Catching Up With Connor Kaiser

Former Vandy baseball star updates life and career

by Andrew Maraniss

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Part of an ongoing series, catches up with former Vanderbilt baseball great Connor Kaiser.

Kaiser appeared in 167 games for the Commodores from 2016-18 and hit .260 with 83 RBIs. A shortstop, Kaiser was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third round of the 2018 MLB Draft.

Kaiser recently took some time for a Q&A to update his life and career: What is your current team or organization?

Kaiser: “Pittsburgh Pirates.”

How has COVID-19 affected you and your family?

“It’s affected normal routine for sure, but my wife and I are adapting. My wife works remotely so that has not affected her too much. We have access to a couple kettlebells and resistance bands and we’ve been working out outside and been going on quite a few walks everyday.”

What has been the hardest adjustment?

“Hardest adjustment would be the routine. This time is when the season starts for me so to feel like you’re ready to go for the season and for it to be delayed has been different, but we’ve been able to adjust and to make the most of the circumstance.”

What has been the most pleasant surprise in these circumstances?

“To see how hard people are continually working to keep life moving in a positive direction.”

Any good books, movies or games to recommend?

“I’m reading Through My Eyes by Tim Tebow and Nathan Whitaker right now.”

What was your all-time favorite moment as a Commodore?

“Hard to name just one. JJ Bleday’s big swing against Mississippi State in Game 2 of the Super Regionals in 2018 was pretty special. I was on deck so I had a front row seat and I knew the ball had a pretty good shot of going out off the bat. The crowd went nuts, we went nuts. That was a blast. We felt confident going into the winner-take-all game the next day. Although we didn’t end up on the positive side of it, it was a heck of a series and very fun to be a part of.

“Another favorite memory was beating Clemson in the Regional final in 2017 and 2018.

What do you miss most in the sports world right now?

“I miss playing and watching baseball for sure. I miss watching the VandyBoys play. I’m a big basketball fan and I love watching college basketball so it was tough not getting to watch March Madness. I thought the Kansas Jayhawks were getting hot at the right time too!”

Any advice or words of wisdom to Commodore Nation to help us get through this?

“Stay calm and remember this won’t last forever. Get outside and move if you can. Stay active. Read a book. Listen to a podcast.”