For DonorsFor Applicants

Craig Norrbom Baseball Scholarship

5 winners, $1,000 each
Application Deadline
Jan 1, 2023
Winners Announced
Feb 1, 2023
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior (2023)
Plays baseball for a school team

Craig Norrbom was a beloved brother who loved and excelled at baseball throughout his entire life.  

Baseball is a demanding sport that can provide its players with many valuable skills such as discipline, teamwork, and time management. Each year, over 25 million kids in the US follow in Craig’s footsteps by playing baseball or softball.  

This scholarship aims to honor the memory of Craig Norrbom by supporting students who share his love for baseball.  

Any high school senior graduating in 2023, who plays on a school baseball team may apply for this scholarship.  

To apply, tell us why you love baseball, who your favorite player of all time is, what your favorite team is, and why?

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published July 8, 2022
Essay Topic

Tell us a little bit about your team, why you love baseball. Additionally, please tell us who your favorite player of all time is, what your favorite team and position is, and why?

400–600 words

Winners and Finalists

February 2023

Chidiebere Iwe
Andrew Yepez
Kairu Fujinuma
Dylan Dropps
Max Gildea
Matthew Bonner
Colby Davidson
Drew Albrecht
Kaden Starr
Rivers Gallop
Michael Traupman
Raffaele Rogers
Nathan Richey
Alvaro Contreras
Joshua Raya
Lucas Lopez
Sebastian Noto
Connor LaBar
Vitaly DiBlasi
Charles Weck
Joseph Velardi
Austin Jetmore
Nathan Lau

