Baseball Star Switches to Cricket at Haverford College


When back injuries threw him a curveball, Nate Rolfe turned in a baseball bat for a cricket bat at Haverford College. Image via the San Marino (Calif.) Tribune.

Four back surgeries and two spinal fusions have finally put Haverford College junior Nate Rolfe back on the field — just not the same field he started on.

Rolfe grew up in California playing baseball, but multiple back injuries threw him a series of curveballs.

Now at Haverford College, he’s finally learned how to hit those curves — but with a cricket bat instead of a baseball bat, according to a San Marino (Calif.) Tribune report by Mitch Lehman.

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“I hoped that the different movements in the sport would be better tolerated by my back and that I would be able to capitalize on the hand-eye coordination I had developed playing baseball,” Rolfe said.

It didn’t happen immediately, but Rolfe has endured and “been able to return to the cricket pitch, and played this last season in the least amount of back pain that I have been in since the age of 12,” he said.

Despite cricket’s worldwide popularity — the sport is second only to soccer — Haverford has the only varsity cricket team in the country.

So Rolfe’s “opening batsman” role and recent “Man of the Match” success is often pitted against talent on the United States women’s national team, the Canadian men’s national team, and international teams from Australia, New Zealand, and England, the article explained.

“I am as excited now about cricket as I am about baseball,” he concluded.

Read more about Rolfe’s transition from baseball to cricket in the San Marino (Calif.) Tribune here, and check out previous DELCO Today coverage of Haverford College here.

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