish out the 2016 season. He is currently pitching at the AA level with the Reading Fightin Phils. Stephen Ridings ’17, a draft pick of the Cubs, made his professional debut in the summer of 2017 with the Chicago Cubs Arizona Rookie League team.