University of West Georgia senior Tyler Hutch has a long-standing history with baseball. Hutch has played baseball for most of his life, but it was not the playing of the game that meant so much.
Hutch played backyard baseball with his dad and brother as a young boy and spent hours of practice time on the field with his teammates—all memories that have helped make him the player he is today. For Hutch, it is all about family. He had a family supporting him on the field and a family in the stands, so “family” quickly became his source of inspiration when he took the field.
“Like many baseball players, I have played baseball all my life, but my dad was a big part of my early years,” said Hutch. “He has always played an important role in helping me develop my skills.”
Hutch grew up around baseball, and it was always a family affair.
“I have a couple of younger brothers who look up to me, and we used to play catch in the backyard,” said Hutch. “When I play, I know they will be watching, and I want to be a good role model for them.”
It was not always fun and games for Hutch; there were some grueling practices with his dad that lasted hours, but he appreciates the time and effort his dad spent with him.
“Playing for my dad was tough,” said Hutch. “I remember a lot of tough love moments during practice. Everything I did had to be perfect, but I knew that in those moments he was trying to make me better.”
Hutch’s father played at Florida International University before becoming a professional scout, and Hutch partially credits his dad for his strong, competitive personality.
“Training with my dad made the game a lot easier to play because he understood what it was like to play the game,” said Hutch. “When we trained together, we would compete against each other to see who could hit further or catch more fly balls. That competitiveness suck with me over the years, and I still incorporate it into my training today.”
Hutch also had a second family that taught him just as much as his family back at home – his team. When he made a move from shortstop to middle field, it was the second family he leaned on to help support him, and it yielded great rewards.
In 2013, Hutch won a Rawlings Golden Glove, an award presented to players who have demonstrated outstanding defensive play.
“I was playing a new position and I was just getting the hang of it,” said Hutch. “I had a good year; I didn’t miss a fly ball and didn’t make any errors. I had a good team that supported me and showed me how to play the new position.”
Practice is key for Hutch and the entire Wolves baseball team, and Hutch believes the team has a chance to make a run for a championship title.
“This year it really set in because it is my senior year, and I want a ring,” said Hutch. “We are capable of winning a championship. We have a lot of talent. We just have to get hot and stay hot. We just have to stay humble and keep working toward playing to our best ability every game.”