By Bill Tamburrino
Cleveland Indians to give professional baseball his best shot.
“I will be flying to Ohio this week and signing a contract. I will probably be put on the short season roster of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in Nile, Ohio,” he said. Mahoning Valley is in the New York/Pennsylvania League.
Sulser admits that graduating from an Ivy League university with two degrees trumps being drafted.
“I never thought of attending an Ivy until Dartmouth contacted me after my junior year at RHS. I tried to get good grades so that I could get a chance to play baseball in college but I never dreamed about attending an Ivy League school,” he said.
Sulser earned a Bachelor of Arts in Engineering Sciences with Public Policy and a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.
He made the most of a bad situation to earn his second degree.
Sulser had a great college sophomore baseball season. He set a school record for most victories without a loss in a season with a perfect 8-0 record. Dartmouth has been playing baseball for 141 years. Sulser was second team All Ivy League and second team All New England. He was voted the Dartmouth Pitcher of the Year and MVP for 2010 as he led the Ivy League in strikeouts and was second in the league in saves.
In 2011 Sulser was selected to the first team All Ivy League but the season ended on a bad note. He sustained an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery, a surgery that repairs an injured elbow ligament. Sulser missed his senior season. Despite not being physically able to perform, his teammates voted him team captain in 2012, and he remained on the team.
The Ivy League does not grant athletic scholarships and usually does not redshirt players. Sulser was granted a redshirt season and returned to action in 2013, where he again was named All Ivy League and team captain.
“Having to undergo the Tommy John surgery was not something I planned on but it turned out for the best. I got to spend one more year at Dartmouth. I earned a second degree and I got to play on the same team with my brother, Beau,” Sulser said, noting that since he is four years older than Beau, they had never been on the same team. “It was a great experience that I will never forget.”
The Dartmouth record books will be filled with Sulser’s name. Along with his single season victory record, Sulser finished his career with a 20-6 record the second most wins in school history. He is also tied for fourth with most victories in a season and fourth with a .769 winning percentage. He is fifth on the all time strikeout list with 202 K’s. Sulser recorded Dartmouth’s first win in an NCAA regional appearance. He was on a team that reached the Ivy Championship Series five years in a row. Dartmouth won the Ivy Championship Series in 2009 and 2010 and advanced on to NCAA regional play. Sulser was a part of a starting rotation that set a school record for wins going 32-9.
Sulser did more than study and participate in interscholastic athletics at Dartmouth. The 2008 recipient of the Ramona High Leadership Award continued as a leader. He was twice elected president of his fraternity, twice appointed risk manager and representative for disciplinary actions, and served as Greek Liaison on College Sexual Assault Policy Committees and on the Alcohol Policy Committee.
At one time Sulser stated that he would like a front office job in Major League Baseball.
When asked if he still has those ambitions, Sulser said, “Playing minor league baseball will give me an inside look and more experience in the game.”
Sulser said his love for baseball was fostered by his father, Roy, and his mother, Pixie. Soon he will leave Hanover, N.H. for Mahoning Valley, another stop in the journey for a boy who started dreaming about playing pro baseball in Julian and at Ramona High. He has shown that he knows how to handle and make the best out of bumps in the road and make the most out of bad situations.