Daniel Thorson (seated, center) signed with the McKendree University Bearcats baseball team last month. On hand with him at the ceremony were his mother Amy Anselment (seated, left) and Brenda Yarnell. Standing behind him are Nashville coach Chad Malawy and father Joel Thorson.
By Travis Volz
“Daniel is a gamer.”
That is Nashville coach Chad Malawy’s assessment of catcher Daniel Thorson, who just signed to play baseball with the McKendree University Bearcats.
Thorson has four years of experience playing varsity baseball, so Malawy has seen what Thorson can do on the baseball field.
“He is that guy who you want to be involved in a play, you want him to be up to bat,” Malawy said of Thorson. “When things matter, he’s ready.”
And now he is ready to focus on baseball after playing varsity baseball and basketball for four years at Nashville.
“I like basketball, but I’m not tall enough,” Thorson said with a laugh. “But I’ve been playing baseball since I was five years old, and this is really a dream come true to play in college.”
Thorson had his eye on McKendree before the baseball offer even came.
“I wanted to go to McKendree for the academics,” he said. “But Coach Mal (Malawy) helped me out with McKendree, and I talked to their coach and really liked it.”
Malawy thinks Thorson has a future as a catcher, even though he was only behind the plate for one season.
“He’s been playing varsity baseball for four years, but he played behind an all state catcher in Jordan Harre,” Malawy said. “I think he can develop those skills and really be a good college catcher.”
What is not in question is his arm or his bat, both of which Malawy says are outstanding.
“He has great gap to gap power, and he has a cannon for an arm,” he said.
Thorson just wants a chance to play, whether it is behind the plate or in the outfield.
“I can play wherever they need me,” Thorson said. “I caught a lot this year, and I played in the outfield too, so it doesn’t matter to me where I play.”
No matter if he is playing basketball or baseball, Thorson says the best part of his athletic career is the camaraderie that develops within the team.
“Each sport is like being part of a family, and playing with your friends and having fun is great,” he said.
Malawy says that not only is he a great teammate, he is also a leader.
“Daniel plays with a lot of fire, and he wears his heart on his sleeve,” the coach said. “I loved having him as part of the Hornet baseball program.”
Thorson says he plans to study criminal justice and hopes to one day work for the Illinois State Police.
The Bearcats are getting a gamer in Daniel Thorson.