Shannon Dowd, senior baseball player for the Jefferson Blue Jays, knows his life is going to be involved in sports somehow. In a more current scenario, Dowd will be playing at Fontbonne next season as a freshman. Last year, he helped Jefferson to an outstanding 17-4 season where he batted .375. He has an excellent eye at the plate, coaxing 12 walks during the season in 2019.
He sat down with Ameritime Sports recently and gave some insight into his future, both in baseball and with a possible career.
Q: Why Fontbonne? Why did you end up choosing to further your athletic career there?
Dowd: “I had a few factors that went into me choosing Fontbonne. I wanted to be able to do an internship next year with Platinum Sports Agency in St. Charles. But with Fontbonne, I really liked the small class sizes, staying close to home, and just overall the way it felt when I got on campus. Coach (Ryan) Good invited me up for a visit, and I felt right at home. I just felt like it was a great place for me to continue my baseball career, and on the side, prepare for my life after baseball.”
Q: What other schools did you consider?
Dowd: “I considered a few other schools. I received an offer from The University of Dallas, but it didn’t make sense for me financially. But I also visited and considered Central Methodist.”
Q: How did you get your start in baseball? Was it always a dream of yours to play college ball, and when did you think it was a realistic possibility?
Dowd: “I started playing tee ball when I was in kindergarten, and I absolutely loved it from the moment I stepped onto the field. It’s been a dream of mine to play college baseball ever since I can remember, so it was just a case of growing up and working as hard as I could to hopefully one day get to the next level. It didn’t really sink in until probably my freshman year during Legion baseball that I actually was going have a shot to continue playing.”
Q: Did you play other sports? Why was baseball the sport you decided to devote your time to?
Dowd: “Yes. I played football through middle school and my freshman year of high school. But after my freshman year, I decided that I needed to focus on baseball. I had football in the morning, then right after that I worked an eight hour shift landscaping, and then I went to either Legion practice or a game, and I just couldn’t juggle all that stuff at once. So I decided that I needed to just focus on baseball.”
Q: Who have been your biggest influences in the game, either directly or indirectly?
Dowd: “My biggest influence has to be my mom. She has always, since I could remember, pushed me to be better, and has always been my biggest supporter. My mom took me to every game, every practice, every hitting lesson. No matter what it was, she took me and was always there for me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. Another person who was a huge impact on me was my hitting coach Chris Starkey. I started going to hit with Chris when I was in fifth grade, and he has helped shape me into the player I am today. I can’t thank him enough for all that he has done for me.”
Q: What is the one memory from your Jefferson career that stands out the most for you?
Dowd: “My favorite moment as a Jefferson Blue Jay? That’s a tough one. Honestly, the memory that jumps off the page for me was last year when, during the conference championship game against Pius, I was on second base, and Andrew Graves ripped a double to deep center field and cleared the bases, and we took the lead. That was such a great moment.”
Q: When baseball is over, what do you think we’ll see Shannon Dowd doing with his life?
Dowd: “Whenever baseball is over I plan on actually working in baseball somehow. With my internship with Platinum Sports Agency, I’m hoping to learn about being a sports agent and see if that is for me, and something I can see myself doing.”
Q: Finally, for all those little ones who have dreams to do what you’re doing, what’s the best advice that you could give them?
Dowd: “The best advice I could give someone is to never stop working hard. Someone is always looking. You may not be the biggest or the strongest, but hard work beats talent every single time. If you work hard and you put up good numbers, you’ll be playing every day over someone with raw talent. Just work hard and keep your mouth shut would be my advice. Oh, and try hard in school because good grades are a big thing for college baseball.”