Curveballs and Contemplation

Anthony Rodriguez Klinzing tries to not overthink on the baseball field.

“Baseball is really about clearing your head and trusting the work that you’ve put in during practice,” he says. “Some people fail at baseball because they think too much; they can’t focus on the main thing because they’re so wrapped up in the minor details.”

Klinzing says the sport has taught him to be disciplined and have self-control; he’s learned to be committed to his fellow teammates and to have a good attitude, because “if you don’t have a good mindset,” he says, “the game is going to beat you down.”

Klinzing is glad that he had a chance to play college baseball at Dordt. “You hear about other college programs, where coaches don’t treat the players well. But our coach isn’t like that: he wants us to be the best baseball players we can be but also to help us grow as humans.”

Off the baseball field, though, Klinzing spends plenty of time thinking. After taking courses in macroeconomics and microeconomics, he decided to pick up an economics major because he liked the philosophy and theory behind it. He enjoys reading novels by writers like George Orwell and Fyodor Dostoevsky, scholarly works on theology, and philosophy books (particularly those by German philosophers).

“Philosophy and theory help me understand why things are the way they are—it gives me a better understanding of the world,” he says.

Having grown up in a big city in Germany, he initially experienced culture shock coming to the rural Midwest. “In Germany, people are blunt. There’s less casual small talk. You don’t really ask people how they’re doing. It took me a while to grow accustomed to the Midwestern way of communicating.”

He was also initially taken aback by how Christian Dordt University was. As an incoming freshman, he was aware that Dordt was a Christian university, but he didn’t fully understand what that meant and what to expect.

“By my second semester, I met some people who challenged me to ask myself what I believe,” he says. “So, I started to break down my own prejudices and read the Bible out of a genuine interest. Initially, the hypocrisy really bugged me. However, I started to recognize that humans’ sinful nature makes it so that people are unable to live up to their own standards. Once I began to understand that the problem was not with the religion, but with the people, and I separated the ideas and the people, I was better able to embrace being a Christian.”

As his faith grew, he began to recognize the incongruency between his Dordt life and his lifestyle back in Germany. “It's easy to fall back into old habits when your faith isn't very strong and you're constantly around people who live a different lifestyle,” he adds.

He knew that he had to live out his faith not only at Dordt, but also at home in Germany. “I ended up finding a church community back in Bonn to support me and be a good influence.”

Returning to Bonn with a strong Christian perspective also made him appreciate the historical context of Germany in relation to the church. “I went to Wartburg Castle over Christmas break,” he says. “I visited there years ago, and I just thought it was a cool castle. But this time, I knew that it was where Martin Luther stayed for 10 months. And that made it even more exciting for me to be there; I had more of a personal investment in what took place there.”

After graduation, Klinzing hopes to obtain a Master´s degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at a university in Germany.

“I enjoy these three subjects, so to be part of an interdisciplinary master’s program sounds really interesting. I can see myself getting a Ph.D. in philosophy someday as well. We’ll see what happens.”