The All-American Dream


Garrett Hallinan

Not many people can say they have played at Wrigley Field, one of baseball’s most historic grounds, but senior Chris Newell experienced this amazing opportunity in August.

From being on Malvern’s Junior Varsity baseball team as a freshman and having some struggles, Newell worked harder than anybody to earn his selection as an All-American.

“Baseball is a sport filled with failure, so you really need to learn how to handle adversity if you want to be successful,” Head Coach Fred Hilliard said. “I think Chris’s struggles accelerated his maturity and development because he figured out very early how to work hard, be humble, and never be satisfied with his abilities because there were players ahead of him.”

Newell is a strong baseball player in all facets, which makes him stand out among others.

[perfectpullquote align=”left” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“I want to go out with a bang. I want to take it one game at a time, really let it soak in.”

-Chris Newall ’19[/perfectpullquote]

“He has plus tools in the five categories that baseball scouts assess players: Defense, Speed, Arm strength, Hit tool, and Power,” Hilliard said.

Along with strengths in these five key parts of the game, Newell has a positive outlook and wants more than anything to win.

“Chris loves to win and hates to lose,” Hilliard said, “and he is one of those guys that seems to always be ready to step up and help us find a way to win a ballgame whenever there’s a crucial moment.”

One of Newell’s closest friends and teammate, junior Gavin Grande, has known Newell for a good portion of his life. He has seen the hard work and progression that Newell has put into making himself the dominant player that he is today.

“[Newell] is definitely someone I look up to,” Grande said. “We work out together every day, so we push each other a lot.”

Grande recalls a specific play from the All-American game, which he spent watching with his friends.“[Newell] hit a hanging curveball, and it was about to be a home run and the kid robbed it. Everyone who was at the watch party got up and was going crazy and then that kid jumps up in front of the fence and catches it.”

Although Newell’s hit did not clear the fence, with a stolen base and a walk. He relished the experience and still keeps in contact with the coaches and players from the American team.

“[The coaches] reach out, check in with you, see how you are doing,” Newell said. “Players wise, I still talk to those guys every day. There were five or six of us on our travel team that I’ve played with before, so I am especially close with them.”

One of Newell’s favorite parts about the game of baseball is getting the opportunity to meet new people.

“This summer I was able to meet people from all over the country and throughout the world,” Newell said. “I met kids from the DR, who I started to play with, and basically just making connections throughout the country, meeting people, learning who they are, what they’re about.”

Newell learned many lessons from being part of the All-American team, one being the importance of humility.

“Around here, you could say that I am considered the best,” Newell said, “but being in those you are going against those big dogs. You are not the big dog anymore, so it is humbling and pretty cool to be able to compare yourself to big-name guys.”

Newell looks forward to his final baseball season at Malvern, with a few objectives in mind.

“I want to go out with a bang,” Newell said. “Three goals we have every year: win 30 games, win the Inter-Ac, and win the State Championship. I want to take it one game at a time, really let it soak in.”

Already, Newell’s had a brilliant baseball career, but this is just the beginning.

“No matter what happens just knowing that either way I will have somewhere to go next year whether it will be UVA or if I get selected into the draft, I will have somewhere to go,” Newell said.

Newell is the type of player any coach would want on their team, not only for his athletic abilities but his perseverance.

“What makes Chris one of the best baseball players in the country is that he outworks everyone,” Grande said. “He is the hardest worker on the field.”