Second baseman values family, culture, grades3 min read

February 16, 2016

Bang! That’s the sound of a bat hitting a baseball over the heads of the helpless outfielders.

To De Anza College student Joey Shimono, 20, psychology major, baseball is his life.

“I have played baseball for my entire life,” Shimono said. “I want to play it for as long as I can.”

Shimono grew up in Redwood City to immigrant parents who migrated to the U.S from Japan.

Shimono said he respects his family oriented culture and being raised in a proper way.

“Baseball is a part of my entire life; I want to go as far as I can,” Shimono said. “I am not going to force anything… I will see what happens.””

— Joey Shimono

“I am Japanese. My culture is all about respect and my parents wanted to influence me to be anincredibwle human being,” Shimono said. “I have learned respect, hard work, and many other skills from my family.”

Shimono has actively played sports since a young age with the support of his parents, he had the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports, including basketball, football and baseball.

“I found out that I had a better chance at baseball and I would go pretty far in it and I enjoy it,” he said.

Shimono said he started playing T-ball when he was 6 , eventually joining the Highlanders-Redwood City Little League. He played varsity at St. Francis High School in Mountain View and brought his passion for baseball to De Anza College, where he now is playing for his second year on the De Anza baseball team.

Shimono plays second base and his teammates say his leadership has had a profound effect on them.

“We interact with each other and know each other really well,” said teammate and outfielder Ro Mohanty. “Joey is a leader by example and we learn a lot by observing him.”

Shimono said that leading by example means demonstrating positive actions while being helpful and letting his play speak for itself.

Even though it is a competitive sport, Shimono and his teammates say baseball has also helped build a family-like community.

“I am with these guys almost every day and we hang outside of school and baseball,” Shimono said. “But once we come back to the field, it’s business. But we still have a good time and I don’t know what kind of person I would be without baseball.”

Shimono said  the community-like atmosphere and close connections have bonded the team and provided him with lifelong friendships.

The baseball team has won its fair share of games, but the goal is also to hold a high cumulative GPA.

“The cumulative grade point average for the team is 3.2,” said second year head coach Erick Raich.

“Baseball keeps a lot of these kids in school and we push the team, provide tutors, and do grade checks.”

The baseball coaches have provided essential tools and structure for Shimono and his teammates to obtain academic success. Raich influences and affects many of the students personally, including Shimono.

Shimono said that he has known Raich for some time and he has impacted his life.

“I have known him for quite awhile, he’s a great coach, and a fantastic guy,” Shimono said. “Coach has been around baseball for a long time and knows what he’s doing.”

Shimono said baseball has embedded a great amount of structure, dedication and morals in his life.

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