When you come out to catch the Vanguard baseball team playing on the weekends, few players stick out as much as second year pitcher, Tyler Steele. From his enthusiasm in the dugout, to his fiery personality on and off the field, Steele has become a favorite amongst his teammates and the rest of the Vanguard community.
Born and raised in Kingsburg, Calif. of the Central Valley, Steele is in his first full campaign as a Lions’ hurler, having redshirted his freshman season. Though young in age and small in stature, he has worked hard in his short tenure at Vanguard. Entering the 2016 spring season, Steele earned a starting spot in the pitching rotation for the team. When asked about the opportunity to start for the team this year, Steele quoted, “It’s a really big accomplishment because we have a lot of really good pitchers on our team. I’m just going to go out there and do the best I can to get the job done.”
If there were any nerves heading into his first collegiate appearance, Steele sure did not show it. He threw five strong innings against Marymount College, giving up no earned runs and recording four strikeouts. “I was pretty anxious before the game, but once I got out there I was able to throw strikes and get the win for my team,” he stated. The win marked the first for Steele’s career as a Lion, as well as a series sweep for the team, pushing them to 4-0 to start the season.
Before embarking on his career at Vanguard, Steele attended Kingsburg High School, where he lettered in both baseball and football. When it came time to choosing a college, Steele knew his best chance to compete athletically at the next level would be on the baseball field. He found his way on to the Vanguard squad after a fall tryout, and from then, he officially was a Lion.
Off the field, Steele is not one to be shy of attention, as he tends to say, “I like to be the life of the party.” When he is not out on the diamond, one can be sure to catch him at the beach or certainly hitting up the McDonald’s drive thru. On Sundays during the fall however, you will not find him anywhere else other than sitting in front of the television rooting on his beloved Oakland Raiders. His teammates can attest to his passion for the black and silver. Lions’ second baseman Dylan Ramie stated, “You know when Steele shows up to practice every week, because the first thing he says when he walks in is ‘Raider nation!'”
In the classroom, Steele is an avid listener, majoring in business, hoping to someday follow in the footsteps of his father and become a high end sales representative. However, in attending Vanguard, he says that he has earned much more than just a college education. “Most of all, Vanguard has taught me to be grateful for the blessings and opportunities that we have. There are plenty of people out there who are less fortunate, so it’s important for us to recognize that and be grateful for the chances we have,” Steele stated.
Tyler has a long career ahead of him at VU, both on the field with his team, and on campus amongst his peers. It is often hard to tell if he looks too old for college or too young, given the contrast of his fully grown beard and the small number “0” on his jersey. What he lacks in size though, he exceeds in heart and charisma, and Vanguard is sure glad to have him. Be sure to catch the little lefty throwing the back end of double headers for the baseball team every Saturday.