Capers Wolkom: Varsity baseball’s backbone

Alberto Deleon

Capers Wolkom (middle) observes a Varsity baseball game
Capers Wolkom (middle) observes a varsity baseball game.

Senior Capers Wolkom stands close to the field’s edge, engrossed in the hidden mechanics of the opposite team. Though the sound of the racing projectile breaks the silence, his concentration remains intact. His unwavering stare follows the ball from the pitcher’s fingertips to its seat within the catcher’s glove.

Figuring out what type of pitch the other team is throwing is just one of Wolkom’s many duties as team manager for the baseball team.

“He’s a jack of all trades and the team really respects him,” said boys’ varsity baseball coach Mike Firenzi. “He does all the things that [the players] would have to do if he wasn’t here and they respect him for that. He’s a big part of our practice plan every day.”

Whether he’s catching fly balls during practice, setting up hitting stations, or distributing equipment, Wolkom always finds a way to help the team. He also regularly attends varsity games to aid the coaches.

“On game days I sometimes keep score, and other times I basically try to figure out what the other team is trying to do to us. I see what type of pitch they’re throwing and if I think the coach is doing things right,” Wolkom said.

No matter what he’s doing, Wolkom’s actions don’t go unappreciated.

“Capers is a very happy-go-lucky kid. He’s always smiling, always happy, great guy to have around,” Firenzi said.

As Zach Cohen, a junior pitcher on varsity, was being interviewed, one passing player shouted, “Capers is the man!”

“He’s willing to help out the team wherever he can and is a great team supporter,” Cohen said.

Wolkom discovered his passion for baseball in third grade when he played Little League. After playing for five years, Wolkom started his freshman year at Redwood. He tried out for the team in the spring of 2012, hoping to play right field.

“I didn’t make the team,” Wolkom said. “I can’t see things from afar so that really doesn’t go well if you’re trying to find a base about 60 feet away.”

In that same year, Firenzi noticed Wolkom. At the time, Firenzi was only an assistant coach.

“That year he helped out the freshman team, then the JV team last year. This year he’s with [varsity],” Firenzi said.

“He just came out and asked me for the position,” Firenzi said. “Since then he’s been on the field every day except for when he has to work.”

Wolkom is the first person to receive the title of team manager in the history of Redwood baseball. His duties as manager go hand in hand with his inclination toward assisting people.

“It is more important to work as a team than focusing on your own goals,” Wolkom said. “Instead of a single person trying to fill the stat sheet or trying to get a Division I school to recruit you, you should think of yourself as a part of the team.”

“Even though he doesn’t play, he’s very much a part of this team and his heart is in the right place,” said senior Tyler Peck, a pitcher on the varsity baseball team.

According to Wolkom, his disappointment subsided upon becoming team manager.

“The biggest challenge I’ve faced in baseball is trying to get over not making the team, but that kind of went away when I became team manager,” Wolkom said. “I think it’s great. It’s given me a lot of experience. This can really help me in the future if I do move on to do things in the sports realm.”