It’s been a long trip from Highland High School to the Carl D. Erskine Award of Excellence for Anderson University alum Brady Roundtree BA '11.
But the journey has been worthwhile as he claimed the statuette at the award luncheon Tuesday, presented by the Anderson Rotary Club at Anderson Country Club.
“When I was graduating from Highland, if somebody had told me that someday I’d be getting this award, I would have said they were crazy,” said Roundtree. “Getting out of Anderson was the first thing I wanted to do.”
So he went to college at Webster University in St. Louis.
“I knew in the first month or maybe after the first week that this wasn’t the place for me,” said Roundtree. “I’m so grateful to (former Anderson University) Coach (Don) Brandon for taking me in and giving me an opportunity to play.”
[Photo, from left: Carl Erskine, Brady Roundtree, and Anderson Rotary Club President Lisa Floyd. Credit: Don Knight / The Herald Bulletin]
He got limited play as a freshman but was second team All-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference after his sophomore season. The next two years, first at second base and then at shortstop, he also was all-conference.
For his career with the Ravens, he hit .343 with 14 homers and 105 RBIs. He stole 40 of 43 bases and that .930 percentage is a school record.
AU coach David Pressley, who just completed his first season as head coach, said, “I’m excited about the opportunity to be here. This was a tough decision between deserving candidates. Brady worked hard every day. As a senior, though he wasn’t a vocal leader, he spoke up when he was needed. He just grew and grew and grew every day.”
Roundtree credited Pressley with being instrumental in his development.
“Without your help fixing my swing, I would never have been able to be standing here,” said Roundtree, the 10th recipient of this award.
“The name on the award is really insignificant to what the award is really all about,” Erskine said. “This is about getting the most out of what is given to you.”
Speaking to Roundtree he said, “Baseball has been a good vehicle for you. It was for me.”
“After a year at AU, I fell in love with the program and with my teammates,” said Roundtree, who spent a good deal of time in his speech acknowledging the love for his teammates. “I learned a lot about leadership skills. I wouldn’t be here without the coaches and without my teammates.”
Anderson Rotary Club presented Anderson University president Dr. James L. Edwards a $500 gift. Roundtree’s name will become part of the permanent display honoring the Erskine Award winners at the Kardatzke Wellness Center on the AU campus.
— Rick Teverbaugh is sports editor for The Herald Bulletin. Story reposted with permission.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.