Rye’s Tim DeGraw Stars for Yale at College Baseball World Series
By Mitch Silver
Rye High 2015 graduate and Yale centerfielder Tim DeGraw brought the Garnets and the Elis to the College World Series last month for only the second time in history. The first time it happened, George Herbert Walker Bush (who married Rye’s Barbara Pierce) captained Yale 69 years ago at the 1948 edition of the event.
This year, Yale’s Ivy League champs flew across the country to Corvallis, Oregon, for regional play against Nebraska, Holy Cross, and the top-ranked baseball team in the nation, Oregon State. The first batter in the box in the first inning of play against the nationally ranked Cornhuskers was our own DeGraw, who would end the season batting .343 with an impressive on-base percentage of .428. So naturally, he padded both of those numbers by spanking a single up the middle. When he scored two minutes later, Yale was on its way to a 5-1 victory and its first NCAA win in a quarter-century.
Later in the regional DeGraw would go 3 for 3 against the Crusaders, driving in two (his 41st and 42nd RBI from the leadoff spot) and scoring four times in the 9-5 win that advanced the Elis to the regional final against the 51-4 Beavers, who were playing at home. The 8-1 loss sent the Blues home to New Haven, though Rye’s own entry had two hits and scored Yale’s only run in the final. It was all a lot of fun for the ex-Garnet, who led the Ivies in steals with 17.
“And I hit my only home run ever, in high school or college, against Penn in our Ivy Championship game. It went out in left center and drove in three.” He gestured over his shoulder at the words “Rye Baseball” on the left-centerfield fence at Feeley Field, while standing in the outfield on a break from his summer job at the Reiner, Slaughter & McCartney law firm.
DeGraw went on to say his biggest thrill was meeting “No. 41” up at his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. “President Bush was a lefty first baseman and the captain of his team that made it all the way to the College World Series finals, losing to USC by two games to one.”
With DeGraw and his fellow sophomores playing such a large role in Yale’s winning season, it’s altogether possible the Elis will be back in Maine next year...toting silverware.