Normally I try to start off each article with some silly one liner, or some type of quip. However this time I have nothing. This article should have been written months ago. Although figuring out how to handle it took longer than usual. At this point I have nothing more to say other than…”Just Smile.”
This past August WSU student athlete Mitch Caster was driving home from summer ball in Iowa. Mitch had finished up his summer with Rochester in the Northwood’s summer collegiate baseball league. He just pitched two innings for them in the championship game. On his way home, Mitch’s tire blew causing his vehicle to swerve over the center line around 12:15am. His vehicle collided head on with a Semi truck. At the age of 21, Mitch Caster died instantly.
During his three years with WSU baseball, Mitch may have not been the best, but he never stopped smiling. He came up to bat awkward and jittery giving it his all each time. Most of his time was spent as a sub for the outfield. His junior year however he started coming in as a relief pitcher. This may have been his best position as he had a breakout summer on the mound.
This would have been Mitch’s senior season, and the team still has his jersey in his locker. He was very well loved by the team and staff. “I’ll always remember he had one of the biggest smiles you could ever have,” former Shocker teammate Ryan Jones said. “He was a great teammate to have. It is definitely hard to lose somebody like that.” During his limited playing time Mitch gave us plenty of great memories. We will never forget the towering home run he hit off of Florida State during the super regionals. We will never forget the amazing diving catches he made coming off the bench. We will never forget the first time he came in to pitch. Our questioning of why was quickly silenced when he lit the radar gun up with a 95 mph fastball. Mostly though, we will never forget the smile. Thanks for the memories Mitch. We will see you in heaven buddy.