Ahead of the Game: Scarlet Raptor Named 2016 Phillies RBI Jackie Robinson Scholar

Skyler Glover notches his first hit for the Scarlet Raptors. Photo by Sarah J. Glover

By Tom McLaughlin

As a star first baseman for youth baseball teams in and around his hometown of Barrington, the 6-foot-4 Skyler Glover gained a reputation as an imposing presence in the heart of the lineup.

DSC_0101 Skyler GloverBut, more importantly, the Rutgers University–Camden sophomore came to command attention as a leader – one known for his consistent, steady approach both inside and outside the lines.

“It’s about taking life one pitch a time,” says Glover, an urban studies major minoring in film studies who redshirted his first year on the Scarlet Raptors baseball squad. “It’s thinking about situations before they happen and knowing how to react. It’s waiting for that moment and, when it arrives, you are ready for it.”

It’s this same exemplary character, grit, and determination that earned Glover the nod as the 2016 Phillies Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Jackie Robinson Scholar.

The $3,000 scholarship is awarded by each Major League Baseball (MLB) team to a college-bound player on its affiliated RBI Senior Team for 16- to 18-year-olds. The RBI program, with more than 260,000 participants in more than 200 cities worldwide, is an MLB youth outreach program designed to increase youth participation and interest, as well as promote teamwork, academic achievement, and greater inclusion of minorities, in baseball and softball.

Glover received the scholarship in a special awards ceremony on April 15, celebrated throughout baseball as Jackie Robinson Day, commemorating the day on which Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947.

“In the spirit of Jackie Robinson, I think that the scholarship recognizes my desire to push myself, as well as others, but always in a respectful way,” says Glover, who played varsity baseball at Haddon Heights High School.

Skyler Glover Rutgers-Camden first baseman, spring 2016. Photo by Sarah J. Glover

Photo by Sarah J. Glover

In summer 2015, Glover played for the Phillies Senior RBI team, which competes annually in 15 to 20 local and regional MLB-sponsored games for a ticket to play in the RBI World Series held each August. As the baseball saying goes, it was then that he showed his ability to “step up to the plate” when the going got tough.

As he recalls, the season started off on the right foot before the team hit a rough patch. Fingers were pointed, and he helped to bring the team back together.

“I talked to everyone and, more or less, just settled everyone down and kept the focus of what we were trying to accomplish,” recalls Glover, who also formerly played for Haddon Heights American Legion Post 262 and the Anderson Monarchs in Philadelphia.

Glover notes that, while he has had aspirations to help younger players succeed, earning the scholarship has “amplified” the importance of following through. For instance, he recently helped out at a Play Ball instructional event for children ages 6 to 14 at the Urban Youth Academy in Philadelphia.

He also hopes to be a mentor for younger players, offering any helpful tips or advice that he can give them.

“I want to share any knowledge that I have to any kids who want to play baseball or softball,” he says, adding, “First and foremost, they need to know the importance of a good education. School should be one of the most important things in a child’s life.”

“They should also understand the value of practice and determination,” he continues. “Practice is the best preparation for those big moments, whenever they arrive.”

Posted in: Student Achievement

Comments are closed.