As we continue with our Alumni Spotlight project we hit the diamond and sit down with 2012 Dickinson Baseball alumnus Garrett Horan. Garrett, who is now working in the Major League Baseball (MLB) office in New York, talks about his passion for baseball and how that passion coupled with liberal arts education helped him launch the career he always wanted to have.
Garrett, who was born in Princeton, New Jersey, found his passion for baseball in the Little League programs of the Princeton area. However, it would be in Providence, Rhode Island where Garrett's love for the game of baseball would blossom even more. "I spent every waking moment playing and thinking about baseball," Garrett said.
Garrett was hooked on the sport and knew during his time in Providence that he wanted baseball to be part of his life in some way in his professional career. "I had always dreamed of the general manager role," Garrett stated. "What better job than to run a team and choose who is on that team. So that was always something in the back of my mind as a career."
For Garret finding a small liberal arts college was a primary focus of his. He viewed the value of a liberal arts education as immense and important to his development and eventual professional career. "I think being able to get exposure to a broad range of disciplines rather than being siloed into one of a few different areas is awesome," Garrett said. "The emphasis on not what you are actually studying but more on developing and encouraging your ability and appetite to actually learn is a crucial aspect to a liberal arts education."
Knowing what he wanted made his decision that much easier and once he arrived on the campus of Dickinson. It was a forgone conclusion that this would be where he would spend the next four years of his life. "It was a perfect day, the campus looked beautiful, the other student-athletes I met during my visit were great. So right away I was struck with 'this is a place where I can definitely see myself,'" Garrett stated. He also a unique connection with Head Coach Craig Hanson, who was a Middlebury graduate and coach at Stanford and Davidson before taking over at Dickinson, which checked a lot of the boxes for Garrett. But even more interestingly, Coach Hanson's parents served as administrators at Dartmouth College and had some overlap with Garrett's parents when they were students there.
On the field Garrett and his teammates were part of a new direction and step forward for Dickinson baseball, which Garrett attributes to Coach Hanson and his family mentality. "Coach Hanson in general created a really special environment with our program," Garrett stated. "He always kept a very positive outlook on things. Whether we were struggling the first two years or got things going junior and senior year, the environment was always positive."
Off the field Garrett found success in the classroom and through the alumni network, especially in baseball, Garrett was able to find guidance and connections in the professional ranks. "In the Centennial Conference and Dickinson in particular, there are a lot of front office baseball executives," Garrett said. "There were a lot of Dickinson connections and Coach Hanson helped put me in touch with a lot of those people."
Now in his professional career Garrett realizes the importance of giving back to the current student-athletes and how he can play a major role in their career aspirations and development. "In general, that's an important thing to do, is to always give back to those who are coming next," Garrett stated. "I have been fortunate to have a lot of really good mentors along the way, both on the baseball side of things and in my career, so I have made it a point to do the same and give back as much as I can."
Garrett enjoyed a great career, playing in 125 games, primarily behind the plate. He also saw time as a designated-hitter, pitcher and turned in a season at second base. He ranks sixth in career batting average, hitting .339, and finished just ahead of classmate Jordan Kaufman a'12 as the pair each tallied 131 hits to tie for ninth all-time.
He tied the school record with 43 career doubles, breaking the single season mark set by former career record-holder, Ryan Stearrett, with 17 in 2012. He also recorded 50 hits to rank seventh on the single season list, driving in a team-high 30 runs to rank eighth. He also tied the conference record and set the school mark, going 6-for-6 in a game. Defensively, Garrett threw out 20 base-runners and picked-off eight during his career to rank in the top ten for career chances and putouts.
The Dickinson baseball program made great strides during Garrett's tenure. After setting the school record with 21 wins in 2011, the Red Devils eclipsed that mark with a 25-12 campaign the following spring. The team broke school single-season records in almost every offensive category that year while the pitching staff combined for a school record 251 strikeouts to break the previous mark of 240 in 2011.
Click on the video below to watch Garrett's exclusive interview.