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Thanks to some God-given talent, unrelenting persistence, and a bit of luck, Jason Boyd ’04 is fulfilling his life-long dream of playing professional baseball.

This past spring, the civil engineering graduate joined the Ohio Valley Redcoats, one of 12 Midwest teams that comprise the independent Frontier League.

“It has always been my dream to play professional baseball after college and when I was given the opportunity to do so, I knew I had the ability,” Boyd says. “Not only did I know this by the way my seasons went (during four years on Lafayette’s baseball team), but the guys I’ve played against — I played at the same level or better than some of them and they got drafted. So I knew I had the ability to play at that next level.”

But after graduation, Boyd wasn’t immediately able to show off that ability. He was invited to a couple tryouts and workouts with professional teams, but nothing came of them. So he took a job with First Capital Engineering in York, Pa. During the winter, out of nowhere, he received a letter inviting him to try out for a team in Arizona, and was signed by a separate team in Evansville.

“So I was with that team, but right before spring training, I got a call from them saying that they had signed a couple guys who were coming back and they were going to release me,” Boyd says. “I was sort of shocked by that because I had quit my job. But that coach said he would see what he could do and called my manager now and he invited me out to spring training.”

The coach of that team, the Redcoats, liked what he saw in Boyd and signed him. Now, the former center fielder, third baseman, and second baseman is playing right field.

“I was upset [before] that I was never given the opportunity to show off my skills because I knew I had what it takes — I just needed an opportunity,” he says. “I got a chance this year and I’m lucky to be here.”

While his time working in the engineering field was satisfying, Boyd knew that if he turned down the possibility of playing pro ball, he would always regret it.

“I had to take the chance and give it a shot,” he says. “Playing at Lafayette let me compete and get better and stronger for four more years and see the level of competition I was facing. Those four years showed me that yes, I do have the ability — I can play against these guys now and I can play against these guys at a higher level. Playing at Lafayette definitely showed me I have the ability to do that.”

After 46 games in the 96-game season, Boyd has a batting average of .270 with 12 doubles, six home runs, and 38 RBI. He is playing games in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Missouri, Indiana, and Illinois. The regular season ends Sept. 5.

“Here we are on the road all the time and the discipline that [Lafayette] coach Joe Kinney instilled in the team and myself is helping me where I’m at right now because you’re really on your own,” Boyd says. “You have no one watching over you and you can do pretty much whatever you want so you have to have it inside yourself to say, ‘No, I’m not going to stay out late, I’m going to go to bed now so I can get up early and go work out.’”

Boyd also credits Lafayette’s rigorous academic program for reinforcing a strong work ethic.

“There’s no one in college telling you that you have to do your homework, but the demanding curriculum and workload required me to do something every night,” he says. “That gave me the work ethic that said if I wanted to succeed here, I was going to have to buckle down and do the work.”

Boyd ranks first in Lafayette history in runs scored (153), doubles (49), triples (16) and total bases (353) and second in career hits (212) and games played (172).

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles