HawkStrong: Ricky Kidd makes history as the first Hawk to receive a Big Ten athletic scholarship
Ricky Kidd, a right-handed pitcher for the HFC baseball team, has become the first HFC student-athlete to receive an athletic scholarship to a Big Ten University. This fall, he will continue his education and athletic career at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
“It truly is a dream come true to be able to play the sport I love most at my dream school. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family as well as my teammates and coaches at HFC who continue to push me to become the best pitcher I can possibly be,” said Kidd.
U-M Associate Head Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Ben Greenspan is looking forward to having Kidd join the Wolverines.
“We are very excited about what Ricky brings to the Michigan baseball program,” said Greenspan. “He is a high-level student-athlete. We are optimistic Ricky will come in right away and contribute on and off the field.”
A prospect for the Texas Rangers
“I recently completed a workout for the Rangers and it went great!” said Kidd. “I have had great talks with all the scouts and I am in good spirits.”
Kidd will find out if he made the cut by Tuesday, July 11, which is the MLB draft end date. If he is drafted by the Rangers, he will delay his attendance at U-M.
“My ultimate career goal is to get drafted and play professionally, but if that doesn’t work out, I would like to be part of the financial side of sports and work in the front office of a professional team,” said Kidd. “Baseball is my primary passion in life. I am a student of the game, constantly seeking to understand every detail, especially when it comes to my craft – pitching! I want to love what I do and do what I love – baseball!”
Baseball from age 3
A lifelong Trenton resident, Kidd is the eldest of three children. He has been playing baseball since he was 3 and started playing on Little League baseball teams when he was 6.
“I’ve always had a glove on my hand and been throwing a baseball since I’ve been able to walk,” he said.
Kidd graduated from Trenton High School in 2021. During his THS days, he played basketball and baseball, serving as captain of the baseball team his senior year. He was also involved in the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, and the Environmental Club.
Initially, Kidd committed to playing baseball at a 4-year university, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed his plans. He reassessed his options and decided to come to HFC, which had also made him an offer.
“Coach Mike Abney welcomed me with open arms and let me know that if I ever needed anything to give him a call – even after I originally committed to another school. Because of this, I felt that HFC was the right place to study and develop athletically,” he said. “Coach Abney is a great person who truly cares for his players. I truly cannot be more thankful for Coach Abney giving me an opportunity to play at HFC. I will always remember the days of the HFC Hawks making the regional tournament for the first time in quite a while. It truly was special.”
Achieving many great things athletically and academically at HFC
Kidd attended HFC on an athletic scholarship and studied business. After transferring to U-M this fall, he will major in finance.
“I always admired my father, a hard-working businessman. I became interested and would ask him questions about business. I became more and more interested in the field of finance,” said Kidd. “HFC has helped me achieve many great things academically. I’ve learned to be proud of the work I do, as well as learn how to manage my time well with being a student-athlete.”
On the academic side, English instructor Dr. Sommer Sterud and accounting instructor Joanne Wade had a positive influence on Kidd.
“They always offered to help me if I was struggling with an assignment and were always interested in talking about the HFC baseball team,” recalled Kidd.
Sterud called Kidd a hard-working student who deserves every bit of his success.
“One thing I always felt from Ricky when he was in my College Writing and Research class was that he really wanted to understand whatever topic he undertook for a paper. Students are allowed to choose their own topics for most of their essays, and he chose the effects of COVID on border tensions,” she recalled. “He would chat with me throughout the weeks, challenging his own assumptions and asking lots of questions. He was the rare student who allowed himself to change his mind during the writing process, which is a thing I beg students to be open to because that is where real learning occurs. While many students struggle with this, it seemed second nature to Ricky.”
On the athletic side, HFC pitching coaches Kyle Roberts and Enrique Reboyras also had a positive influence on Kidd.
“Both have developed me and prepared me to play at the next level,” said Kidd. “My current favorite baseball player is Trevor Bauer of the Yokohama DeNA BayStars (in the Japanese Central League). I love watching his videos on pitching. My all-time favorite player is Greg Maddux (formerly of the Atlanta Braves). I see a little bit of him in myself in the way I pitch.”
“I’m just settling in”
For the 2022-23 season, Kidd was awarded with the following honors and accolades by the Michigan Community College Athletic Association:
- Co-Player of the Year, Eastern Conference
- Region XII All-Region Team
- All-MCCAA Team
- MCCAA First Team All-Eastern Conference
“I will always be connected to the game of baseball,” said Kidd. “Even if I don’t play baseball professionally, this sport has taught me many life lessons and has created many friendships that will last.”
Abney is proud of Kidd’s accomplishments.
“I am very happy that Ricky will be continuing his education and baseball career at U-M this fall,” said Abney. “As Ricky always said while on the mound, ‘I’m just settling in.’ I have confidence in saying that he's just settling into his next chapter in life, so the opposition better be ready!”