MANAGING SPORTS EDITOR
As a kid, Jordan Glover did not want to play baseball at all –– in fact, the only reason he began playing is because his dad was his coach. He was also scared of getting hit with the ball when he transitioned from tee ball to the pitching machine.
Looking back on those moments now, Glover laughs. The first-team all-CAA selection is not only a star for his team and his conference, but he’s a model for growth and development. This stardom comes after two of the most challenging events a collegiate athlete can face: injury and the transition to a new school.
The senior, who previously played two years of baseball at community college, one at Harford Community College and one at Cumberland County College, transferred to Delaware after his sophomore season in 2014. After a major knee injury caused him to sit out the 2015 season, Glover clawed his way back –– a process aimed towards reaching individual relevancy for a competitive team.
“Definitely was a tough process,” Glover said. “That was my first time ever having a serious injury, so it was definitely hard and it was hard being away from the game for that long. And since I was a transfer student, that was my first time being at Delaware, so I kind of wanted to prove myself a little bit and I got hurt so that was pretty hard.”
It didn’t take long for the Marlton, N.J. native to do just that. In his first three games of the season in Feb. 2016, Glover tallied eight hits, five RBI and recorded a whopping .538 batting percentage. On the Delaware Athletics website, the 2016 roster page listed Glover as a ‘Junior outfielder who will compete for playing time as a position after transferring to Delaware.’
Very quickly, he became an everyday outfielder for a Blue Hens team that registered its second-best regular season record since 2002. Through these positive moments, though, the criminal justice major is very transparent with the challenges he’s faced.
“I was worried about my sitting out a year,” Glover said. “I wasn’t able to lift, to be able to be outside running around stuff so going into that year I definitely was worried a lot about my leg strength and my endurance so I worked hard on that, getting back in playing shape.”
The results of this offseason work were evident during that three-game stretch at the start of the season, and they proved to jolt him toward the top of a number of team categories by the end of it. At the conclusion of the 2016 season, he led his team in batting average (.360), RBI (52), on base percentage (.443), stolen bases (22) and total bases (111). These accolades earned him a CAA player of the week honor and a trip to the All-CAA first team.
Now, as Glover enters the 2017 season, he’s gone from ‘proving himself’ to improving himself.
“Going into this year, I’m working on my body, getting my body in better shape physically,” Glover said. “I put on about 15 pounds in the offseason. Definitely wanted to get faster too. Skillswise, I wanted to work on getting more patient at the plate, getting more comfortable in the box.”
He hasn’t quite replicated the early season .538 batting average this season, batting .154 in his first three games with only two hits. Over his last five games, though, Glover is batting an improved .333 with five hits and four RBI.
“I definitely feel a difference,” Glover said. “Last year was my first year playing D.1 baseball, I was coming off the injury so I was up there, a little anxious. I didn’t want to wait for my pitch, I was swinging at a lot of pitchers’ pitches. This year, I feel more more experienced, confident, patient; just letting things come to me.”
Faced with high individual expectations, Glover looks to transfer his individual success to that of his team. The Blue Hens currently sit with a 2-6 record, yet with four of those losses coming in competitive games against teams from power five conferences and with wins in two of their last three games, Glover isn’t concerned.
“We’re looking to be number one in the CAA,” Glover said. “We’re looking to making into a regional [NCAA Tournament]. Our number-one goal is to make it to playoffs, which is an improvement from last year, and once we get there, we’re gonna want to win it.”