Winning Applications

Christian Gust
Baylor UniversityWaco, TX
Robinson, the iconic number 42, was not just an awe-inspiring baseball player, but an advocate for social justice among people of color, and most notably, my favorite player of all time. As the first African American man to play professional baseball, Robinson challenged social norms and went against the accepted principles of his time; a feat accomplished through his dedication, determination, and drive for change. Breaking the MLB's color line and eliminating racial segregation within a sport whose greatness should be shared amongst all men, is merely one of Robinson's notable achievements. Of course, following my love for number 42, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been one of my favorite teams all my life. Unfortunately, growing up in Arizona, I was never able to attend an in-person game at Dodger Stadium, but following the D-Backs at Chase Field sure came close. The spirit of baseball fans is something that never fails to lighten my day. I will never forget the bustling crowds, exciting chants, and sweet treats that filled my day at a baseball game. Walking through the crowded seats, I always dreamt of playing on that field one day. Although my Major League aspirations faded as I matured, I still enjoy the thrill of running the bases and playing infield with my high-school team, the Spartans. Growing up in Little League and now playing in high school, baseball has always been a key part of my life. Practice every day after school allows a two-hour escape from the stress of academics and other aspects of my busy lifestyle. Even when shrunk down to the scale of 2A, my school's division, baseball games will always be near the top of my list of most fun things to do. Aside from the thrill of a stadium, standing behind the chain-link fence as I cheer on my teammates walking up to bat is a feeling I will never forget. When the time to play defense comes, we rush out of the dugout, prompted by a quick team huddle, and I find my footing just the right distance away from the first base bag. I stare at the pitcher's glove, anxiously waiting for the ball to be released. He winds up, released, and boom; strikes down the middle. I exhale the breath I'd been holding in and reposition myself for the next pitch. This time, my eyes widen as I hear the crack of the metal bat, and I chase after the ball coming toward me. I quickly scoop it into my glove, dust swiftly following my footsteps, and I dive back into the bag to tag the runner out. When I fail, I recover and prepare for the next pitch, this time staring back at my pitcher's glove, waiting to pick off the runner who has slightly too large a lead. Three attempts later, we pick him off as the third out of the inning and run back to the dugout to gather our batting gear. The perfectly choreographed sequence that we practice every day is never the game that we encounter. That is what I love about baseball; the unpredictable sport that will always leave you wanting more. I devastatingly tore my labrum last season, but after almost a full recovery, I cannot wait to get that beautiful red dirt back on my cleats next February.
Zachary Brzezinski
Sun Prairie High SchoolSun Prairie, WI
I attend Sun Prairie East High School and will lead the rotation for the Varsity team. This year will be a little different come baseball season as our town split our high schools into two, but it's only heightened my excitement for Spring. Our season ended abruptly in the first round of state, but I was fortunate to get to pitch in that game. Never before had I been this nervous on the mound, yet I loved it. This was the most exciting atmosphere I’d ever played in, with more on the line than ever. I imagined I was in the big leagues playing for my Brewers, and to me, the crowd of a few hundred may as well have been 40,000, and that high school game, the world series. In a combination of excitement, nerves, and rage at our deficit, I even managed to throw my fastball 5mph harder than I ever had before. After a 1-2-3 inning, I was greeted with hugs and cheers from my teammates, releasing a giant ball of nerves out of my gut and the biggest smile I’ve ever had. Even after our loss, I had to try not to smile because I was just grateful to have gotten to play in that environment. However, I don't love baseball because of those experiences, albeit those were games I'll treasure for a lifetime, I love it because of what the game means to me. My entire life, the easiest way for me to connect with someone was over a game of catch. I have memories as a kid of playing catch with my dad and friends. To this day, I still call up my friend Logan, my catcher and battery mate since we were 11, to play catch in the 30-degree fall weather. Those half-hours of catch consist of lots of talking, joking, and terrible knuckleballs. There's no better relationship than that between a pitcher and his catcher, as he and I could talk baseball endlessly. From random baseball history to the Brewers or our high school team, we cover it all, all while throwing a ball back and forth, our hands growing number in the cold with each throw. It's because of baseball I met my best friend, it's baseball that continues to deepen our friendship. From music to movies, my tastes have always been old-school, and my favorite ballplayers are no exception. Given my love for things of the past, and being a funky lefty pitcher myself, it shouldn't be surprising that my favorite player is Sandy Koufax. Although I relent the Dodgers for constantly knocking my BrewCrew out of the playoffs, I've always loved watching Sandy and his legendary Curveball. I loved everything about Koufax, from his big curveball which left even Mickey Mantle flailing, to his big kick, I wanted to be like him. Although arthritis forced his retirement at 30, I still believe he's the best pitcher of all time. My youth was spent emulating his big kick and trying to spin the same devastating curveball, and while I'm not Sandy Koufax, much of my success stems from watching him. As I move on from high school this year, I will be attending the Milwaukee School of Engineering to play D3 baseball. I never anticipated playing baseball in college and am beyond excited to do so, and am glad my baseball career can live on. Between high school romances, graduation, and the future, baseball remains a constant love that connects my younger self that dreamed of playing at a higher level to myself now where that dream is coming true.
Austin Gentile
Winter Park High SchoolMaitland, FL
