Videos by OutKick
Approximately 7.5% of high school baseball players will go on to compete on the college level, with less than about 3% going D-I. Playing on the next level is an honor, and not just anyone can do it!
However, for those who don’t play at the top level, it can be quite the grind.
Take Lehman College for example.
The 15,000(ish)-student public college was founded in 1931 before becoming an independent college within the CUNY system in 1967. There is a large online presence attached to its enrollment, but the 37-acre campus serves as home base for the only public, four-year institute of higher learning in the borough.
Lehman College’s athletic programs compete on the Division-III level.
Its college baseball team is not very good.
The Lightning won just eight games in 2022 and finished the 2023 regular season at 6-21.
A large part of the struggles likely stem from a lack in facilities. Lehman’s coaching staff has an uphill battle in terms of recruiting, literally.
To play for the Lightning requires a serious love of the game, and most of the roster is from the NYC area. Its college baseball field is rough, and Lehman shares it with the local high school.
For starters, like many in New York City, the field is crammed into whatever space is available. It is rectangular and too short on one side. To make matters worse, the way-too-short right field has a sizable hill that leads up to the fence. A dirt (muddy and rocky) path sits just in front of the hill.
It’s hard to see from this angle, but the hill that is circled on the third-base-line looks essentially the same in right field.
Here’s a better look at the hill (blue arrow) and the dirt path (red arrow):
As one might expect, the hill and dirt path can cause some issues. Especially for the right fielder.
Whenever a ball is hit out that way, the field wreaks havoc.
To reiterate: this is not to discount Lehman’s college baseball team. If anything, their drive and passion for the sport is admirable. It takes a different kind of breed to suit up and play on that diamond every day. Especially considering that they are their own grounds crew.
(Should any Lehman graduates, or angel boosters be reading this… let’s get the Lightning a new field!)