by Caleb Nguyen, January 24, 2023
Even after winning multiple awards from many collegiate baseball organizations, Ryan Knowles will be recognized for his defensive prowess and the Rawlings NCAA Division II selection in his final collegiate season in 2022 at Cal Poly Pomona. Won a Gold Glove Award.
Knowles received a Gold Glove Award from the University of California Athletic Association, Collegiate Baseball Writers Association of America, Division II Conference Commissioners Association, and Director of Sports Information for American Collegiate Colleges to conclude his six-year baseball career.
“I thought it would never end,” Knowles said. “I thought 2020 would be the end of my career. Six years is certainly a long time, but I have no regrets. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed every moment of it.”
With two college seasons partially canceled due to the pandemic, Knowles was eligible for two more seasons to complete his baseball career with the Broncos.
Knowles’ close cousin Chris O’Riordan, who comes from a baseball family, inspired Knowles to go into the majors one day. Knowles retired to close out the 2022 season, but he said he has no regrets.
“I used to watch him grow and play in the College World Series and the minor leagues,” Knowles said. I achieved what I wanted and I have to thank him for it, my parents, and every coach I’ve ever had.
At Santiago High School in Corona, Knowles fully embraced the sport of baseball while watching results in the classroom. He also said that he was proud of being an honor student for four years.
“I would like to say that the two go hand in hand,” Knowles said. “They talk about the exact definition of a student-athlete. You have to work just as hard off the field as you do on the field. I believe there is, and my high school coach was a big preacher of it.
Deciding to play at California Baptist University after graduating from Santiago High in 2016, Knowles spent a semester there before playing his freshman and sophomore seasons at Mount San Antonio College Mounties. bottom.
Knowles rekindled a passion for the game that he fell in love with as a young sophomore after being dedicated and humble in his freshman year of gaming. There he helped the team reach the state championship before moving to his CPP in the fall of 2018.
“I was surrounded by other successful individuals, both of whom later signed on to several professional teams.” But on the field, you also learn to have fun, and you could see that from them, so that was definitely a takeaway for the year.”
Knowles said proximity to his parents, educational prestige, and the competitiveness of his baseball team, combined, were numerous factors that made CPP the perfect choice for continuing his athletic and academic career in college. I got
In a stellar debut junior season for the Broncos, Knowles led the team in hits, RBIs, stolen bases, average, hit-by-pitch, and offensive sacrifice flies. On defense, Knowles boasted a .951 ERA in the Broncos’ middle field. Knowles spoke of his surprise at the new promising results for 2019.
“I started learning how to get the most out of my off-field training,” said Knowles. “Not just in terms of skill set, but also physically, athletically. I wasn’t used to hitting a lot of doubles in singles…and you started sprinkling some power. It led to success that I was not so used to.”
Knowles’ 2020 senior season was even more productive than last, once again surpassing .300, over .800 OPS and zero errors defensively. Despite the season being cut short by the pandemic, Knowles had a bittersweet outlook for a condensed first All-Star season.
“All parts of my game were working well, but then it was like stopping a frosty turkey. It was definitely difficult to accept,” Knowles said. “I definitely think it was a career-best for me. I’ll keep doing that until 2022, and I think it was a good indicator of what I could do last season.
Upon learning of the cancellation of the 2021 season, Knowles decided to work, completed a master’s degree in business administration, and continued his weightlifting training. Knowles said he’s maintaining a creative way to work on his craft while socially distancing before returning in the summer of 2021.
“One of my friends had a batting cage with a weight room, so I would sometimes work out at 11 p.m.,” says Knowles. “I had to wait until the store closed to go outside… I found a way to get to the park outside… It also rekindled my motivation to work. It was tough.”
After two months of batting cage work, Knowles prepared to play summer ball in Amarillo, Texas, ahead of his final college season. Knowles played in Anchorage, Alaska for his ball in the summer of 2018 and was no stranger to the harsh environment.
Anchorage showed Knowles a whole new world, played every day instead of a simple four-game weekend series. The game ended at 11:30, and the non-ideal diet situation made for an interesting experience, Knowles joked, a graduate student returning to California for her final CPP season, who was on the field. We enjoyed home cooking inside and outside.
Knowles brought multiple awards to the 2022 star season, but he knew that the classroom was just as important as the students in both gaming and business. Humility and simply getting the job done have always been a mentality for Knowles, and 2022 was no exception, even if it was recognized.
“It’s kind of hard to put into words, because winning all these awards and being so exciting for everyone around me,” Knowles said. “For me, it felt like I was just doing what I needed to do. It shows how,” Knowles said.
He continues: The classroom just falls into that work ethic category, and when I was younger I always expected to do well in the classroom. ”
Knowles’ perseverance and competitive spirit never wavered, beating each opponent on and off the field and proving himself every step of the way.
These details included his selfless demeanor at bat with his many hits. The desire to put his teammates in positions for success culminated in this niche skill he developed as Bronco.
“I play the game a little bit selfishly and just try to find ways I can get to base, especially when the odds stack up against me,” Knowles said. Because, in the back of my head, I know I got away with it.”
Although now retired, Knowles maintains his hobbies of going to the gym, playing video games, and taking up golf. These activities continue to involve peers who push him to maintain the competitive scrapness that has allowed him to succeed on the field as a Bronco.
Reflecting on his Bronco legacy, Knowles hopes his fellow teammates and CPP students will follow his mentality that has enabled him to star in and out of the Diamond.
“Are you going to show up every day and encourage others to be the best versions of themselves,” Knowles said. I knew they were working so hard and pushed them to do better. When you surround yourself with people who are always trying to do their best, you see something special happen.
Knowles concludes: They will always be competitive boys who enjoy playing games every day.”
Bronco baseball begins the season in the spring without the physical presence of the veteran second baseman. Still, Knowles hopes his words will resonate in the classroom and on the field with those who follow him as he transitions from his illustrious career to a quiet, retired career and golfing lifestyle.
Featured image credit: Ryan Knowles