Living His Dream, Mike Wallace Signs with the Pirates
Sometimes, you have to make tough choices to chase your dreams. Mike Wallace '16 came to those crossroads where he had to make one of the most important decisions in the 21 years of his life. The First Team All-MAAC pitcher has decided to follow his dream and start his road in the minor leagues. Wallace has agreed to terms with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization and will forego his senior season, signing the contract he earned after being selected in the 30th round of the MLB draft this year.
“It was one of the most important decisions of my life,” Wallace said. “Leaving one of the greatest universities in the country and one that treated my extremely well is going to be tough. I have created the best friendships of my life here and I’ll never forget my time at Fairfield.”
Originally a non-scholarship player, Wallace exceeded every expectation in his three years with the Stags, leaving sixth all-time in program history with a 3.58 ERA and second all-time in fewest walks per contest with 1.87. Wallace achieved his first goal by earning a scholarship before his junior season and continued to surmount expectations, achieving the best season of his career. Wallace was named to the All-MAAC First Team, tying the conference lead with six complete games, a number that was fourth nationally.
“Every level of success I reach is somewhat a surprise,” Wallace said. “I like to keep the underdog mentality and surprise people who overlook me. I didn’t have a lot of offers coming out of high school, but Coach Currier was nice enough to offer me an opportunity. I think that being an underdog has been something that has helped me throughout my career.”
“Everything that Wally has done has been a great accomplishment,” Head Coach Bill Currier said. “He came as a non-scholarship player and we were wondering how he was going to be. He went from being a top reliever to a starter and never relinquished it. For someone to come in and earn that spot so quickly it’s a quite accomplishment. His work ethic and his makeup are why he is so successful.”
That work ethic is what Wallace says will help him through the long and grueling road of the minor leagues. Fans noticed that competitiveness every time he toed the rubber. He never had the velocity that would blow hitters away, but he became one of the best pitchers in the league by hitting his spots, changing speeds, and most importantly, outworking his competition.