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Our summer as a Danbury Westerners host family

Former UConn star and Danbury Westerners first baseman was called up by the Texas Rangers last season. (Photo: UConn Athletics) Former UConn star and Danbury Westerners first baseman was called up by the Texas Rangers last season. (Photo: UConn Athletics)

Editor’s Note: This post was sent in by Kent Rohrer, whose family hosted Westerners first baseman and Texas Rangers top prospect Mike Olt.

We had been Westerners fans for years as I had boys in middle school and high school that were both avid baseball players and fans of the game. They both had dreams of playing major league baseball as do so many young boys. I had met members of the Westerners association and they learned about the opportunity to host a player. While we were originally apprehensive about doing it we decided that the spare bedroom on our house was all that was really needed to give it a chance.

Having a Westerner player spend 7 weeks with our family during the summer of 2008 was a great experience. Mike Olt had just completed his freshman year at UCONN and we were randomly selected to be the host family.

Mike was 19 years old at the time and was a very serious and committed baseball player. He fit in well with our family and was actually very much like an older brother to our three children.

The Westerners play a very aggressive schedule with a game nearly every day of their short season. Mike helped to show my kids what it takes if you are serious about sports. He was gone from the house every day to a practice or game.

For away games, the team travels as far away as Maine and they always come home after every game so many of the days for the players are long and tiring. Mike shared meals with our family when his schedule permitted and was quick to join in on the latest video games the boys played on their XBox. Watching Mike play baseball was amazing.

As a host family, you get free passes to the games and we attended as many home games as we could. While the average talent on the Westerners roster is always very good, Mike was a standout. It was obvious to me early on that he was one of those rare players that had both the talent and commitment to really make it in baseball.

Sure enough, after his Junior year at UCONN he was drafted in the first round by the Texas Rangers. It has been an exciting experience following Mike through his early career. We continue to remain in touch with Mike and we are hopeful that his career in baseball will continue to make progress in the seasons to come.

It was a great experience to be a host family and one that myself and my family will never forget. If you have room in your house and a little extra room in your heart, hosting a college player is a great opportunity for you and your family.