Emil Sander, a sophomore anthropology major in SUNY Oswego’s Honors Program, is pursuing his passion this summer: playing baseball near his hometown for the Auburn Doubledays in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.

“I’m on the baseball team at Oswego,” Sander said. “My coach asked me where I wanted to play summer ball, and I told him Auburn. It was a great option since I live in Skaneateles, the town next door, so I could commute and live at home while playing the game I love.”

The university’s Honors Program creates a smaller community of select students studying subjects in a more in-depth and close-knit structure. Students are selected based of their high-school average, SAT scores and English Regents exam scores. Interested students may also apply for admission.

“Being in the Honors Program has been a good experience so far,” Sander said. “The workload has been demanding, and balancing it with baseball can get tricky at times. I do the best I can to finish all of my work on time and even get a head start on work for the following week if there is any to do.”

The program features a core of six multi-disciplinary courses in the social sciences, the natural sciences, the humanities, and philosophy, as well as several other courses in math, English, and a foreign language. These courses emphasize the inter-relatedness of the disciplines, their historical and intellectual origins, their roles in modern society, and their potential impact on life in the future.

“Toward the end of completing the Honors Program I will need to prepare a thesis, demonstrating my ability to successfully complete and communicate a project to other students and teachers,” Sander said. 

"Emil had a very successful first year at Oswego and in the Honors Program," said Casey Raymond, associate director of the Honors Program and chemistry faculty member.

"During the first-year honors seminar, his passion for baseball was clear as he used ideas from baseball for some of his submitted assignments," Raymond noted. "It’s nice to see that he had this opportunity to pursue his passion this summer."

During the summer experience, Sander has taken this opportunity to better his skills and learn from other players from opposing teams. 

“It’s been great playing against competitive players from other universities across the nation,” Sander said. “I am seeing better pitching which will serve me once I come back to school and compete against other teams in the SUNYAC. This experience will only make me a stronger player going forward.”

The team travels for games, thanks to teammates volunteering to drive others in a league that features teams across New York state.

The Auburn Doubledays’ season runs through the end of July, but they are currently in the hunt for the league playoffs. Visit AuburnDoubledays.com for a schedule and more information.

-- Written by Lila Boudissa of the Class of 2023