From the moment he could slide his tiny hand into a glove, baseball had always been Willie VonRuden’s primary sport. His innate love for the game was nurtured at a young age and eventually met by a set of physical tools that allowed him to shine in the center of the diamond.
Immediately taking the mantle as Medford’s ace pitcher during his freshman season in the spring of 2017, the lefty progressively developed the arm-strength that saw his velocity touch 85 miles-per-hour to go with a nasty set of off-speed pitches. He often buzzed through his level of competition without so much as breaking a sweat, once ringing up all 15 outs of a 5-inning game via strikeout.
Baseball was VonRuden’s athletic path, his ticket to the next level and his best chance at playing sports beyond high school.
His eventual college decision, though, would prove to be his ultimate curveball.
“It’s hard to say, but once I finished this past football season, I didn’t want anything to do with baseball,” VonRuden said. “It had been such a huge part of my life for so long and I just didn’t have that passion for it anymore. I threw my arm out last summer and it feels fine now, but that was really scary and I didn’t know how long I would last in college.” Continue reading at southernminn.com