Connor Van Hoose ’18 goes for the big leagues

When Connor Van Hoose ’18 graduated this spring he was presented with two options: enter the “work-force draft” like so many other recent graduates or enter the Major League Baseball draft. With a political science degree secured, Van Hoose decided to follow his baseball dreams.

On June 5, the Bison pitching ace received the news that so many boys fantasize about the first time they put on a glove: he was to be drafted by the New York Yankees. Van Hoose was selected by perhaps the most iconic and well-known sports franchise in the world.

He’s working his way up to the big show, this summer playing for the Gulf Coast League Yankees West. From Van Hoose’s very first appearance he drew upon lessons learned at Bucknell.

“What Bucknell taught me was to not get frustrated on the mound,” he says. “If something bad happened, I was able to compose myself. For me to get out there and control my emotions is huge.”

He credits head coach Scott Heather and assistant coach Jason Neitz with helping him learn to remain calm.

“Those two stuck with me [after he sustained an injury his first year],” Van Hoose says. “They immediately said, ‘You’re going to start as a sophomore here.’ Even if I had a bad outing they’d come up to me and say, ‘We’re never going to be worried about you making a mistake, because next week, you’re going to come back and fight.’ For a player to hear that really changes their perspective. It helps you put away your own doubts. They gave me all the confidence that I needed.”