Former Tabor standout pitcher Mitch McIntyre hopes to return to Tabor this fall and finish his degree in business administration.
If he does, he will be just another student, with one exception—he is a professional baseball player in the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
McIntyre was picked up by the Brewers and is currently playing in the AVL Rookie league in Arizona.
Growing up in Wichita, it’s hard not to be a baseball fan. Mitch graduated from Wichita Northwest High School, then made his way to several schools before arriving at Tabor College for the 2017-18 season.
In his lone season with the Bluejays, McIntyre went 9-2 with an impressive 3.82 ERA. It shouldn’t be a surprise that he ended up playing for Coach Mark Standiford and the Bluejays. Standiford played at Wichita State University with McIntyre’s dad, Rich, and also coached McIntyre the summer for the Wichita Sluggers.
“I have known him for a long time,” McIntyre said of Standiford. “He has always been known as the ultimate players coach. Players love playing for him. He helped me reach my goal of playing pro ball at the end of the season. Coach (Andy) Davis and Coach (Jake) Jones also helped with that.”
Standiford had high praise for McIntyre as well.
“He was a competitor; hardworker,” he said. “One of his biggest goals was to play pro ball and he accomplished that.”
McIntryre is one of three Tabor alumni playing professional baseball. Jacob Webb is at AAA in the Atlanta Braves organization in Gwinnett County, Ga., and Dustin Hurlbutt is with the Oakland A’s.
“He’s always been very good,” Standiford said about McIntyre. “It was just a matter of trying to figure it out. I’ve seen his potential since he was 12 years old.”
Asked about McIntyre’s character, Standiford said, “He is a high character kid in everything he does.”
Assistant Coach Andy Davis also spoke highly of McIntyrę.
“He was always goal oriented and focused. He was one of those kids that you didn’t have to worry about,” Davis said. “He was going to get to practice and knew what he needed to do to get better and he went and did it every day.”
Asked how Tabor has helped him professionally, McIntyre said that “the ability to meet new people… kind of the same way in professional baseball. I didn’t know a single person when I came out here and if I get promoted, I may know one or two people, constantly networking and just meeting new people, learning to adjust on top of that.”
Asked about the biggest transition from small college baseball to the professional ranks, McIntyre said he’s noticed how good younger players are.
“My catch partner is a 16-year-old kid from China who throws harder than I do,” he said. “It’s pretty insane. It just opens your eyes to how talented people are around the world. I’ve seen talented people at every place I’ve played at, but never this young.”
Maturity and experience are the assets that he said he hopes will take him to the next level.