Every two weeks, we’ll be sharing blogs written by students and alumni. If you’d like to learn more about why other students have chosen Ryerson, visit why.ryerson.ca/belong to hear their stories.
Name: Mitchell Fiacco
Program: 3rd year Accounting and Finance (Minor: Economics)
Current activities: Right-handed pitcher and right fielder for the Varsity Ryerson Rams baseball team. Point guard for the “Ball Distribution Experts” intramural basketball team. Delegate at Ryerson Global Management Conference (RGMC), and Ted Rogers Sports Conference (TRSC). Incoming US Corporate Tax summer student at KPMG.
When I decided to transfer from my old school, I was looking for a fresh start – somewhere I could experience a new environment, grow as a person, and move out of my parents’ place for the first time. Downtown Toronto was the obvious choice – I had always been a “city guy” and wanted to experience what living in one of the best cities in the world was really like. Ryerson, with its vibrant student culture, beautiful new buildings, and location in the heart of the city appealed to me the most, and come fall 2017 I decided to continue my undergraduate studies as a Ram.
Now, being an athlete, I always had dreams of playing my sport at the university level. I grew up playing hockey, soccer, and basketball, but I was always in love with the game of baseball, and focussed on it from a young age. I eventually became the captain of my high school team and was selected as a conference all-star. While part of me wanted to continue pursuing it, I decided to give up competitive baseball when I initially started university so that I could focus on my studies. Although I did well academically that year, the question always remained in the back of my mind, “what if?”.
After accepting my offer and transferring to Ryerson, I discovered that the school was home to the Ryerson Rams baseball team – an OUA program, which my previous school did not have. The Rams were an up and coming team who were improving every year. They had a proven coaching staff, strong veterans, and a few openings in their pitching staff. Being a right-handed pitcher, it almost felt like fate. Although I was injured coming into my first year, I made it my mission to train hard during my entire first year at Ryerson, impress the coaches at tryouts, and earn a roster spot for the following 2018/19 season. This was very easy between the beautiful Mattamy Athletic Centre and Ryerson Athletic Centre located on campus.
Fast forward to March 2018 – I reached out to Coach Ben and was invited to a winter workout. I introduced myself to the boys, warmed up with the team, and then worked as hard as I could in the drills. Sitting in the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre on campus a week later, I opened an email from Coach Ben offering me a position on the team. I started yelling, fist pumping, and high-fiving my friends sitting in silent study with me. Everyone else in the building must have thought I was crazy.
After playing my first season for the Rams, I can confidently say it was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I got to live my dream of playing university baseball while earning my degree, and gaining skills such as time management and working within a team, which will serve me well for the rest of my life. I gained a second family consisting of my teammates, coaches and trainers, and made incredible memories which will last a lifetime. Being on the team allowed me to gain a deep sense of belonging on campus, and really helped me find my fit within the Ryerson community despite being a transfer student. You truly are part of something bigger than yourself being on a varsity team, and I highly recommend it to all incoming students with an athletic background. Go Rams!