Michael Chilvers first picked up a bat at the age of six to play T-ball in his hometown. He has now been named Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) Men’s Baseball League All-Star. He has played with the Durham Lords for three years now.
“There’s ups and downs some nights you get in at 1, 2 o clock in the morning and you got to be up at 7 the next day for school,” he says. “It gets kind of exhausting at times but at the end of it, I wouldn’t change anything for the world.” Chilvers has been on the honour roll in the past and is currently in his final year of studying sports management.
Chilvers had a big year in 2016, with a .413 batting average in 57 plate appearances. He ranked fifth overall in the league for batting average and runs. He ranked seventh overall in hits and doubles. His overall slugging percentage is .630 which puts him at fourth in the league.
Chilvers says being able to put up numbers like that isn’t easy but hard work and dedication has gotten him to where he is. The Durham Lords recently finished the season with 20 wins and 12 losses. The head coach Sam Dempster says it is a big improvement from last year’s 9 wins, 16 losses. Chilvers was named OCAA league all-star in October.
Chilvers has always enjoyed baseball and attributes his success to his love for the game. He says he does everything in his power to never miss a practice or game. “The time and the commitment you make to baseball, you kind of get rewarded for it,” says Chilvers. Dempster says Chilvers has gotten to where he is by working hard. “When you’re talented you don’t get there because it’s easy, you get there because of hard work,” says Dempster.
Braden Weir, a catcher for the Lords also says Chilvers is a hard worker. “Always at practice. One of the first guys there,” says Weir. “One of the last to leave.” He really admires Chilvers’ work ethic.
After being named the OCAA league all-star, Chilvers says his parents were proud of him and his friends congratulated him on all the hard work. He says it felt good to be recognized for the work he does out on the field.
Chilvers says his parents and coach are very easy going and the only pressure he feels out on the field is the pressure he puts on himself. “When you get looked at as a leader/Captain of the team you want to make sure your performing and not feeling like your letting your team mates down,” he says.
Chilvers is succeeding at leading the team. According to Weir, he motivates people and gives them a boost of confidence when needed.
Chilvers is motivated by his teammates as well. He says, “It’s always motivating to see other guys working hard.”
Chilvers says being around his friends out on the field creates an energy that makes him want to be the first guy to get the bats going, or make a double play.
Bonding with a new group of guys each year is Chilvers’ favourite part of the game. With the help of his teammates he says, “You kind of create memories on and off the field that last a lifetime.”
After this year, Chilvers plans on keeping baseball in his life. He says he will either play for a senior league or take on a coaching role.