When life throws a changeup



From an early age, Mark Tindall lived and breathed baseball.

“My mom actually has a picture of me when I’m like a little baby and I got on like a little helmet and a bat,” said first-year transfer Mark Tindall.

At age four, he had the dream of playing in the major leagues and at age six he started in his first Little League game. Raised in Houston, the right-handed pitcher grew up around the game. In a life centered around baseball, hours were spent in the bullpen and nights at the ballpark,

Tindall’s hard work led to his recruitment by Villanova University and the 18-year old Houston native moved to the Philadelphia suburb to pitch for the Division I program. But as Tindall followed the typical ballplayer career path, life threw him a changeup.

“They had too many kids on the team,” Tindall said. “It was a good wake up call that I can still work harder. I wouldn’t say I’m sad about it. I think it’s overall good that it happened to me.”

Cut from the program, Tindall first thought of Trinity University, the school where his brother, Matthew Tindall, had pitched.

“Since my brother had been here, I already knew the program fairly well and I already knew the coaches,” Tindall said. “I had talked to the coaches before and it was always kind of like if it doesn’t work out like they said they would really like to have me here.”

Seven years separate Mark from his older brother Matt, who is currently pitching for the Washington Nationals organization. Growing up, the youngest Tindall watched his brother’s games and is still inspired by Matt’s work and focus.

“I’ve always kind of strived to be like him and he’s playing professionally right now,” Tindall said. “He’s kind of like my role model. I see how hard he’s worked to get where he is.”

“I’d always go to his games and stuff and recently, over winter break, I’ve been working out with him. ”

The pitcher has been at Trinity for three weeks and he likes it so far. Tindall relishes the opportunity to be more than “the kid from Texas” on a team stacked with Houston boys. It’s hard not to like Trinity, with helpful players, better academics and nice facilities.

“At Villanova, the field was off campus so we took vans to practice and back. It was a lot more difficult to do work on our own,” Tindall said. “One of the nice things about [Trinity] is we’ll all go and do our work on our own. We’re able to get a lot more out of practice.”

The last few months have been full of curveballs, but Tindall does not let it get to him.

“With every sport, there’s times when you’re good and there’s times when you’re bad,” Tindall said. “Confidence is a pretty important thing for playing sports so you kind of always gotta think that you’re good or else you won’t be successful.”

Tindall finds inspiration in his older brother and in his faith.

“On my glove I have Philippians 4:13 stitched into it,” Tindall said. “it reminds me to stay positive.”

Tindall and the Tigers baseball team begin their season this weekend in Jacoskson, Mississippi, in tournament play. Their first games is against Texas Tyler on Feb. 10.

Position: Right Handed Pitcher
Year: First-Year
Favorite baseball team: Houston Astros
Favorite baseball player: Clayton Kershaw
Favorite baseball movie: Field of Dreams
Life motto: “Never say I wish I had. Say I’m glad I did.”