Jordan Getzelman wakes up each morning, takes in the scenic view of the Rocky Mountains near Couer d’Alene, Idaho, feels no pain in his left wrist and surmises that life is good.
A lot has happened with Getzelman since he graduated from Prairie Ridge in 2013. He attended Missouri on a baseball scholarship, started dating one of the Tigers’ freshman softball players, injured his wrist for a second time, received a redshirt season and decided to transfer.
Getzelman will transfer to Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs this fall and play with the 2014 NJCAA national champion team. Given Getzelman’s profile, he could be back at another NCAA Division I school by the 2016 season.
“[Missouri] wasn’t the right-fitting program for me,” Getzelman said, “for my goals and ambitions as a future ballplayer, and wanting to go to the major leagues.”
Because of his wrist injury, Getzelman was unable to play in wooden bat leagues like most college players. Instead, he went to Couer d’Alene and is working out with high school coach Chris Stangel, a former pitcher with the San Francisco Giants. Getzelman is dating Casey Stangel, Chris’ daughter, who is named after late major league manager Casey Stengel.
Getzelman, a three-time Northwest Herald All-Area first-team selection, saw some freshman action as a pinch runner, but suffered the same injury he had as a senior at Prairie Ridge. While sliding, he tore the triangular fibrocatrilage complex in his left hand, on the outside near the pinkie finger.
At Prairie Ridge, Getzelman played through the pain, still managing to hit .354 with an area-best 10 home runs and 39 RBIs.
“I don’t know how I did it,” Getzelman said. “I wanted to finish my senior season. Once you tear it, you have to get surgery.”
At Missouri, Getzelman had the surgery on March 25 and received a redshirt season for his freshman year. He met Casey Stangel, a Tigers’ pitcher and one of the most sought-after players in the nation in 2013, and decided to work out with her and her father this summer.
“It’s a beautiful area in the [Rocky] mountains, a resort-vacation spot,” Getzelman said. “Chris is one of the top coaches I’ve ever known.”
Getzelman’s injury curtailed him playing in wooden-bat leagues, like most college players in the summer, so he trains daily. Casey is transferring to the University of Washington, where she can play right away because of NCAA rules. Getzelman, not wanting to lose a year of playing time after transferring to another D-I school, will join one of the nation’s top junior college programs.
“They have a ton of Division I guys out of there,” Getzelman said. “I saw what I wanted in the program. Coach Marc Rardin showed me around, they’ve won three of the last five national titles. It’s a bunch of great guys who love to work hard and win.”
Getzelman (6-foot, 206 pounds) has a great relationship with former Indiana head coach Tracy Smith, as well as former Hoosiers assistant Ben Greenspan. Smith was hired as Arizona State’s head coach in June, while Greenspan will join him on the staff in Tempe. Getzelman will no doubt be considering Arizona State among his future schools, but mainly is looking forward to a pain-free year of baseball.
“I feel it’s 100 percent fixed,” Getzelman said. “We did it the right way coming back. It’s very reasonable to think it could happen again. It’s nerve-wracking. I’m willing to treat it as any injury and do the right precautions.”
Getzelman said he likely will start wearing a protective wrist pad when he reaches base that could keep him from being injured when he slides on the left side. There still could be extra-base hits to worry about when he would not have the pad on.
“I have to keep playing aggressive, playing my style, playing the game the same way,” Getzelman said.