TAMPA, Fla. – When David Drysdale donned the Flagler College uniform it was more than just baseball.
David’s grandfather, Walter Irvine, has his name on the ballpark at the Northeast Florida campus, and that was a truly exceptional thing for the young shortstop.
“It was definitely special It’s a little weird when you’re playing and you hear your name when they’re talking about the field but it was really special.” Drysdale said.
He is now at the University of Tampa, a decision that was made more difficult because of his family’s rich history.
“Definitely made it a lot harder to transfer,” said Drysdale, on the long-term injury list while rehabbing a back problem. “I had also grown up in Flagler my whole life … and lived 18 years there before leaving for college.
“I had a bunch of relationships with the coach and a lot of people at Flagler so that definitely made it harder, but in the end I got to do what’s best for me.”
Drysdale’s decision to transfer was purely academic. Tampa offered the pre-med biology program he was looking for.
Unfortunately, his baseball career with the Spartans has been uneventful because of injury.
“He had back surgery so he may be looking at more of a redshirt year (missing the season while maintaining his eligibility),” said manager Joe Urso.
David being red-shirted may not be ideal, but allowing him to focus more on his education while maintaining his eligibility as well as scholarships isn’t the end of the world for him.
“Yeah I’ve got a lot more time since I’m not travelling with the team so I have more time to focus on studies which is important for me because transferring in and going to pre-med is difficult. It’s good but I still have to balance it a little bit cause I’m out here with them at practice and I’m doing my physical therapy.”
David played in 30 games for Flagler college, starting 21 and batting .173 with 1 HR and 7 RBI. Coming back from injury may complicate his desire to improve his hitting and general offensive output, but Drysdale remains optimistic.
“The doctors say I should be fine but I haven’t swung at all. I’ve done a little bit of fielding and that feels fine but the difficult thing will be fielding ground balls cause the bending over is what really aggravated my back in the first place.”
While David may never reach the heights his grandfather did during his collegiate baseball career but his studies in medicine may help the world in different ways.