As college and professional baseball players stroll to home plate for an at-bat, a particular song often is played in line with that player’s personality. But Ohio pitcher Shane Cole’s music came from his head before it ever emitted from the loud speakers of Bob Wren Stadium.
Cole, or “Colzie,” as he is known, has the distinction of being the only player on the team to walk up to a song he wrote.
The day that we had the sign-up list for what walk-up song we wanted, when I looked at my name someone had already written ‘Colzie, “Get That,” ’ ” Cole said. “I was thinking about doing it myself, but I guess I had no choice.”
A native of Ontario, Canada, Cole is beginning to make a name for himself not only as a baseball player but as a hip-hop artist, as well.
Although he has been playing baseball for years, Cole said his musical career only recently took off.
“I started in high school. I used to freestyle at parties and have fun with it, but people started liking it and said I should take it seriously,” Cole said. “We recorded a couple songs, and it just went from there.”
After spending two years at Texarkana College in Texas, Cole came to Ohio at the suggestion of current teammate Wes O’Neill, who is also from Cole’s hometown.
Since coming to Athens,Cole has pushed his recording total to more than 30 songs and has made a handful of live appearances — nearly matching his six appearances on the mound for the Bobcats.
Along with recording his music, Cole recently produced a music video for his song “Get That,” which pays tribute to the college atmosphere in Athens.
Incorporated in the video are many of Cole’s teammates including Emody, outfielder Doug Holmes, and pitchers Ben Trimbur and Matt Robin.
While he is still trying to gain publicity for his music, Cole said his teammates are some of his biggest supporters.
“A lot of guys on the team love it,” Cole said. “We joke around and laugh about it, but they’re always there for my shows.”
Along with the backing he receives from his teammates, Cole said coach Joe Carbone has given his approval as well.
“He might not like my music, but he definitely supports it,” Cole said. “The other day when I went in for grade sheets, he said, ‘Shane Colzie Cole,’ and I started laughing.”
Carbone said he is behind his pitcher as long as Cole stays within team rules.
“I don’t understand it, but from what I saw, I thought he was pretty good,” Carbone said. “I’m glad that my guys have other talents and interests outside of baseball.”
Cole said anytime he thinks a performance may conflict with team rules, he checks with Carbone to make sure it is OK.
“He’s been very good about letting me know about what’s going on, and if there’s a gray area he calls me,” Carbone said. “I know when you’re an entertainer you’ve got to stay up late, but if we’ve got a game on Saturday at 3 p.m., he’s got to get to bed.”
One of Cole’s biggest supporters is his roommate and fellow relief pitcher Shane Dedig.
“It’s not everyday you see a Canadian rapper, so it’s fun to joke around about it, but once you hear his stuff you realize he’s actually pretty good,” Dedig said.
Dedig said Cole usually spends at least an hour or two working on his music every day.
While Cole could not say whether he thought he was a better baseball player or musician, he did say he hopes for a future in the music industry.
“Right now, it’s looking pretty good. My name’s been spreading pretty fast,” Cole said. “I’ve got a lot going on back home in Toronto as well. Hopefully, it clicks and blows up from there.”
With Carbone set to enter his final season as Ohio’s baseball coach next year, he too hinted at a future in hip-hop.
“Maybe I could be his assistant. I can get the old crowd in there,” Carbone said. “He could teach me a few moves, and I could become a retiree’s rap singer. I might get some lessons from him.”