James Donohue - Out to Prove People Wrong
I entered middle school at about 4 feet 7 inches tall and weighed about 90 pounds. Every team had their “short kid”, but this was a different kind of short. After numerous doctor’s visits and tests, the doctors and my parents decided to put me on Human Growth Hormone due to lack of hormones and lack of production from them
Sophomore year of high school was when the fire started to burn. I was so small, weak, and terrible at baseball that my own cousin, who was the junior varsity baseball coach, could not play me. I was brutal. From that moment on I worked my tail off. Spent numerous late nights with a hitting instructor and started lifting weights seriously with my best friend Corey Miller (who later went on to play college football). I still had older guys doubting me as Junior year rolled around but wanted to Prove them Wrong. Again, that just added more fuel to the fire. When senior year rolled around, I was named Captain and I went on a TEAR, earning First Team All League, 3rd Team all-county. I also received the Big North Coaches award for my leadership on and off the field.
I did not play baseball my freshman year of college. My sophomore year of college, I tried out at the school I was currently enrolled at and got cut. The following semester (note: I left in the middle of the year) I transferred to a Junior College back home. I reached out to Steven Mimms, Bergen Community College Head Coach, and asked for a tryout that Spring semester. He gave me an opportunity to work out with the team, and there was not one kid I was better than, not a single one. Coach Mimms never really told me how I did during the tryout, so I just showed up the next day, showed up the day after and so on. After 5 consecutive days of just showing up without any answer from the head coach, I had to just ask him. He was straight shooter and told me that I may not play as much but hell, I did not care. I will just keep working while I wait. I did not start the first few games, but made statements in practice that I was ready. My first collegiate base hit was a pinch hit walk off single down the third base line. I ended up starting a few games my freshman year.
The summer and fall between leading up to my sophomore year, I devoted my entire life to becoming the best ball player I could be. No parties, no fast food, no beach, no vacations, no dates. Strictly training. I came from practice with burns, bruises, cuts, bloody knees and elbows. I sold out every practice. That year I won the NJCAA Rawlings Gold Glove award. I then earned a scholarship to play Division II baseball at Queens College. Coach Mimms saw something in me that no other coach or person did. He knew I played with a chip on my shoulder and could bring something to the team.
After my time playing ball, my grades slipped and was told by my advisor that I was not on track to graduate but I did after 6.5 years of school. Proved Him Wrong.
I am currently a Graduate Assistant baseball coach at MUW. The college level is where I need to be at, even though I have heard multiple stories of how it is “impossible” to land a big job and make money, but that will never stop me.
I’ve had teachers tell me I am too small and couldn’t do it.
I have had former classmates in school tell me I only made teams because my dad was an administrator at the high school I went to. Proved them wrong.