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Eric Snow: A passion for the game of baseball through his father’s eyes

Chris and Eric Snow have loved baseball together as a unit since Eric was old enough to start playing baseball. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/ CHRIS SNOW

It was another family dinner night in the Snow household. Eight-year-old Eric, now freshman shortstop of USF baseball, went to his room and grabbed an orange ball from the many Super Balls he had collected, bouncing them against cabinets and walls while his mom and dad cooked dinner. 

Eric’s father, Chris Snow, would watch his son have the time of his life trying to grab it back as quickly as possible time after time. 

“He would take those and get his baseball glove and he would sling that ball against the cabinets while we were watching TV, or while we were cooking dinner. He would just do it over and over and over, his reaction time had to be quick because it was a Super Ball,” Chris said.  

“He would just sit there over and over and forehand backhand, wherever the ball was bouncing, he was trying to react and catch it with his glove. He would do that for a long time.” 

This is when Chris really began to see the growing love for the game of baseball in his son Eric, who is now a true freshman starting every day as a shortstop who has taken the Bulls by storm.

Baseball has been the glue to the father and son relationship between the two, and it all began when Eric could swing a bat.

“I started playing around three or four and I just kind of played everywhere,” Eric said. “My dad always played it as a kid growing up through high school, played a little bit of college ball and ended up quitting just due to family stuff. He got me started very young and I just carried it on.”

Since then, the pair would do anything baseball-related whenever they found spare time. Putting in the work to get better at the game was something that the Snows loved to do – it was only better when it brought them closer together. 

Chris said any free moment was a chance for them to work on Eric’s craft while spending time together.

“I mean it really was baseball, you know. It was ‘Dad can you catch with me’ or ‘ Dad can you throw grounders to me.’ Even through high school it was me throwing to him in the cage, we put a cage in our shop just to get extra reps,” Chris said. “So a lot of our time together has always been baseball oriented.” 

As Chris began to watch Eric get older and continue to play baseball, he knew there was something very special about him early on. Just playing regular baseball with peers his age wasn’t enough for the young kid.

By the time Eric began to play travel ball, Chris said he could see the potential in his son and did everything he could to push him in the right direction. 

“Eric was starting to get a little bored with rec ball. He was pretty good. He was spending some of his time instructing the other kids and helping them out,” Chris said. “But along with that came a little bit of boredom at the playing level.”

“We decided to kind of accelerate him and move him up to where he could play with similar competition. Travel had started, we were a little bit unfamiliar with that, but we talked with other families and just sought out a travel opportunity for him.”

Chris has always supported Eric in his baseball endeavors from tee ball to college ball. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/ CHRIS SNOW

It wasn’t until high school that Eric finally began to think that baseball could become a part of his future. He went under the radar and didn’t get a lot of attention from schools – until they all came at once. 

Come sophomore year, the numbers he was putting up were attracting the attention of many college scouts, all wanting him to be part of their programs. In that year alone, he recorded an astounding .529 batting average, and he only grew from there. 

When Eric was junior and senior in high school, he was only elevating his playing resume which made him more attractive to colleges. As a junior, he hit .553 and set a national high school record with 18 triples while sporting a .660 average and slamming 17 balls out of the park as a senior. 

While Eric started getting eyes from schools, Chris knew his son was a special kind of ball player.

“Once the colleges started offering and expressing an interest in him, I think we were like ‘Wow, he could really do something,’” Chris said. “He worked out real hard between his junior and senior seasons to involve his lower half and his swing more to hit for power. He had started hitting home runs his senior year and that kind of put it up a notch.”

“He wasn’t just fast, he could hit with power and so we talked to everybody. He had a lot of people, a lot of scouts that he was talking to with the different college recruiting guys.”

Once Eric committed to USF to further his education and build upon his baseball career, it all skyrocketed from there. 

The shortstop has made a name for himself as a rookie Bull, making an everyday appearance on the diamond and posting significant numbers for a freshman. So far, he leads the team with a .331 average and has also generated 36 RBI, nine doubles and seven homers this season. 

However, he didn’t have the fairytale start all ballplayers crave when they make their collegiate debut. The young Bull didn’t record his first hit until the Florida Atlantic series on Feb. 26 and didn’t hit the .250 mark till the Northeastern series on March 4, where he hit his first collegiate homer and grand slam. 

For Chris, he said Eric’s slow start only put him in the right direction in growing into the college ball player he is today. 

“When he had the slow start, he and I were talking about just hanging in there really close on the swings and don’t change anything. ‘You’re a good hitter,’ and kind of reinforced that he had the tools. Maybe it was confidence, maybe it was just the college spotlight. It gave him such a challenge, but once he hit that double off the wall at Florida State, I think I think that was kind of what turned the switch,” Chris said. 

“He told me at 12 o’clock ‘He’s [Bulls coach Billy Mohl] put me in for Florida State’ and I jumped in the car and ran down there. He struck out the first time looking really bad, I think the announcer said a couple of times that he looked defeated at the plate, but the second at-bat he  hit that double that hit the wall. After that, he hit that grand slam against Northeastern.” 

After that, Chris said he was never surprised about everything Eric accomplished in his first college season.

“I don’t want to say it was expected but I’m not shocked,” Chris said. “I am kind of blown away with his success in the field and at the plate. His fielding was always there, but his bat was the thing that earned him an everyday spot.”

The connection between the two when it comes to the game has pushed Eric to be the athlete he is today, and Eric says that is what drives him to play.

“My dad was the one that motivated me to keep trying every day and know my full potential. So I’ll give it to him.”