VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY)- Kelon Wesley has earned a number of nicknames from his Bryant & Stratton College teammates.
“Old-timer,” “old man,” “gramps,” and “old guy” are just a few. At 28 years old, Wesley isn’t your average freshman second baseman. “(He’s) pretty much a leader on the field, tries to help the young guys out, and I think he’s a good teammate,” said former Major League-er Gary Lavelle, now the team’s head coach.
He’s also a Navy veteran, who served for more than six years. “Growing up as a inner-city kid and not having that foundation that a lot of kids get to grow up with, me joining the military helped me become the man that I am,” said Wesley, who’s also father to a four-year old.
His nicknames- given to him by teammates who are closer to 21- are all fun-and-games, of course. As was his reason for joining the first-year baseball program. “After joining the military, I decided why not,” said Wesley. “I’m using my free education, might as well have a little incentive and play baseball at the same time and have a little fun.”
And this “old man” isn’t doing to bad. Wesley’s .327 batting average is one of the best on the team, his 32 hits are tied for best on the team, and he’s helping the new-born program get closer to a playoff berth.”I think having him on the team with his experience and his age, it actually helps us be more mature as men on this team,” said freshman pitcher Nathan Volz.
Wesley is a business major, but may switch to sports management, and Lavelle believes he may even make a heck of a coach one day.
For now, Wesley- or “gramps” is busy having a little too much fun.