What’s the Best College for Baseball?

These are Our Top Colleges if You Want to Play Baseball

“Never allow the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” - Babe Ruth

The NCSA had analyzed over 1,150 four-year colleges with baseball programs across the four division levels of D1, D2, D3, and NAIA. They used this analysis to compile a list of the Best Baseball Colleges for Student-Athletes. Across all Divisions, the top 5 from the NCSA’s list are Stanford University, University of Florida, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of California - Los Angeles - UCLA, and Harvard University—which all are Division I programs. 

If you view the Division 1 ranking for the Top 25 for the 2022 season, it puts Stanford at number five. Stanford University’s current overall record is 47-18 and their previous rank was number 2. This Top 25 ranking from Division I only puts Ole Miss at the number one spot, however, the NCSA’s ranking was over every division. 

There are different ways to determine which college has the best baseball program and for different people that might mean something different. You can base it on what college has the best program, which one has the most winnings, or which one has the best coach to name a few. Now some of these reasons for which college is the best for baseball could be subjective to each person. Remember that just because one person says one coach is the best that does not mean that another person will think the same way. Especially since coaches for sports teams can change at any time. 

The same goes for some of the other reasons as to why one college is the best for baseball over another one. You could even base which college is the best for baseball on more than one reason. For example, you could say that one college is the best because they have the most winnings and have the best coach. Make sure to remember that you should never try to force a subjective opinion on someone else about who you think is the best coach. To determine who is the best coach can have its own reasons as to why that specific person is the best.

NCAA Baseball

The NCAA stands for National Collegiate Athletic Association and it is a member-led organization that is dedicated to the lifelong success and well-being of college athletes. There are three NCAA divisions which are:

  • Division I - schools that tend to have bigger student bodies, manage the biggest athletics budgets, and offer the highest amount of athletic scholarships.
  • Division II - offer growth opportunities through academic achievement, have a focus on service to the community and have learning in high-level athletics competition 
  • Division III - have participation in competitive athletics environments which push college athletes to shine on the field as well as building on their potential in a way of pursuing challenges across campus

The NCAA offers awards of nearly $3.5 billion in athletics scholarships each year as well as providing extensive support to aid student-athletes graduate at a higher level than their non-athlete student peers. The members of the NCAA span schools ranging from hundreds of students to ones with tens of thousands of students. This three-division structure of the NCAA was put in place in 1973 to make a fair playing field for teams at similar schools, as well as offering college athletes more chances to take part in national championships.

The Best College for Baseball - Stanford University 

Stanford’s baseball facility is called Klien Field at Sunken Diamond. This college baseball facility is often called the most beautiful college baseball facility. The total capacity for this facility is 4,000. Sunken Diamond has been the place of 16 NCAA Regional Tournaments and 4 Super Regionals. 

An image of the Sunken Diamond baseball field.
Sunken Diamond baseball field at Stanford University. Image courtesy of Stanford Baseball Camps Facilities.

You may find yourself asking why Stanford University’s baseball program is the best and here is why. To start off, during their 2022 season Stanford had entered their second consecutive appearance into the College World Series. They also entered the College World Series ranked at number one in the nation according to Collegiate Baseball, at number two in the Division I Baseball America and NCBWA polls, and at number four in the USA Today Coaches poll. 

Stanford also carries the number two national seed into the NCAA tournament. The current baseball team also won both of the Pac-12 regular season and tournament championships as well as hosting a regional for the twentieth time in the program’s history. They were able to defeat Connecticut at the super regional round and are currently 12-3 at super regional games played at their stadium, the Sunken Diamond. Stanford has made progress in the College World Series during all six seasons they have hosted a super regional round. This progress also happened during five consecutive years from 1999 through 2003. 

Before the 2022 season started with a win against Connecticut on June 13, 2022, the Cardinal (Stanford's baseball team) were at 10-0 in the winner-take-all postseason games played at their stadium. The current team also won five elimination games during the regional and super regional rounds which allowed them to move forward to Omaha. During the 2022 season they made their way into their eighteenth College World Series appearance, which is their thirty-seventh postseason appearance.

Pac-12 Conference and Overall Standings

Stanford University’s Pac-12 baseball conference standing is 21-9-0 and the university’s overall Pac-12 standing is 47-18-0. These are the standings for the 2021-22 season and the only other university listed in these standings from the top 5 NCSA list is UCLA. UCLA’s Pac-12 conference standing is 19-11-0 and the overall standing is 40-24-0. This ranking makes Stanford hold the top position and UCLA holds the third position. 

How to Get Recruited by Stanford

In any instance if you are trying to get recruited to any college/university baseball program you should start by building a relationship with the coaching staff. However, SportsRecruits is here to help with this. A good start would be to fill out the Stanford University’s baseball recruiting questionnaire. This way you get on their list, but do not stop there. You will need to have the college/university coach see you play, so you will need to make sure you have an online athletic recruiting profile. This profile needs to showcase not only your athletic achievements but also your academic achievements. You will need to show that you can keep your academic grades up in order to be a part of any college sports team. SportsRecruits can help you build this recruiting profile.

Financial Aid Options

If you love playing baseball and are decent at it and want to apply to one of these 4 colleges’ baseball programs but need some assistance, look no further. Grantford can help you with financial aid options. At Grantford they simplify the financial aid process and optimize each student’s financial aid packages based on their unique criteria and opportunities to save on college. They even help with scholarships, in fact, they have a scholarship called Recycled Essay Scholarship that you can apply for if you are tired of writing scholarship essays. Grantford can offer FAFSA help as well.

An image of someone putting money into a piggy bank.
You’ll need to keep track of your savings and apply for financial aid if you’re looking to play baseball in college! .

General Tips for College Survival 

Since you have learned that Grantford can help you with financial aid options, help you with your FAFSA, and all of the ways to finance college. There are a few things to keep in mind now, this way you can get your money’s worth. These college survival tips are:

  • To pay attention to any deadline, including financial aid, midterms, finals, and graduation applications to name a few
  • To set goals for yourself and believe you can do it
  • Make sure to attend your classes and get their on time, since you cannot learn if you are not in class
  • Ask for help when you need it, no one wants to see you fall behind, including your professors
  • Join some clubs or other extracurriculars and put yourself out there 
  • Use the resources and facilities that your college offers such as advising, counseling, career planning, writing center, libraries, student health, gyms, and more
  • Keep your grades up but do not forget to have fun along the way, but not too much fun since partying every night could lead to academic troubles
  • If you find yourself having questions make sure to ask the appropriate people since other students are not advisors

It is so important that you choose the right college for you and there are a bunch of factors that affect this decision. Even if you decide to not attend one of the top five colleges listed on the NCSA’s ranking for baseball that does not mean that other colleges do not have decent baseball programs. Choose the college that you will be the most comfortable at and make sure to look at more than just the baseball programs when deciding what college to attend.

Elizabeth Grobstein
Liz Grobstein is a writer based in North Huntingdon, PA.
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