UM-Flint Gears up to Play Ball


Cumberland University

Student athletes are waiting with bated breath for the day they can compete again.

Spring is coming, and besides no more snow, we all know what that means: the feeling of stitches on a horsehide glove in your hand and the crack of a ball on a bat.  

Just in time for the warmer weather, UM-Flint club sports is attempting to create a baseball team. This is a chance for students to be a part of the inception of a new tradition, enhance their college experience and PLAY BALL!

Shbeib Dabaja, a freshman economics major from Grand Blanc, would like to get the ball rolling. Dabaja, who is also as an associate baseball scout for the Collegiate Baseball Scouting Network, is in the process of creating the club.

“We would like [to] build a competitive baseball team for those who long for some competitive action and to continue to play the great game of baseball,” said Dabaja. “We also want to create a great atmosphere and community of students and athletes that have a passion for America’s true pastime, one where they can make new bonds with people of common interest.”

The club’s inception has taken longer than expected, meaning it will not be playing National Club Baseball Association League games this season. It will, however, be able to play exhibitions with colleges in their division (Division 3, District 2 West).

Once a part of the league, rivals will include Eastern, Oakland, Wright State, John Carroll and Butler, with opportunities for exhibition games against UM Ann Arbor, Michigan State, Ohio State and others.

On the team, one can not only make new, potentially lasting acquaintances but also keep their playing days alive.

“The UM-Flint Club Baseball team is something that myself and a group of incoming university freshmen/students wanted to set up,” said Dabaja, “so we could continue with some level of competitive baseball, while also trying to connect to those who have a passion for the game.”

One of the great things about being involved in club sports at UM-Flint is the opportunity for past players to get back on that field of dreams and rekindle their passions. Baseball, like rock and roll, never forgets.  

Jacob Runnels, a freshman psychology major and founding member, looks forward to participating competitively again.

“I considered my playing days to be over until arriving at the University of Michigan-Flint,” said the Fenton native. “I lived, breathed and slept baseball ever since I was old enough to hold a bat.”

Runnels feels there is enough interest in a club at UM-Flint. Unfortunately, there was not a great turnout at the initial orientation meeting.

“It could just be an inability to commit that much time to a club baseball team,” he said, “or perhaps we didn’t get the word out there quickly enough.”

For those of you who miss belting a line shot into the corner to clear the bases, do not despair. Future meetings to organize are still in the works. Those ready to get back on the diamond can also contact Dabaja at [email protected]


This piece originally appeared in the winter 2019 print issue of The Michigan Times, released on March 18.