I don’t particularly like to refer to my “team” using that terminology. I see us as a family, rather than just a collection of baseball teammates. We do basically everything together, and would do anything to help each other out. This is the first reason I love baseball; it turns strangers and “friends” into lifelong acquaintances who we know we can always rely on. The nature of the sport forces us to work together and help discover the strengths and weaknesses of each other. Through this, we are able to help each other not only grow as players, but also as individuals who will be set up for success in the future. In relation to this, another component of baseball that I am in love with is the support that comes along with being part of a team. I cannot tell you how many times I have “failed” on the field, such as striking out or making an error, and have heard nothing but positive reinforcement from my teammates over the years. I also experienced this specific aspect of the sport after I had suffered a season-ending elbow injury in my junior year of high school. I was devastated, internally manipulated into a whirlwind of a million disparate feelings of pessimism. It was as if the game was as easily taken away from me as it had been given, when I had initially fallen in love with it. However, through the greatness of baseball and its supporting nature, I was able to retain my unconditional love for the game, and continue to pursue the sport that I had revolved my life around. However, this injury shed light on another aspect of the game that I have learned to love just as much as the others. I had originally perceived that my love for the game was exclusively grounded in the action and the on-field “warfare” between the opposition and me. Yet, through reflection and being forced to look at the game from a “behind-the-scenes” perspective due to my injury, I was able to uncover a surprising, yet beautiful element of the game, one of the most relevant and essential aspects of our world, a basic component and truth of our existence: numbers. I had always known that stats such as batting average were a significant component of the sport, but I had no idea how complex the use of statistics is in the game of baseball. This realization truly sparked my interest in numbers and statistical analysis, and paved the way for me to pursue a degree in data science, and hopefully become a data scientist, analyst, or engineer for a professional or collegiate team. Now, as for my favorite player of all time, it has to be the big lefty Jon Lester. As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I grew up watching Lester craft some of the most fluent and beautiful starts I have ever seen, which played a big part in my developed love for pitching, and is now my favorite position. Aside from Lester being a big part of the Red Sox 2007 and 2013 World Series, the main reason he is my favorite player of all time is because of his comeback in 2007. After being removed from a start in 2006, Lester was diagnosed with lymphoma. However, he did not let this affect him one bit, as he came back in 2007 with a vengeance and was a key part of the 2007 World Series pitching staff. This representation of resilience is what I believe baseball is all about, never giving up no matter what.
Justin Roussell
Yosemite High SchoolOakhurst, CA
I come from a little town just outside of the gate of Yosemite National Park, at, believe it or not, Yosemite High School. We are known as the Yosemite Badgers, and I've been a part of the baseball program there for all four years of high school now, and the senior year season is approaching. I love baseball for many reasons, all of which is why I've continued to play for the last 12 years of my life. I think the best thing for me is the team atmosphere that I feel day in and day out, whether it be at practice, games, or even school. I feel that my players will always be there for me in rough situations, and I know I will always be there for them. Baseball has been my comfort outlet for many years of my life, and I feel like I can express myself and dedicate my effort to it. I also love the sense of mentorship I get from my coaches. My coaches have constantly pushed me to become a better player, which they have been successful in as I continue to grow in my baseball ability. I feel like I can look up to my coaches as almost father-like figures who I can go to if I ever need anything. I'd say that my favorite player of all time would be Justin Turner. I think it's cool that we share the same name and I always thought he seemed like he would be a nice cool guy. I've never got to meet him but I do want to someday. I like his signature orange beard too. I think one of my favorite unique things about him is how he rests his bat on his shoulder and creates his signature line of pine tar on the back of his jersey. He also had a couple of years where he was playing well, but he's needed some help the last few years. My favorite baseball team would have to be the Los Angeles Dodgers because Los Angeles is where I was born and I grew up going to the games with my dad. The Dodgers hold a special place in my heart. Finally, my position and favorite position to play would be anywhere in the outfield. I enjoy tracking down and catching pop flies. My favorite times in practice are when our coach will angle the pitching machine straight up going fast and send us super high pop flies constantly. I'd just like to thank you for this scholarship opportunity and I look forward to hearing back.
Ryan Schmidt
Brookdale Community CollegeBeachwood, NJ
Baseball. To most people, it’s just a sport, but to me, it's a lifestyle. Every athlete's goal is to make it as far as they possibly can, whether that's in high school, college, or even professionally. For some, those goals change over time. For me, I want to play baseball for as long as I can and I will work hard to make it as far as possible. Professional baseball isn’t for everyone. If I don’t make it, my goal is to stay within the game of baseball for my career, whether that be coaching or running my own baseball facility. Baseball is a game that takes a lot of hard work and determination to play. That is why I like it. While playing baseball, I have accomplished many goals and learned valuable life lessons that will help me in life. Baseball has taught me that with failure comes success. I have only just started to be able to realize this within myself. As I move up in baseball, the sport becomes harder, and failing happens more often. It is difficult to deal with failure, but not giving up is key and doing so has brought me success. Failure has always been a thing I have struggled with. When I was younger, if I failed at something, it would affect me for a long time. It would cause me to fail repeatedly. Now, I can take that failure and learn from it because I realize that it was in the past and I can always improve from it. This has given me a sense of maturity that I can approach things in life knowing that everything is a learning experience and no matter how big the failure may be, the success can always be bigger. Baseball is my life and my passion, and I want to play for as long as I can. It has brought me so many incredible memories and experiences, but most importantly has taught me a strong work ethic and to always push for what I want. In a time like transitioning to college, this trait comes in handy. I currently play center field for Toms River High School South. I am a natural righty but can switch hit. Our coach, Ken Frank, is the winningest coach in New Jersey history, with over 900 wins. The South baseball program is all about attitude, effort, and respect. In High School, I was honored with winning the MVP award my sophomore season and then Golden Glove in my junior year. My favorite team is the New York Yankees. My parents took me to Yankee Stadium for my 8th birthday. It was my first MLB game and I fell in love with baseball. Since then, we have been to 9 different stadiums. My favorite player of all time is Ken Griffey, Jr. I like him because of his ability to hit and play outfield. “The Kid” has arguably one of the best swings ever in baseball. I have worked hard to become the best hitter I can be, especially as a switch hitter. I believe this scholarship will help me achieve my long-term goals. By furthering my education, along with continuing to learn the game of baseball at the college level, I can work towards my career goals in the field of Sports Management. I aim to make a difference in baseball, and this scholarship can be the difference-maker when it comes to affording the education I need to help me give back to upcoming players in the future.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jan 1, 2023. Winners will be announced on Feb 1, 2023.

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