July 11, 2012 - The last home game for Jake Forsten on Clarkston High School's baseball field was memorable, May 25.
From left, Todd Forsten, Jake Forsten, Amy Forsten and St. Clair County Community College Men's Baseball Coach Mike Greene. Photo provided (click for larger version)
Parents and his teammates huddled around him as he put a piece of paper on head coach Phil Price's back and put down his signature.
He signed to continue playing baseball at National Junior College Athletic Association Division II St. Clair County Community College.
"I am really excited about it," he said. "It is going to be really cool."
Forsten added St. Clair County Community College was the perfect choice for him. The campus is close to home with a 70 minute drive.
"If I ever get homesick, I can just come home," he said.
A few more perks include he will continue to wear his Clarkston colors at St. Clair Community College, and they have programs he was looking for in a college.
"It's a good school for what I want to go into," he said. "I want to be a teacher or a coach. They have good classes and programs they can offer me."
He is already eager to start his fall semester and has enrolled in his classes.
Mike Greene, the head coach for the Skippers, was another key element to draw him into the college.
"He liked my style of game," Forsten pointed out. "He is a really laid back coach. It made me love the game even more knowing I am going to be playing for a guy who is going to be laid back."
He is going to continue playing his position as short stop but added he was also on the pitching chart.
"I have always been more of a short stop," Forsten said. "Even for Clarkston and for my travel teams I have been a short stop over a pitcher. When we went to visit the school I was on the pitching chart which was pretty cool."
He began playing baseball when he was old enough to walk but baseball was already in his blood before then.
"My first word was ball, and I think my second word was bat," he laughed. "When I first started walking the first thing I did was pick up a ball and bat."
Once he began playing the game he couldn't stop.
"It was just the idea of it," Forsten explained. "Throwing something as hard as I can and trying to hit something as hard as I can. It is just one of those games I love. I just can't get enough."
He played for the Clarkston Wolves Varsity Baseball team for three years. He was brought up from the junior varsity team after four games in his sophomore season.
His first travel team was with the Clarkston Riverdawgs and played with them for two years. He added it was fun to be a 'Dawg.
Then, he was picked up by the North Oakland A's. They saw him play and asked him to try out.
"I played with them for two years," Forsten said. "It was more competitive and we had more tournaments out of town."
He joined the Bloomfield Sting after they asked him to play and still plays with the team.
"Sting has always been a big rival of the Riverdawgs and the A's so whenever we play them it is always a good game," Forsten added.
When he began playing with the Sting two seasons ago they put him on as a second baseman.
"I am really not second baseman," he explained. "All of my movements are short stop movement. They put me at short stop one game and saw me make a few plays and went 'wow, this kid is a short stop.'"
During the summer, the Sting play scrimmages from Monday through Wednesday before they head into tournaments, usually beginning Thursday or Friday and playing into Sunday.
"It is a lot of baseball in the summer but I love it," he exclaimed.
Through the years, baseball has made Forsten the person he is today as he is a positive role model for his teammates. He also helps them out during a game by giving them tips on how to deal with bad or good situations.
"I am a positive person on the baseball field, and it has taught me to carry it outside of the baseball field," Forsten added. "Just being positive all the time life goes better for me - I received a scholarship and the opportunity to play baseball."
Baseball has also taught him to be respectful to his teammates and his own family.
"Every team I have been on has been like a family," he explained. "I take every single one of those guys on the field as a family."
Forsten's advice to aspiring athletes is to learn the game mentally.
"Baseball is all a mental game," he said. "If you know it mentally your physically ability will become much better. If you are not in it mentally, it will be a long game. If you are mentally in it, the game will go your way. It is what I have noticed.
"If you know the game 100 percent mentally," he continued, "you will know at the bottom of the seventh with bases loaded and near the eighth batter you can't be swinging at the first pitch. You have to help your team, work the pitcher and try to work the count. You will know how to handle it because you will be mentally prepared."
His parents are Todd and Amy. Jake said a part of his love for baseball could be in the blood since his dad still plays baseball and has always been a fan of baseball.
Jake's all time favorite team is the Philadephia Phillies and enjoys watching the Michigan favorite, the Detroit Tigers.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.