Gray's Maturity, Dedication Hook Babson Baseball
Harrison Gray will continue his baseball career with Babson College in Massachusetts
Harrison Gray dabbled in just about every sport growing up, but he found a passion for baseball because its deliberate and thoughtful nature — two characteristics readily used to describe Gray himself.
A four-year varsity starter of the Flint Hill baseball team as both pitcher and position player, Gray committed to continue his career with Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., after a junior season in which he hit .361 with seven home runs and 30 RBI.
"It's always been the mental side that has made me love it. The competitiveness, the battle between you and another guy when you're pitching or batting," said Gray, who has played the game since the age of 6. "I just love the sport and I want to see where I can take it. Whatever happens in college happens, and maybe it takes me further, maybe it doesn't."
In case Gray cannot advance with the sport any further than college, he made sure he chose a school that would prepare him for life after baseball. Babson's curriculum specializes in business, a major Gray already knew he wanted to pursue.
Gray's mature approach to college hunting did not surprise Tom Verbanic, head coach at Flint Hill, who calls the 18-year-old McLean resident "Coach."
"Harry is a leader, and he's two kinds of leader. He is vocal and will talk, but Harry is one of the better I've seen in a long time that leads by example," Verbanic said. "Harry is the same with the most popular kid in the school and the least popular kid in the school. I told my wife, he's got 'it,' whatever 'it' is. He's probably going to be President of the United States someday."
Gray, who helped re-establish the school's Hype Club and served on the Honor Council, is very aware of the leadership role he had in high school, and said he took the responsibility seriously as he focused on helping underclassmen develop their mental approach to the game.
Though he realizes he will likely be a low man on the totem pole as a freshman, he thinks he can find his niche on the Babson squad.
"I think if you're doing everything the right way, you're going to be considered a leader, and I try to do everything the right way," Gray said. "I think I can still be a leader there, but a different role in my first year. If I'm not pitching or not playing, maybe I can be a leader on the bench or smaller roles like that."
Matt Noone, head coach at Babson, said Gray's maturity was the first thing that stood out to him when they met.
"He's just a first-class kid all the way. Very mature, very intelligent and serious about being a good baseball player," Noone said. "Those are the qualities of success that kids need to have at Babson, and I think he's got some intangibles that are going to lead him down the path for a great college career."
Noone said that though he sees Gray pitching for Babson, he has no plans to limit his role if Gray finds success elsewhere.
"We try to identify really good baseball players, and kids who have a passion for the game. We know that if we recruit good baseball players, the positions and the needs take care of themselves," Noone said. "I personally see his strength to be on the mound, but I'm not naive enough to think that a tough kid like him can't find his way on the field in other ways, too."