One On One with Dan Bartlett

04/22/2014, 4:30pm EDT
By Jeff Noreman


1on1-slideshow_largeDan Bartlett, of Levittown, New York, is a senior at Caldwell College, a small liberal arts college in Caldwell, New Jersey. He played for the Long Island Whalers for five years under the well-respected coaches Tony Nunziato and Mike Herbst. He also played for the collegiate New York Atlantics for two summers.

According to Bartlett, his first memory of organized baseball was when his brother Jonathan was playing t-ball. “I was running around, chasing the ball. When it was my turn to play, I remember not being able to hit the ball very well.”

At the suggestion of the president of the Island Trees Baseball/Softball organization Dan Sguigna, he started “playing up” with his brother’s classmates who are three years older than Dan. At that time it became clear that he enjoyed pitching more than other baseball activities. Even in the summer on Island Trees “travel” team, he played with ballplayers a year older than him. When he was ten years old, Bartlett’s travel team won the Cal Ripken Metro NY Championship.

Bartlett’s high school team, the Island Trees Bulldogs, were also a successful team. When he was a junior they went to the Nassau County Championship game, and as a senior they got to the semifinals. Personally, he was named to the All-Conference Team as a junior, and received All-League accolades as a senior.

When researching colleges, Bartlett knew he’d achieve more in a school that had smaller class sizes. He saw that Caldwell College had an average class size of 22 students, which fit nicely with what he was seeking. He’ll graduate with a degree in digital graphic design in December of 2014.

As a freshman, Bartlett earned a record of 5-2 as a pitcher. He had an earned run average of 2.78 over 55 innings. He chalked up 50 strikeouts while allowing only 13 bases on balls. In fact, through his first three college campaigns he has maintained a strikeout to walk ratio of greater than 2.5-to-1. Bartett’s arsenal includes both a four-seam and two-seam fastball, a knuckle-drop (a pitch that is indigenous to Levittown), a slider, a split-change, and a knuckleball.

“Baseball taught me teamwork, leadership,” explained Bartlett, laughing. “I know it’s such a cliche answer.

“It’s also taught me to become a teacher. The kids on my team at school, if they need help with something (related to) pitching, I’ll help them out. My coach (Head Coach Jay Messina) all the time will say ‘They need help with this. Go work with them.’

“I ask people what they want to do and (guide) them through it. On a baseball field, I’m always trying to help everyone get better… making sure everyone is doing the right thing.”

Since he was three or four years old, Bartlett has said he wanted to be a baseball player when he grew up. He says it was a major reason he went to college, where his future changed. For now, he has a few months left in school, to earn his degree. Then his options for the future will become clear.

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