Former baseball standout Nick Bozman, a 2015 graduate of Urbana University, recently signed a professional baseball contract with the White Sands Pupfish of the Independent League.
The 23-year-old Bozman, who is from Huntsville, Ohio, made the 23-hour trek by himself to small-town Alamogordo, New Mexico, to join his new team. Prior to that, the left-handed pitcher had spent a few weeks in spring training with the Florence Freedom among 50 players vying for 24 roster spots. He was released on May 8 and picked up by White Sands manager Mickey Speaks within a matter of minutes.
The former all-conference hurler had been removed from the diamond for over a year, while continuing to chase his dream of playing pro ball.
After being named White Sands’ Opening Day starter, he recently took time to chat about his interesting journey:
Have you ever been to New Mexico?
Bozman: “No, I had no idea what the town was like. I’m using this as a new beginning and fresh start in a new place. It’s so different out here. I didn’t bring a lot of sweatshirts.”
How long have you played baseball?
Bozman: “Geez man, I’ve been playing baseball since I was six, probably. This has been what I’ve always wanted to do. It’s always been my plan to go to college, play college baseball, and maybe play in the professionals.”
What is your favorite memory from your playing career?
Bozman: “In high school (Indian Lake), we won a conference championship and when I was at Eastern Kentucky my freshman year we won the conference championship. I think winning keeps me wanting to keep playing. It’s a good feeling.”
How did Urbana University prepare you for where you are now?
Bozman: “Goldy (Coach Mike Goldschmidt) was great to me. You know, he called me up and offered me a place to play. I think coming to Urbana really helped spark my career because when I was at EKU, I was a relief pitcher. When I got to Urbana, coach pretty much just said we’ll figure it out together and that I was going to be a starting pitcher. I knew there would be some bumps along the way, but we got it done. He had faith in me and believed in what I was doing, whether I believed it or not. I think just having someone like Goldy, and the rest of the coaches, really helped me progress. If it wasn’t for those guys I wouldn’t be doing this.”