In kindergarten, Parker Massman’s throw from shortstop to first base broke the first baseman’s glasses.
Now a sophomore business major and division one baseball player at Miami, Massman stands 6 feet tall, a backwards hat clapped onto a wave of dark blonde hair, his face drawn in a serious expression.
He’s always had a strong arm, and even when he started playing t-ball at age four, there was something else that set him apart from every other pint-sized kid wearing cleats and a jersey. Unlike the other kids, who showed up to practice because their parents had signed them up, Massman really enjoyed being on the field.
Massman was born in St. Louis, and even after moving to Indiana at age five, the St. Louis Cardinals remained his favorite team. Growing up, he loved fishing, and spent most of his weekends at his family’s lake house on the Lake of the Ozarks.
As a kid, he had both passion and talent for the game. Today, he dreams of playing professional baseball.
When Massman was younger, he frequently alternated between pitcher and shortstop until he was 12 years old, when he got moved to the outfield.
“I had a lot of natural instincts out there and was good at it, so I stuck out there and never went back,” Massman said.
Massman grew up playing football as well. His hometown of Carmel, IN is a big football town. Since missing games or practices wasn’t really an option, he stopped playing football to focus more on baseball after his freshman year.
Recruitment for college athletics begins at different times for different people, but Massman was recruited at the end of his freshman year and the beginning of his sophomore year. He’d also played for a couple summers on a travel team in Ohio, which is where the Miami coaching staff first noticed him.
Massman said he had a pretty specific idea of what he wanted for his college experience. A strong academic program and not being too far from home were high priorities. After a couple of visits to Oxford, he realized Miami fulfilled those requirements and many others.
Miami was one of the first schools to recruit him and, unlike other colleges that require a scholarship offer to be accepted within a couple weeks, Miami coach Danny Hayden allotted him nearly a year to contemplate his decision.
Massman’s favorite part of the team is the chemistry and camaraderie. It’s that close-knit dynamic that helps the team through tough practices and “Hell Week,” a set of intense workouts like running sprints in the scorching summer heat.
“We all get along, we mess around with each other all the time,” Massman said. “And that’s kind of why you play sports; to connect with people and build relationships that you would never have.”
When asked to describe himself in three words, he says he’s deliberative, sarcastic and serious. He’s always joking around with his closest friends, but doesn’t do anything without reason and purpose.
Massman’s friends often comment on his serious facial expression.
“They think it’s like angry or mad, but I’m not angry or mad, I’m just thinking about things,” he said.
He loves epic films like Lord of the Rings and shows like Game of Thrones, and his music taste ranges from rap to country, depending on the season.
He says his proudest moment is the day he committed to play baseball at Miami.
“That was a huge moment in my life,” Massman said. “College is a big step in anybody’s life and the fact that I had a dream of always playing division one athletics and finally cemented that dream and made it a reality, and just making my parents proud.”