It’s fair to say a majority of athletes that attend Sonoma State University live within at least a 500-mile radius of the school, or at least live in California; this is not the case for Sonoma State baseball player Adam Manzer, who was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. Now take that 500 miles and multiply it by about 100 going north and that is about where one will find Anchorage.
Ever since being a young little-leaguer, Manzer always had aspirations to play baseball in the golden state of California and to one day, potentially be drafted into the MLB.
“Growing up in Alaska, it was hard to pick a favorite baseball team with only having the Seattle Mariners being the closest which is still over a thousand miles away,” said Manzer. “That’s why I paid very close attention to teams like the Giants, Dodgers and A’s in California because I loved the style in which they played and wanted nothing more than [to] be a part of it one day.”
Manzer, 21, a Geology major at Sonoma State, spent his entire childhood and young adult life living in Anchorage before heading out to California to pursue his baseball career. His parents still reside in Anchorage currently, but are in the works of making a permanent move out to California as well.
Being so far away from home can sometimes take a toll on Manzer but he always reminds himself why he is here and wants nothing more than to make is family proud.
“The distance from home can be extremely tough and frustrating, not being able to go home for months on end,” Manzer said. “But every time I get down about it, I go hit a round of balls in the cage and remind myself of the reason of why I traveled this far.”
When Manzer first came out to California in 2012, he initially played for College of Marin in Kentfield before transferring to Sonoma State the following year. He red-shirted for Sonoma State in 2014 because of his eligibility but with countless hours of hard work, he now currently is a vital force on the current roster. Former College of Marin teammate and still close friend Nate Cantrell said that Manzer’s work ethic was something that he rarely sees.
“The kid is like a sponge man, he’s always looking to improve and is willing to listen and work with anyone that gives him more insight on himself,” said Cantrell. “He really is something special that you do not see often in today’s game.”
Another aspect of what makes Ganzer unique is the fact that he does not have one set position on the field but is considered a utility player who can cover multiple positions. Initially being just a catcher, he never stopped tuning his abilities in the other positions and can play proficiently in both the infield and outfield.
“When I came to SSU, I prominently went out for the catcher but after seeing how much quality and quantity we already had at the position, I had no issues playing anywhere else,” said Manzer.
Manzer is currently the starting left-fielder for the Seawolves but with no hesitation he will be geared up and ready to go behind the plate at a moment’s notice.
“Adam is the type of kid that doesn’t come around very often, he just thinks differently,” said Sonoma State position coach as well as former player Zack Pace. “He’s got the right mindset everyday day and knows that there’s plenty of business to be taken care of in order to win.”
Manzer is currently hitting at a respectable .313 batting average with one home run to add to his credit this year.
The Seawolves will certainly need Manzer’s assistance as they attempt to grind out the rest of the season in sought of reaching the conference playoff tournament once again.