Krist hopes to play college baseball
Some young athletes bundle all of their hopes and dreams into their accomplishments on the playing field. There is no big picture and there focus on only the next play.
With Peter Krist, that is simply not the case. On Monday, the former Weston baseball standout and captain will most likely find out whether he made the first round of cuts as in effort to become one of the newest members of the baseball program at Bentley University. This past Tuesday kicked off a series of try-outs in which Krist and about 40 other hopefuls displayed their skills for a coaching staff that was prepared to whittle down the list every few weeks during a process that could last as long as eight weeks.
If he does make the team, then great. It will be the cherry on top of his collegiate experience at a Division II institution. If he does not, Krist will have more time to focus on his studies at Bentley as he prepares to one day try his hand on Wall Street. He's comfortable at the school he used to visit when his sister, Nicole attended for her undergraduate studies before beginning work on her MBA degree at the school earlier this year. Either way, Krist, with a maturity that belies his driver's license -- he's 18 -- is at peace with his situation.
"I kind of grew up coming up here. It's a great business school. I think it's one of the top in the nation. That's what I really wanted to do," Krist said last week from his dorm room at the school in Waltham, Mass. "I knew that baseball wasn't going to be a huge part of my future. I'm not going pro or anything, so school is obviously my first choice.
"Just the understanding that's the way it is--my shoulder, I really can't do anything about it... understanding what I have to do to maybe get in back and if it doesn't work out in the end, I have a great school that I'm going to."
Ah, yes the shoulder. He is referring to the first game of the season during his junior year at Wilton. While patrolling center field, Krist made a diving attempt to catch a ball.
"I landed awkwardly and twisted my whole arm all the way up to my shoulder and I just heard something snap," Krist said.
It turned out that he had torn his labrum in his right shoulder, his throwing shoulder that he used to fire the ball back into the infield as a centerfielder. He ended up having some extensive reconstructive surgery performed by Howard Levy, a New York City-based surgeon who serves as the official orthopaedist of the New York Jets. Levy put four screws in Krist's shoulder to essentially nail the ligaments down in August, 2009.
"He said that `It's not guaranteed that your arm strength is going to be anywhere close to where it was,'" Krist said of Levy. "That was pretty scary to me, knowing that my baseball career could possibly be over. And I knew that if this injury had not happened, I definitely would have been recruited [to a larger school]."
Luckily, Krist could find solace in being a designated hitter. No throwing involved. Just hitting the baseball. During this past season, Krist became a reliable leadoff hitter at the designed hitter spot with a .315 batting average--one of the best on the team--to go with 28 hits, 22 RBIs and four homeruns. Krist's prowess with his bat lead him to being named to the All-Patriot Division team.
"We made our changes and he did a great job leading as DH," Weston Coach Frank Fedeli said. "The good part was he was being a leader on the bench when everybody was out on the field."
Krist extended that leadership as one of three captains on a team that in his words "turned a lot heads" by setting precedents in spring sport that has traditionally been overshadowed by lacrosse. Krist and a nucleus of other seniors such as Cody Nusbaum, Ben Jaffee and Michael McDonald helped set school records in terms of best overall record (17-8) while guiding the school to its first Patriot Division title in the SWC, its best finish in the conference tournament and its first state tournament game on its home field.
"I think that was probably part of the reason why we were so good is because we had so much experience," Krist said. "We had played with each other since eighth grade. We never really had a winning season before that. We got together at the beginning of the season and we were sick and tired of losing."
This past summer before heading to Bentley, a school nestled in the outskirts of downtown Boston, Krist helped coach the Babe Ruth team in Weston with Nusbaum while also playing a couple of games with American Legion Wilton-Weston club. He also worked with some trainers at Better Athletic Development in Shelton on strengthening his right arm and improving his lower body strength in preparation for what began unfurl on Tuesday.
Recently, he said, his shoulder felt "good." Just like his overall outlook on life.