Kent State student realizes dream: signed to Indians

Wesley Freeman

Anthony Gallas’ quest to be a Major League Baseball player has begun. The Kent State senior outfielder said he was in disbelief when he found out the Cleveland Indians wanted to sign him last Monday.

“I got a call from one of their scouts and he began talking to me,” Gallas said. “He told me the Indians wanted me to play for them. I thought he was joking so I asked him if he was serious.”

Raised in Strongsville, Ohio, Gallas grew up playing baseball, football and basketball. A wide receiver and safety for Strongsville High School, football was Gallas’ favorite sport; but he, his parents and coach decided he would have a better opportunity playing collegiate baseball.

“I can’t say just one person helped me to develop as a player. I had some great teammates who helped me get better,” Gallas said. “My high school coach also really helped prepare me a lot. He played college ball so he was able to prepare me to play on that level.”

Gallas was recruited by Kent State’s head baseball coach Scott Stricklin.

“He was a remarkably consistent player for us,” Stricklin said. “He was an outstanding leader and an extremely hard worker. Off the field, he was a great student and great person.”

During the 2010 season, Gallas had 99 base hits and 17 homeruns, boasted a .369 batting average and the most RBIs for his team at 81. Last season, he had 176 total base hits.

Gallas is in Goodyear, Arizona, at the Indians’ extended training camp until the fall.

“From the time I was seven, I wanted to play for the Indians,” Gallas said in a university press release. “It’s kind of crazy I am going to be a part of the organization.”

Gallas said he is enjoying the training camp, but will miss his teammates.

“It is obvious here, there is not the same camaraderie,” he said. “These guys are not here to be your friends, they are here competing for the same spot I am.”

After training camp, Gallas will be assigned to one of the Indians’ minor league teams where he hopes he will get called to the major league team.

“I am just trying to listen to everything the coaches are telling me I need to improve on, keep working hard and stay focused,” Gallas said.

“This whole experience has been very humbling for me,” Gallas said. “It has helped me realize where my values are. You learn a lot in four years, and my experience at Kent has taught me a lot on and off the field.”

Gallas will return to Kent State this fall to complete his finish earning his bachelor’s in business. After his baseball career, Gallas hopes to pursue a career in real estate.

Contact sports reporter Wesley Freeman at [email protected].