“These former Ramblers were very gracious to give their time to talk to our current players,” says Head Baseball Coach Chris Ackels. “They imparted a great deal of wisdom. A Jesuit education is all about the personal connection. That’s the cornerstone of cura personalis. The personal connection that our players are able to have, even with professional and collegiate baseball players, is so important. We are so appreciative to these guys for making those connections.”
On Thursday, April 30, players met via Zoom with four alumni who currently play college baseball:
Jack Lombardi ’16, Nebraska-Omaha
Brian Vance ’17, St. Joseph’s
Trey Torain ’18, George Washington
Henry Haracz ’18, John Carroll
“This was a great conversation and our current Ramblers asked a lot of great questions,” says Ackels. “The guys talked about the recruiting process, what college ball is like, and what they miss most about playing high school baseball at Loyola.”
Then on Friday, May 8, players met with three Rambler alumni who currently play professional baseball:
Christian Friedrich ’05, Chicago White Sox organization, played at Eastern
Danny Woodrow ’13, Detroit Tigers organization, played at Creighton
Jack Yalowitz ’15, Colorado Rockies organization, played at Illinois
“It really says a lot that these guys were willing to take time out of their days to talk with our kids,” adds Ackels. “That tells you everything you need to know about this program, its legacy, and the connection our alums feel to Loyola Baseball.”
Coach Ackels shared some of the questions current Ramblers asked the pros:
One piece of advice to current high school players?
“Be a great teammate. Be the guy who sprints to your position every time. Be the guy who – even on a ground ball – sprints all the way through first base. People will notice.” – Jack Lombardi
“Simplify the game. Your biggest tool is your mental approach.” – Jack Yalowitz
“Win the mental battle. That means having simple thoughts. Close your eyes and paint a picture of what you’re trying to do. And then go do it.” – Christian Friedrich
“Don’t overthink things. Do your job in that certain moment that you’re in. You can boil the whole game down to one task that you need to do in that moment.” – Danny Woodrow
What do you miss the most about Loyola baseball?
“I miss the time with the guys, no doubt.” – Brian Vance
“Your coaches, your teammates, the older guys… lean into those relationships. Because when things get hard, that’s who you’re going to lean on forever.” – Henry Haracz
“The culture we had on our team was unbelievable. Enjoy it. Embrace it. Don’t take it for granted.” – Trey Torrain
What was it like playing in Korea’s KBO league?
“It’s like playing baseball at a rock concert.” – Christian Friedrich
Have you ever played as yourself in a video game?
“Absolutely! All the time!” – Christian Friedrich
“I don’t like my ratings.” – Danny Woodrow
In the school's history, eleven Loyola Academy baseball players have been selected in the Major League Baseball Draft. One former Rambler, Freddie Lindstrom '22, is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.