This time last year, Gerard Haran was preparing for his final season as starting catcher for the College’s baseball team. After being picked up by the St. Louis Cardinals, Haran has set his sights on something much bigger.
Haran, who graduated from the College with a degree in journalism earlier this year, ended his 2007 season with a .327 batting average while leading the Lions with 53 RBIs, 13 doubles, 14 home runs and a .661 slugging percentage.
In addition to becoming the 2007 New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship team’s star player and helping the Lions earn an impressive season record of 34-11, Haran ended his college career as a three-time First Team All-American in NCAA Division III. He was also named Player of the Year by the Eastern College Athletic Conference alongside lacrosse’s senior midfielder Karen Doane.
Haran seemed to be on the fast track to the major leagues, yet when it came time for the Major League amateur draft – he was overlooked.
“I know when he was passed up in the draft, we were all extremely disappointed,” former head coach Rick Dell said.
But Haran was not willing to give up on his baseball dreams just yet.
After graduation, he continued to pursue a baseball career until he was signed by the St. George Roadrunners of the Golden Baseball League.
The catcher managed to impress Major League scouts with his power-hitting and incredible defense, gunning down five baserunners in his first 10 games for the Roadrunners.
After playing for the Roadrunners for a mere two weeks, Haran’s contract was bought out by the St. Louis Cardinals.
“It definitely feels so surreal,” Haran said.
Today, the College alumnus spends his days in Florida where he plays for the Cardinals’ rookie league farm team in the Gulf Coast League with the possibility of one day playing in the majors.
“Finally somebody recognized his talents,” Dell said. “I think given an opportunity and given a chance, he’ll embrace the situation. It sounds like he’s headed for good things.”
Haran certainly left his mark in the College’s record books. He holds the College’s career records for most doubles (58), home runs (49), RBIs (215) and runs scored (184). He was named the 2006 NCAA Division III National Player of the Year at catcher as well as the NJAC Player of the Year in both 2006 and 2007.
With a future full of possibilities, Haran expressed his gratitude for the opportunity he has been given.
“I love the sport, I love the game,” he said. “I’m just glad to be playing.”