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SL TV: Batting Against The Odds - Sean Godfrey
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By Luke Martin | Ball State Sports Link

Finding one’s passion in life can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

Everyone goes through trials and experiences to really find out what to do with our life.  This is especially true in middle school and high school.

For Sean Godfrey, he knew what he wanted to do way before he ever stepped on a diamond.

 “I remember one day practicing with my hitting coach in middle school,” Godfrey said. “There was a day he told me if there is something you find that you are good at, you can make money at it and make a career out of it, that is something you should really work hard at.”

Growing up in New Albany, Indiana, just six miles from Louisville, Godfrey was poised to earn a scholarship to play for his hometown Louisville Cardinals.

Unfortunately for Godfrey, Louisville never called.  No one else called either.

 “I had zero scholarships offers,” Godfrey said. “I was not really looked at highly out of high school.”

Back-to-back Indiana baseball sectional titles, 70-plus career wins  and being named his area’s baseball player of the year didn’t earn him one offer?

“I talked to a few coaches and they told me I wasn’t big enough or filled out enough. Hearing that was tough because I thought I was good enough to play at the next level.”

Godfrey took a preferred walk on spot at Ball State, the university where his mother, Jane, went to school.

 “Everything seemed right about it,” Godfrey said. “I really wanted to have the opportunity to play at the Division I level.”

After being used to a winning environment in high school,  Godfrey was now entering a period he never experienced.

 “We had a first-year head coach my freshman year and we started 2-17,” Godfrey said.  “No doubt thoughts about transferring were on my mind, thinking the grass is greener on the other side.”

The Cardinals were a combined 29-71 through his first two seasons. He was receiving little-to-no scholarship money, since earning a preferred walk-on position. He doubted his future.           

“I didn’t want to give up on my passion of playing division one baseball,” Godfrey said. “From that point on, I wanted to prove to myself I could make it and survive.”

After spending nearly a full decade away from Muncie, Rich Maloney returned to Ball State as its head coach for a second time in 2013.  Maloney understood what he was walking into.

 “I knew where the program was and the struggles they were having,” Maloney said. “In Sean’s case, he needed to see he could produce more than he did up to that point.”

Godfrey’s impact has been felt by game changing hits, home run-saving catches and leading the Cardinals in contention for a 2014 Mid-American Conference Championship. 

While baseball may be Godfrey’s passion, there is much more to the man than simply the game.  He’s a barber.  He’s a musician.  He’s a student.

 “Sean has so many characteristics that mold the team together,” redshirt senior pitcher Jacob Brewer said. “As quiet as he is, he loves doing things no one else will think about.”

Even with having the majority of the players allowing Godfrey to spice up their hairstyle, Brewer thinks otherwise.

 “As much as I trust Sean as a person, I am not letting him touch my hair,” Brewer said with a laugh.

From receiving zero scholarship offers to becoming one of the premier talents in the MAC, Godfrey’s love and passion for baseball has never tarnished.

 “The reason why I play the game is a battle against myself,” Godfrey said. “The last couple years I have really gotten closer to my teammates and making those relationships are something I will never forget for the rest of my life.”

In June, Major League Baseball will hold its annual draft. Godfrey is hoping to receive a call that he has made it to the next level.

 “I would love to have the shot to play professionally,” Godfrey said.  “It has been my dream ever since I was a little kid. If not, life has its ways of opening up doors for you.”

Will the call come? Godfrey knows if it doesn’t, the last time life worked out just fine.

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