Steve Day poses for a photo with recent CMU grad Tyler Day
Steve Day, '93, and son Tyler Day, '17, were both drafted into the MLB after their time playing at Mesa.


Hitting the big leagues

By Ryan Cook

From a rented room in Princeton, West Virginia, Tyler Day, ’17, reflected on his remarkable ride through baseball. Drafted in the 19th round of the 2017 MLB Draft, Tyler is now a 22-year-old professional pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays farm team — the Princeton Rays.

Only a few months ago, he helped pitch Colorado Mesa to the final four in the NCAA Division II College World Series. Three years before that, he was a member of the NJCAA South Division champions, the Blinn College (TX) Buccaneers. Blinn won two games in the 2014 Junior College World Series.

Tyler grew up in Grand Junction before moving to Texas in 2011. His father, Steve, was offered a new position as an executive of Discount Tire. Steve is also a CMU graduate, ’93, and the San Francisco Giants selected him in the MLB draft.

“I loved playing at Mesa,” Steve recalled. “People don’t realize how difficult playing college sports is and how it prepares you to compete in the future on or off the field. Jeff Rogers was my pitching coach my senior year and he really helped sharpen my skills and prepare me mentally for the road ahead. You can’t get by doing the minimum as an athlete and if you want to establish yourself as a leader in business. You have to be willing to put extra time into being the best.”

After pitching for Blinn College, Tyler transferred to Stephen F. Austin University. After one year in Nacogdoches, Texas, Tyler reached out to Maverick Head Baseball Coach Chris Hanks. Hanks offered him a transfer and, last May, Tyler graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management.

Steve remembers when Tyler committed to playing at CMU. “I was ecstatic! I remembered the fun I had there and I also know the quality coaches that are there. Coach Hanks and Coach Rogers are people I trust.”

“Getting to be on the (CMU) team that went to the World Series was awesome. We had a big year after we lost our teammate Ryan Teixeira (to leukemia). To be a final four team, it was a pretty special thing,” Tyler said.

“I love seeing Tyler fulfill his dreams as a professional,” Steve said. His family and “I will continue to go wherever he’s playing and be part of the journey he’s on. We are all proud of him.”

Tyler day will participate in spring training with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2018. Beyond that, Tyler said, “it is up-in-the-air where I will be next year.”

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