For former Binghamton baseball ace Scott Diamond, a difference of 12 days helped determine the path of his professional career.
“I always told myself that if I didn’t make it to the majors by the time I was 25, I would quit baseball,” he said.
It was mid-July of 2011 when just 12 days separated the southpaw, who had been toiling away in the minor leagues for three years, from his 25th birthday. Then it came — the call that changed it all.
Diamond, who was playing for the Rochester Red Wings — the Minnesota Twins’ Triple-A affiliate — remembers being called into his manager’s office and receiving the news that instead of starting for the Red Wings the next day, he would take the mound for the Twins at Target Field.
On July 18, 2011, the Guelph, Ontario native became the first player in BU history to appear in a major league baseball game. He gave up just three earned runs to the division-leading Cleveland Indians over 6 1/3 innings.
“I was in disbelief,” Diamond said. “All the effort I put in and all the support I had from different people finally paid off. In that moment, everything came full circle.”
This past December, the lefty’s journey in professional baseball continued when he signed a one-year, $600,000 contract with the SK Wyverns, who compete in the Korea Baseball Organization League of South Korea. According to Diamond, the decision was fueled by the desire to make the most out of the time remaining in his career.
“I’m definitely on the backside of my career, but my wife and I have always been the adventurous type and we couldn’t turn down the opportunity to start a new life in another country,” he said.
Prior to his time at BU, the idea of going pro existed to him as it does to every kid who plays baseball growing up — a fantasy.
“Making the majors is same dream that millions of kids have, so actually being able to do it was pretty special just because of those odds,” he said.
According to Diamond, the prospect of becoming an amateur changed from a fantasy to a possibility after his first season in a Bearcats uniform, when he earned 2005 America East (AE) Rookie of the Year after going 4-2 and posting a 2.85 ERA in conference play. He continued to lead BU’s staff in the coming years, garnering the attention of major league scouts by his junior year.
In June 2007, three weeks after finishing final exams for the industrial and systems engineering degree he was pursuing, Diamond waited for a call on his cellphone during the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. His phone never rang, and instead he signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Braves, joining the organization’s Single-A team the following spring.
Following his debut in 2011, Diamond recorded the most successful year of his career in 2012, winning 12 games and recording a 3.54 ERA. Since that notable season, Diamond’s path in baseball has included elbow surgery, demotions and short stints with the Cincinnati Reds, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays.
“Like any other career, [baseball] has its high points and its lows,” he said. “You’re never happy when you get sent down, but you have to get over it and pick yourself up if you want to continue.”
In order to pursue his major league aspirations, Diamond was forced to put much of his life, including his education, on hold. He credits his academic experiences at BU as motivating factors for completing his bachelor’s degree in 2011.
“It’s because of the relationships I formed during my time in the engineering program and the verbal commitments I made to my friends, parents and teachers, that I knew I wanted to come back and finish my degree,” he said.
No matter where his career has brought him, Diamond has remained an avid follower of Binghamton’s baseball program, which has captured the AE title in three of the last four years.
“Last season, when they had a bunch of come-from-behind victories in the conference tournament, I was watching,” he said. “I’m very proud and impressed of what the guys on the team are doing now.”