Thursday, August 20, 2015

DeGraw: Baseball It Will Be

Rye's Tim DeGraw '19, a star on the football field, opted for baseball and will join other Westchester-area players on the Yale team next spring (LoHud photos)
Last fall, Tim DeGraw '19 wound up a storybook career for the Rye High School Garnets on the football field, a career that local coaches and prep watchers will whisper about for a long time.

For two straight seasons, he recorded over 1,000 yards receiving, setting records for his high school and in Westchester's Section 1. He was the reliable recipient of sharp arcs of passes from his heralded quarterback Andrew Livingston. Livingston heads to Brown this fall and will attempt to break records in Providence in the way both he and DeGraw did so in Westchester.

The passing tandem led Rye to a 9-2 record, good enough for a Class A, Section 1 championship. (Livingston passed for over 5,500 yards during his time as Rye's quarterback. DeGraw was responsible for more than half the yardage.)

DeGraw opted for Yale, but not to play football. He will play baseball for Yale next spring, joining other Westchester-area players on the team, including Mamaroneck's Kumar Nambiar '19 and Pound Ridge's Richard Slenker '17.  James Nicholas '19, like DeGraw, was a versatile athlete, a star at Scarsdale, excelling in football, ice hockey, and golf.  Like DeGraw, he had decisions to make and chose football and golf.

For DeGraw, check the numbers in both football and baseball. Check team records and game stories, too. Check YouTube highlights that show his blazing speed up and down sidelines and along base paths.

In football last year, DeGraw's team fell short in the quarterfinals of the New York state championship, losing to Cornwall, 21-17,  in the last minute as Rye was driving down the field.  In baseball, he batted .443 in his career and set career Rye records for hits (135), runs (123), and stolen bases (117). He even pitched a no-hitter against rival Harrison this past spring.  He was an All-State selection on both sports.

So as he and 1,350 other Yale freshmen swarm onto Old Campus in New Haven in the days to come, baseball it will be for DeGraw.  (Rye classmate Alexandros Koutsogeorgas '19 will also be a Yale classmate and will join the Elis' fencing team.) In his own household, he was likely pulled into baseball's direction because his brother Matt and father Eric played baseball at Stanford.  (His mother was a gymnast at Stanford.)

DeGraw resisted the strong family pull toward Palo Alto.  He followed his family's baseball tracks, but, for the next four years, chose Yale.

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