Florida A&M baseball player Allen Grant lives by his childhood motto “Always be relaxed, loose and think about the future.”
Grant, 19, a sophomore from Marietta, Ga., is the shortstop for the Rattler baseball team.
Grant’s baseball career started when he was six years old. He competed on a local YMCA team.
Grant said baseball did not become serious until he was nine years old, when he began competitive competition.
Like most nine-year-olds, baseball was not the only sport Grant was interested in.
“My parents started me in every major sport, but baseball stood out,” Grant said.
Grant started playing football in the 8th grade. He continued both sports until he graduated from high school. Grant said that the physical demand of football was the determining factor for why he chose to only play baseball.
Grant did not play shortstop for his high school team, although in his summer league teams he did. He spent the majority of his career playing outfield.
Grant said the experience garnered from it will transfer with him later in his career.
“Most African American shortstops are converted to outfield later in their career,” he said.
He is glad that he has had the experience of both because it has made him a complete ball player. This is something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by his teammates.
“As a freshmen, Grant gave us stability at the shortstop position,” junior pitcher David Lee said.
Grant started over 30 games as a freshman and is looking forward to taking the team to a winning season. Lee explained how Grant played his role, and was a silent leader.
“Grant was a leader by playing hard and never complaining,” Lee said.
Grant said his transition from high school to college was a relaxed one.
“The coaches at FAMU said no one expects you to be an All-American,” Grant said. “This helped me stay relax and just play ball.”
“Last season we did not have the season we expected,” senior pitcher Tim Jones said. “Grant showed the capacity to lead the team as a freshman. This season we will see if we find more leadership from him.”
This year the Rattlers have a new interim head coach, Brett Richardson. Grant said Richardson has provided the keys to a winning formula.
“Coach Richardson is why I’m here. We must buy into his scheme and believe in our skills,” Grant said.
Grant said the team must work hard and play hard to accomplish all of their goals.
“I am going to give the team 100% and I expect the team to give 100% back.”