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An Integrative Experience

Tyler Rosa finds his field of dreams.

Although Tyler Rosá ’12 capped his baseball career at Dickinson with numerous records, his proudest moments, he says, included helping the football team roll over rivals Franklin & Marshall and Gettysburg colleges.

by Mary Kate Skehan ’12

Head baseball coach Craig Hanson calls him “the perfect storm of student athletes.” Tyler Rosá ’12, a two-sport competitor and English and economics double major from Carmel by the Sea, Calif., has spent four years combining unlikely elements of his co-curricular and academic life to craft a distinctive liberal-arts experience.

Rosá first met Hanson at a pre-college baseball camp in Stanford, Calif. Hanson recalls that Division I colleges and universities were recruiting Rosá for either football or baseball, but he wanted to continue playing both sports. Dickinson gave him that opportunity, and Rosá has excelled on the field and diamond alike.  

Hanson describes the 2011-12 baseball team as one of the best in Dickinson’s history, and he credits Rosá, a four-year starter and three-year captain, with providing invaluable leadership. “His leadership qualities emerged early,” Hanson says. “He leads by example off season and is willing to have tough conversations [with his teammates].”

In baseball, Rosá holds 17 top 10 career records, including batting average, hits, runs scored, RBIs, total bases, at bats and home runs. The first baseman also holds top 10 career records in fielding percentages, chances and putouts.

In his senior season, Rosá reached two personal milestones: he hit his 100th run and scored his 100th RBI. Rosá is third overall in most games played, and last month he was named Centennial Conference (CC) Player of the Week after batting .500 with three home runs against Washington College. He has been All-CC in baseball for the past three years. Hanson describes Rosá as “a godsend for the baseball team.”

On the football field, Rosa shines as a tight end and wide receiver. This year, he was named All-CC in football. He holds two conference rushing titles and school records in single-season passing yards and single-season total offense. He has been named Academic All-CC all four years. Despite all the records and accolades, he reports that his proudest moments on the athletic field were helping his team win both the Brown Bucket from Gettysburg College and the Conestoga Wagon from Franklin & Marshall College during this football season.

Rosá acknowledges that athletics has given him “a lot of structure.” He credits his football and baseball careers with helping him to budget time, as well as build teamwork skills and camaraderie with his teammates.

Rosá’s time-budgeting skills have been useful in balancing a rigorous academic schedule. He declared his economics major during the 2008 financial crisis, explaining, “There was a lot of economic change and I wanted to learn more about it.” The English department also attracted his notice when he visited as a prospective student. He recalls poking around East College, and then running into Bob Ness, professor of English. The encounter factored into his decision to choose Dickinson and to declare English.

Rosá also found a way to integrate both majors into his senior thesis this spring. “I wanted to combine econ, English and baseball,” he says of his decision to study W. P. Kinsella’s novel Shoeless Joe, the inspiration for the film Field of Dreams. Titled “Ideological Separation of the Complex Pastoral: W. P. Kinsella’s Use of the Complex Pastoral in Shoeless Joe as a Critique of America’s Relationship with Nature,” Rosá’s thesis explores the baseball field as an economic and ecological commodity and argues that “the baseball novel is a political text calling for economic and ecological respect.”

Rosá’s thesis advisor, Professor of English Wendy Moffat, explains that at the beginning of his research process, he wanted his co-curricular life to inform his academic life. “He wanted to explore that feeling of being in nature without time constraints,” Moffat says. “Tyler wanted the things that were most exciting and interesting to him to [form] an integrative experience.”

After Rosá graduates this month, he plans to stay at Dickinson as a tight-end coach for the football team and an assistant hitting coach for the baseball team while he studies for the LSATs. “I see law school as a way to extend my English scholarship,” he says.

Published May 16, 2012