Dear Vanderbilt Nationby Ty Duvall
Senior Ty Duvall reflects on his time with the Commodores
Nashville, Tenn. – This week at Hawkins Field, Vanderbilt was set to honor its seniors Drew Baxley, Chase Casali, Ty Duvall and Harrison Ray. With the season cut short March 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vanderbilt Athletics is honoring the group with a digital senior week.
Duvall appeared in 127 games and made 68 starts in four years on West End. The Lebanon, Ohio, native helped the Commodores to their second national title in six seasons during 2019. In his 23 starts behind the plate that season, the Commodores went 22-1.
Duvall recently took some time to offer his perspective, insight and thanks to those who supported him throughout his career:
Dear Vanderbilt Nation,
One of the most special memories I have from my four years at Vanderbilt is putting the uniform on for the first time.
We were in San Diego for our opening series in 2017. When we arrived on a Thursday and the first thing I did was unpack my jerseys and baseball pants and I hung them up neatly in the closet of the hotel because I didn’t want them to have any wrinkles.
I am pretty sure our first Friday game started around 6 p.m., but that didn’t stop me from being fully dressed by noon. I couldn’t believe I was wearing a Vanderbilt baseball uniform. It made me feel invincible.
Throughout my four years at Vanderbilt, I never lost that feeling toward the uniform. I don’t get dressed six hours before the game anymore, but I still get a huge sense of pride every time I have the chance to put on the black and gold.
On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, I put the uniform on for the last time. None of us were aware it would be the last time, but that’s often how it goes. The following day we were expecting to prepare for our first SEC series against Kentucky, but instead we found out our season was over.
That team meeting was not fun.
I decided to come back to Vanderbilt for my senior year because I felt like Vanderbilt was where I was supposed to be. I had a certain gut feeling about it. I wanted to wear the black and gold for one more year. I wanted to be a leader and help build another good team. And, ultimately, I wanted to make another trip back to Omaha.
Unfortunately, as we now know, things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to … the way we wanted them to. As disappointing as it was to hear that the season is canceled, I have absolutely no regrets about returning to Vanderbilt for one more year. I had a great senior year to top off the best four years of my life.
I will be forever grateful for my time at Vanderbilt.
To Vanderbilt fans, thank you for everything over the past four years. We love playing for you. I am so fortunate to have met so many great people over my four years at Vanderbilt. I will miss getting to interact with everyone after games and I look forward to seeing many of you at future Vanderbilt baseball banquets!
To the extended staff of Vanderbilt Baseball, specifically Brooks Webb, Sara Sanders, Casey Stangel, Tracy Campbell, Chris Matarazzo, Blair Hitchcock, Kevin Collins, Josh Ruchotzke and Brandon Barak, thank you for all that you do.
The care you provide for us players is unmatched. We will never understand the amount of time and energy that you put into this, but we appreciate everything you do for Vanderbilt baseball. You guys work so hard behind the scenes and never get any of the credit. Thank you.
To the coaches, Chris Ham, Scott Brown, Mike Baxter and David Macias, thank you for everything. Thank you for believing in me, investing in me and helping me to become a better baseball player and a better person. You guys consistently put the needs of others before your own.
I can’t tell you how much it means to have played for coaches who genuinely care about each player. None of this would be possible without you guys. Thank you.
To Corbs, I am so grateful that I got to play for you and I thank you for that opportunity. Your leadership is what gives us a chance to be successful as a person and then baseball follows. You have so much impact on each of us and you make us better people. Better people make better …
Lastly, to my teammates, thank you.
What makes Vanderbilt so special is that you are challenged in so many different ways. You are challenged by academics, baseball, conditioning, being away from home and other things. At some point along the way, you realize you are struggling. You have a paper due at midnight, an exam in the morning and training is just about to start.
But then you also realize that the guy next to you is struggling just as much. If he can keep going, I can keep going. All you have is your teammates and you get through the challenges together. This is where the bond is formed. You start accomplishing things you didn’t think you could, simply because you have your teammates with you. Having your teammates with you is all that matters.
You guys are what makes this experience special.
Thank you again,