Pollema Fills Summer With Internship and Baseball

Pollema Fills Summer With Internship and Baseball

Sports Information Director's note:  This is a part of an ongoing series highlighting what Dordt student-athletes did during the summer of 2020.

(Monday, September 28; Sioux Center, Iowa) When Caleb Pollema walked off the mound on March 10 no one knew that would be his last pitching outing of the season.  Days later the Defenders would suspend and eventually cancel the remainder of the season with the rest of collegiate athletics.

Pollema returned to Bakersfield, California where he had plans to work as an intern with Wells Fargo and play baseball with a Fellowship of Christian Athletes team this summer. 

The Wells Fargo internship turned into a virtual internship and the summer league baseball season, while delayed, eventually got rolling on July 1, allowing Pollema time on the mound again.

“This was the first time since my early high school career that I had significant time off.  I went from mid-March to July 1 without a game.  It’s been seven or eight years since I had that much time off.  It allowed me to work on my flexibility and different aspects of my game,” said Pollema. “I definitely didn’t take for granted being able to lace up the cleats again after the time off.”

Pollema’s situation was unique in that his baseball team allowed him to play on the weekends, accommodating his internship time during the week.

While playing baseball was a lure for Pollema, being involved in more than simply playing games proved to be meaningful.

“The summer between my sophomore and junior year at Dordt I made a connection with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes team in Southern California.  I asked if I could play the weekends with them this summer and they made that work. I love FCA.  It’s been a great experience.  We were able to run camps in the Los Angeles area and minister to kids through the gospel and through baseball,” said Pollema.       

The FCA team also brought together players with unique backgrounds into a melting pot of sorts to play the Sunset Baseball League schedule.

“I’ve made some great relationships with my teammates. We play in the Sunset Baseball League and play with players from all different levels—DI, DII, DIII, NAIA.  This summer I played with guys from Oregon in the league. Last summer it was TCU (Texas Christian University). It’s really cool to hear the different stories from all the different guys,” said Pollema. “The league is awesome—they work the league schedule around our camp schedules.”

Pollema was introduced to the internship opportunity through networking with his professors in the Dordt Business Department.  His work included credit reports, business analysis and working with lending in the agriculture sector.

“I met many of the people I worked with during the summer over Christmas break but there were others that I never got to meet in person which was interesting,” said Pollema.  “I worked for some great Christian men and it was a blessing to hear their perspective on business.”

With his senior academic year now in full swing Pollema, along with the rest of the baseball team, is looking forward to its time on the diamond as they prepare for a spring 2021 season.

“There’s definitely a renewed sense of urgency to get back out on the field and do everything we can to get back on the field,” said Pollema.  “It’s pivotal for us to get on the field this fall and compete. We see the plan and purpose and I’m fired up about it.”

Pollema’s business background may also play a part in his future involvement with baseball.

“With my various degrees and background, I’ve worked with Dr. Tintle in stats and actuarial science.  Baseball is a passion of mine.  I don’t know yet if I’ll be back another year after this or work in coaching or maybe get into the analytics side of things, but I’ll definitely be involved with baseball in some way,” said Pollema.