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Anderson Spends Summer on the Diamond Before Marines

Joel Anderson is playing for the Milford Micros before reporting to Parris Island for Marine Bootcamp. Contributed photo

Blackstone Valley Tech graduate Joel Anderson is preparing to ship off to basic training next winter when he joins the
U.S. Marine Corps, but first, he has one more summer on the baseball diamond ahead of him as a member of the Milford Micros Senior Babe Ruth team.
"I wanted a summer baseball team and I didn't have an AAU team," Anderson said. "I went out for the legion team but didn't make it, so I decided to play for the Micros."
He joined the Milford Senior Ruth program last year and came back for a second summer after a positive experience in 2018. "I have enjoyed it," he said. "The guys there are really cool, down to earth and they'll help you out if you need it. It's been really fun." Anderson suffered a separated shoulder while diving for a ground ball during the Beavers' final game this spring, and the injury has limited him to designated hitter duties through the first several games of the Micros season. He hopes to contribute more in the outfield as the season progresses, but he has been able to swing the bat in the wooden bat league.
A Milford resident, Anderson said he enjoyed getting the chance to play with athletes from other towns during his time at Valley Tech and helping the program push back against the idea that tech schools do not have strong athletic programs.
After one more summer playing with his fellow Milfordians, Anderson is shipping off to Paris Island, S. C. and training to be a Marine. "It'll be intense," he said. "It's obviously going to be a lot of changes in lifestyle and scenery from what I am used to, but the military has been in my family my entire life. I feel like I was my duty to serve."
Anderson's mother, Lara Allison, spent 20 years in the Coast Guard, following in the footsteps of her father, Joel's
grandfather. Anderson said he felt compelled to blaze his own path in a different branch and found a home in the Marines. Spending four years at a vocational school helped Anderson decide to look into doing helicopter maintenance.
"I have always loved working with my hands, doing the dirty work," he said. "So I was naturally drawn to that."
Anderson has a specific goal in mind for his final summer before trading in his baseball uniform for a military uniform. "This is my last summer playing baseball, I want go out by winning the league," Anderson said. "Winning the championship."




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