Rounding the Bases with Tyler Biddix
Tyler Biddix is the consummate team player. The senior from Richmond, Va., may not get the most at bats on the team, but he always stands tall as a vocal leader. He has received more at bats of late and has taken advantage. He is just a few weeks away from graduation too and will earn his degree from Virginia’s prestigious McIntire School of Commerce. The next step in his life, a job with J.P. Morgan in New York City, is not far off, but he has some goals with his teammates that he would like to accomplish first. He recently sat down to talk about his busy life, both present and future.
What has been your most memorable experience as a Cavalier thus far?
Biddix: Going to Omaha was unbelievable. We were a young team that year and nobody really expected much from us. We had such a great post-season run to even get to Omaha and then we were treated like rock stars once we were out there. It was such a great experience and we hope to get back there this year.
You came into UVa with a recruiting class that saw many guys leave school early last year and enter the MLB Draft. How has it been watching those guys move on and for you personally having to step up and take on a senior leadership role this year?
Biddix: It was definitely weird coming back this fall and seeing so many guys gone. But with the seniors that are left, it has brought us closer together and shown us how important it is to lead by example. Hopefully we have been able to help some of the younger guys along.
Talk about how important team camaraderie has been for this ball club.
Biddix: Our reputation as a team is that you will never find one baseball player by himself. We are always together off the field and looking out for one another. I think it shows on the field. Picking each other up is what we preach on the field, and I think it stems from how close we are off the field.
What has been the biggest change for this team over the last four years?
Biddix: I think physically our team has undergone a lot of changes with the stadium renovations. But I think camaraderie has become a culture since I have been here and I think now, every older guy will reach out to the younger guys when they come in. That is now embedded within our team.
You, personally, came into UVa as an engineering major and switched to pre-commerce after your first year. What made you decide to switch?
Biddix: I was always a math/science guy in high school. But once I got here, the creative aspect of engineering was not my speed. I knew that the Commerce School was really strategic and logic-based with a lot of communication and that is the way I learn best. After talking with former players like Andrew Carraway and Brad Grove, who were both in the Commerce School, I figured I would fit in really well there.
What did you decide on as your concentration once you were accepted?
You played in the collegiate summer leagues your first two summers, but last summer you decided to intern with J.P. Morgan in New York. Talk about that decision.
Biddix: I realized that professional baseball was not going to be in the cards for me and I knew that I needed to prepare myself as a finance concentrator in getting a job. Nowadays, getting a job is so dependent on the internship you do the previous summer to your fourth year. Coach O’ Connor was really willing to work with me. He knew that was my future outside of baseball and was really supportive of me getting an internship up in New York City last summer.
You were able to secure a full-time job with J.P. Morgan after your internship. What do you think it will be like to hang up the cleats after this season at UVa?
Biddix: I am excited, but I will definitely miss baseball. I will get down here and see the guys as much as I can, but baseball has been a part of my life, like everyone else on the team, since we were little kids. It will be weird hanging the cleats up for sure.
What was your favorite part of New York City after living up there for a few months?
Biddix: The city is full of energy. No matter what time of day it is there are always people around the streets. The job I had last summer had a lot of late nights, so to come out of the office late at night and feel the energy made it a great place to be.
What are you looking forward to the most now that you will be up there full-time?
Biddix: One, being around the energy of the city again will be awesome. But two, there is so much to do up there. You have two professional baseball teams that are just a subway ride away. I am looking forward to everything.
What do you see yourself doing in 10 years? In 30 years?
Biddix: I wish I knew. Hopefully in a few years I can go back to graduate school. In 10 years, hopefully I will be married and have a kid or two. In 30 years, I will be 52 – that is just weird to think about. But in a dream world I would love to have a house on a golf course and spend a lot of time traveling.
There is a rumor floating around about a song you and David Coleman wrote and played. When do you think we will see this song published?
Biddix: Well, Dave, who I have lived with for the last three years, plays the guitar, and I play the saxophone. So we are always messing around, both playing and trying to sing songs. One day our second year, Dave and I were not playing too often so we wrote a song about some “bench” stereotypes. We talked about some of the coaches and some of the players, all in good fun. So we decided to play it at the annual Christmas party this year and everyone got a good kick out of it. It was a ton of fun. But, I think that was the last time that song will ever be played to the public.
Finally, what are you going to miss most about this school and this program?
Biddix: As a school, I have learned so much. There are so many smart people at this school. The Commerce School has taught me to learn to listen because there are so many smart people around you. You learn more just by opening up your ears and listening to other people’s perspectives. I am a much more thoughtful student than I was before I got here. As a baseball program, I am going to miss the camaraderie. I have met the best friends in the world here. I feel like I can call them and they would do anything for me. Overall, that has been awesome just getting to be a part of this University and this baseball program.