Q&A with Baseball's Clayton Dalrymple

Dalrymple came to K-State in 2013 and made a quick impact on the Wildcats' offense as he hit .500 as a pinch hitter, helping K-State win the Big 12. The following season, he batted a .241 (26-for-108) with four doubles, 13 RBIs, 21 walks and 10 stolen bases. 
A competitor both on and off the field, Dalrymple was named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team in 2014 and was a member of the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll in the fall of 2013. 
Here's a look at K-State Sports Extra's conversation with Dalrymple prior to opening the 2015 season this past weekend:
Sports ExtraWith the season getting ready to begin, what is the atmosphere like in the Wildcat clubhouse?
Clayton Dalrymple: We're really excited to get this thing going. We've been playing against each other for seven months now, so it was a long grind and we're really excited. I'm a hitter, so I've been facing the same pitchers over and over. I'm really excited to see some new arms and see the competition around the country.
SE: There are a lot of new faces on this team. What do like the most about this group?
CD: We have a lot of great new guys on this team, a lot of new teammates, but I like having new guys because it adds a lot of competition. Everyone is working for the same goal; we all mesh. The coaches did a great job of doing team-bonding things in the fall, so we have great chemistry. I like my teammates, and I think we're going to have a great season because of the chemistry. We all genuinely care about each other, and that's a great thing.
SE: How long have you been playing baseball?
CD: I've been playing baseball since I can remember. I couldn't tell you an exact start date, but apparently my first word when I was little was "ball." I've always loved sports, and I've been playing baseball for as long as I can remember.
SE: Your dad played football and your mom was an outstanding tennis player at the University of Miami. Did you ever think about playing either those two sports?
CD: I tried them both. I used to play a lot of different sports. Growing up I played football, but I didn't like to get hit. I played tennis as well, but I just couldn't handle missing shots. I was too immature for tennis at the time - it's a tough sport - so the last sport left was baseball. I just loved playing baseball all the time and couldn't imagine my life without it.
SE: What's your favorite part about the game of baseball?
CD: My favorite part about the game is competing and playing against the best players in the country at this level. I like stealing bases and I like using my strengths to help the team win. I like the team aspect of it.
SE: You said you like to steal bases, and I know you had 10 stolen bases last year. So I was wondering if you watched the World Series and what you thought about Billy Butler's steal?
CD: Well, it was a great job by him because nobody was expecting him to steal and he found an opportunity to do so and he did. I think that's what this K-State team is going to be like this year. Not just one or two guys are going to steal - we're probably one of the fastest teams I can remember at Kansas State. All the players on our team are going to be stealing bases, and I'm really excited to see that. 
SE: Are you a fan of Major League Baseball?
CD: Growing up in Texas, I've always been a Rangers fan. I've been going to Rangers games for a long time, so they're the team I cheer for. They had a couple of World Series runs. The Rangers are my team.
SE: Do you have any hidden talents?
CD: I have a few. I do a good job of giving out nicknames, and I think I can draw Disney characters very well.
SE: Who have you given nicknames to on this K-State team?
CD: (Laughing) I've given Max Brown a lot of nicknames, one of them is Kiwi, the other is Jimmy. Nate Williams, I call him Brotha Man, and Jake Wootke is just Jakey Cakey. I just have a lot of nicknames for a lot of guys on the team.
SE: What's your favorite baseball movie?
CD: My favorite baseball movie, it's a tie between Rookie of the Year and The Sandlot. They're two great movies and they're very quotable. That's a big key for me as far as movies go.
SE: Do you have a favorite song or singer?
CD: I like country music. I'm not too picky as far as music goes. I went to a George Strait concert this summer - Cowboy Rides Away - that was very cool.
SE: What are you majoring in?
CD: Business Management. I feel like the classes they offered for that degree were very interesting to me and I really like numbers. That's why I declared for the College of Business and went with the management degree. We'll see where that takes me after college.
SE: And finally, I always finish up with this question: What's the best part about being a student-athlete at K-State?
CD: I couldn't think of a better place to play college athletics. Here at Kansas State, everybody cares about everybody else. As far as the student-athletes go, we're all cheering for all the teams all the time. I have a lot of friends on a lot of other athletics teams, so it's really fun. I'm really thankful for the opportunity I've been given. There is no other family atmosphere like the one here at Kansas State.
 

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