Most professions, hobbies and activities have slang terms that describe aspects of the activity. In baseball, one of the colloquial terms is the ‘bump’ used to describe the pitcher’s mound. For Justin Sartori, the bump was more than an expression and more than a physical place on a baseball diamond. It was something that happened to him.
Sartori was a at Sandwich High School until he graduated in May 2017. He then enrolled at Waubonsee Community College to play baseball. His first time on the bump that fall was a bit bumpy. His first pitch resulted in a triple off the wall and things did not get any better during that outing. After that, he found himself playing third base more than pitching. But that experience did not keep him from pursuing his goals of playing baseball and getting his education. This is in large part because of the culture that Coach Brad Unger has created at Waubonsee.
“Coach Unger gives the tools. It was up to me to use them,” said Sartori.
Sartori was exploring his college options as he finished his senior year at Sandwich. It was a phone call from Unger that led to Sartori’s decision to go to Waubonsee.
Sartori planned for that call to be just a few minutes to quickly hear what the coach had to say, but it turned into a nearly hour-long discussion about the culture of the baseball team and the athletic program at the college. The decision was easy after that. Now that he is a Waubonsee Chief, he is grateful for that call.
“Everyone [all the players on the team] works extremely hard to prove something. They feel like they were overlooked by other college baseball programs and want to show that that was a mistake,” said Sartori.
Sartori studies economics as a at Waubonsee. His interest in the topic began in his senior year of high school when he took an advanced placement economics class. The class was brand new that year and the teacher was amazing. Taking this course allowed Sartori to learn not just the topic, but that it was what he wanted to study in college. “I like money. How it works and how it moves. I’m interested in politics and government and economics is closely tied to that.”
Sartori’s effort to be successful is noted across the college.
“Justin is the epitome of the baseball team here at Waubonsee. He is a grinder and works extremely hard in the classroom and in the baseball program. He is extremely focused on being the best version of himself. He’s willing to make some mistakes in trying new things and he learns from those mistakes,” said Unger.
At Waubonsee, Sartori has continued to see the power and impact of instructors and he freely shares that experience with others.
“The professors here really do care. They want you to do well. Don’t overlook schools based on what you’ve heard. Get the information. Don’t make the mistake I almost made,” Sartori said about nearly dismissing the call from Coach Unger.
Sartori was recognized by the college’s board of trustees at its February meeting as a Student Success: Featured Student.