Player profile: Dan Tobik
There are many people who anticipate the start of baseball season in the spring.
Some check their favorite team's stats daily and some buy new sports apparel to support their team during the season. Also, there are some who prepare by working out and practicing during the off-season to be ready for the start of the season.
One of those people is Skyhawk pitcher Dan Tobik. While growing up in St. Louis, Tobik had a love for baseball and is an avid Cardinals fan. He started pitching around age 7 and grew up watching his favorite baseball player, Cal Ripken Jr.
Another one of his inspirations for the sport is his mentor/coach and father, David Tobik. His father played Major League Baseball for eight years with the Detroit Tigers, the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners.
"The coolest part about it is growing up knowing your dad is your own personal coach, and he made it to the top. Any time I have trouble, even now, I can just give him a call, and we can talk some things out about pitching," Tobik said.
Since his sophomore year, the 6-foot-4 Tobik has been the Skyhawks' No. 1 pitcher.
Before deciding to pursue baseball in college, he played baseball, basketball and football all four years of high school. Tobik also competed on the swim team. Playing baseball all these years has presented him with many opportunities to travel to various places. During his 8th grade year, he was part of a team that traveled to Japan for a tournament.
Since attending UTM, he has traveled during the summers for baseball to Washington, D.C., Madison, Wis., and Cape Cod, Mass.
"I've [gotten] to experience all the different areas of the country and all are so different. It's a true blessing, because I know a lot of programs don't send their players to summer collegiate leagues."
Traveling for baseball is what led Tobik to UTM. He was called by UTM baseball head coach Bubba Cates after Cates watched him pitch at a tournament in Memphis.
"He offered me a scholarship, and I came to visit. I liked it a lot. I liked the coaches, [and] the players. It was something different. I didn't want to stay in St. Louis; I was ready to get out of the city and experience something [new]. It's definitely different here, but I love it," Tobik said.
Though Tobik's baseball and academic schedule keeps him busy, he still manages to find personal time. When he's not practicing or working out for baseball, he's usually hanging out with friends.
"All of us baseball players are always hanging out; there are 35 of us, so when we all get together, it's like a huge family gathering," Tobik said.
Tobik is also an active member of the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
"I like hanging out with my SAE buddies; they're definitely my brothers," Tobik said. "There are three things that helped me choose. One reason is the guys: I'm from a big city so I'm [accustomed] to a lot of diversity, and SAE is so diverse. There's so many different types of guys, [and] it really reminded me of home. My uncle was also a member of SAE, so it was in the family. And the third reason is because of how big it is nationally and the job opportunities and networking it offers you."
While attending UTM, he is obtaining a business degree in finance.
"I've always been interested in the stock market and my uncle, who I look up to, is a stock broker. I'd like to be a stock broker, a personal finance advisor or something like that," Tobik said.
Tobik will graduate this upcoming May and is excited to see what the future holds for him, whether it be baseball or finance.
"I'd like to see how far I can go with baseball. There's a possibility for me to continue playing, but I'm also really excited to get my finance degree," Tobik said.
Tobik is looking forward to the upcoming season.
"We're really excited for this year. We have 14 seniors on the team so we have a ton of senior leadership. It's going to be an exciting season, and I think it's going to be a good year."
Referring to the team as a "family," Tobik described the team as very supportive of each teammate.
"We're all such good friends, and we're always cheering for each other," Tobik said.
The next time Tobik and the rest of the Skyhawk baseball team can be seen will be at their first game this season at Southeastern Louisiana on Feb. 15.
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