Neuschaefer Finds Strength Through his Family

Nolan Neuschaefer is no stranger when it comes to working on a team. Not only did he play four years of Varsity football and baseball for Elyria High School, but he continued his baseball career at Baldwin Wallace University, playing centerfield, where he remains one of the only players on the team who has started Varsity since his freshman year.
Despite his tremendous athletic abilities and dedication to the sport, Nolan attributes most of his success to his family. He comes from a family of 11 brothers and sisters ranging from six-years-old to age 36.
Falling in the middle, Nolan remains very close to his family and truly enjoys spending time with them.
In fact, if it were not for them, Nolan would most likely not be the man that he is today. Much of his strength and passion for helping others on and off the field stems from his youngest brother, Noah.
Noah, who is now six-years-old, was born in a hotel room while his mother was at a baseball tournament with her other son. While giving birth, his umbilical cord got wrapped around his neck, resulting in him being born with cerebral palsy.
Now, Noah is unable to speak and can only communicate with his friends and family via sign language. It is because of Noah and the hardships that he has to endure that Nolan has pursued the life that he is living.
“I went into teaching because I am inspired by my little brother, Noah, who was born with cerebral palsy. I am motivated to help and teach children because of the obstacles that I see Noah face and overcome every day.”
The inspiration that Noah provides has allowed Nolan to perform exceptionally well on the baseball field. Nolan currently holds the BW record for triples, hitting a total of 13 thus far in his career. Additionally, as a freshman, Nolan appeared in 33 games and started all of them.
On the field, Nolan had a 1.000 fielding percentage in 88 opportunities. These efforts earned him the Most Outstanding Freshman Award and the Gold Glove Award, decided by the BW coaching staff.
During his sophomore year, Nolan started all 34 games as centerfielder. He hit a team-leading .308 with four doubles, six triples, 11 RBI’s and scored 33 runs. He was named the Team’s Most Valuable Player, which was decided by his teammates and awarded the All – OAC Honorable Mention Award.
Unfortunately, his junior year was cut short due to an injury. During one of his games, Nolan slid in to second base and immediately felt a pop. He continued to run to third when he knew that something was seriously wrong.
Nolan suffered a sport-induced hernia and was unable to play the remainder of the year. He has come back stronger than ever though and Nolan is determined to make his senior year the best yet. While in a tournament in Florida, Nolan hit his first home run of his career and is using that momentum to drive him through the rest of the season.
“I’ve known Nolan for 4 years and have lived with him for 2,” says friend and roommate, Mickey Haba. “Nolan has an incredible passion for baseball. His family is his support system and it shows every time he walks on the field. I’m sure that Nolan will leave a lasting legacy for Baldwin Wallace baseball.”
His current role models include Grady Sizemore, former centerfielder for the Indians and Mike Trout, centerfielder for the Angels.
“Grady Sizemore is left handed and so am I.” says Nolan. “He throws lefty and bats lefty like I do, so we play very similarly. He and I are both small guys but able to cover a lot of ground. I really look up to him. I also admire Mike Trout. He’s only 20 years old and to be playing professional baseball at that age is pretty amazing.”
Cody Kidd, an alumni and former baseball player for Baldwin Wallace is also a role model to Nolan and the reason that he wears the number 4 jersey.
“Cody graduated when I was a freshman. He played centerfield and held a bunch of records here. I was determined to beat those records and become as good as he was. I really looked up to him so that is why I decided to wear his jersey.”
In addition to the tremendous support that Nolan receives from his family and his passion for the sport, he does admit to performing rituals and superstitions before each of his games. Under the rims on his hats he writes “IGIT” meaning In God I Trust.
Additionally, if he plays really well during one of his games, he will repeat everything he did before that game for his next one.
From chewing gum to the number of times he tapes his wrist, he tries his best to repeat every little detail in hopes that it carries on to the field.
Above all else, Nolan is very appreciative of his family and the support they have given him. He understands the challenge it is to accommodate such a large family and is very grateful for their understanding and support for his love of baseball.
“They are die-hard sports fans and they have motivated me to not only excel at baseball but to strive to help others and to give back to those less fortunate. Most importantly however I want to thank my Mom for always being there for me. I know that with such a large family, it can be hard. You have no idea how much I appreciate her and all she does for our family.”
Nolan will graduate from Baldwin Wallace University with a degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Coaching.
This summer he will coach a travel baseball team, the North Coast Vipers, and hopes he can inspire these children as much as Noah and the rest of his family has inspired him.