Pilot in the spotlight: Chet Thompson

By The Beacon | March 6, 2014 1:38am
Redshirt senior Chet Thompson plays in the outfield against UC Irvine. Photo by Parker Shoaff


By Cassie Sheridan |

Chet Thompson


Redshirt senior

Gig Harbor, Wash.

Baseball player Chet Thompson can be found in the outfield, on 23rd street in Portland or in a Franz classroom doing math. In last year’s season, the redshirt senior made the WCC All-Academic team and tied for the team high with three triples, while tallying 18 total hits, three doubles and 16 runs scored. Thompson is a math major and is from Gig Harbor, Wash.

What is your first memory playing baseball?

I was 5 years old and I definitely didn’t like baseball. My parents took me to t-ball and I didn’t like large groups of people and they kind of dragged me out there.  I immediately started crying, trying to get out of there.  Well, my parents had already paid for it so they basically said, ‘Chet, you are going to this no matter what.’ They would take me there, drop me off and if I cried, I cried and I just had to deal with it. Ironically, I ended up falling in love with it from then on out.

Do you have any pre-game superstitions?

I always go up to the plate doing the same thing every single time. I walk slow, stretch my arm with my bat, take a swing and then stretch my right hamstring. I don’t know why I do that. Even on turf fields where there isn’t any dirt to scratch with your foot I’ll scratch the turf.  I do that every single time.

Do you have a walk-up song?

This year, it is called “Shining Star” by Earth, Wind, & Fire. I like funk. I always tell people I was born for the 70s, missed it though.

What would you say your team’s dugout dynamic is?

This is actually an interesting difference. It seems like during summer ball, everyone is really talkative about a lot of things other than baseball. Then, when you get to college season, it’s not as much fun and games in the dugout. The conversations are always about what to change, what you have picked up on from the other team, everyone is looking out for things to help get the W. It’s definitely more focused during the college season. In the summer, people are joking around. You always see all these jokes on movies and TV like lighting people’s shoes on fire, that sort of stuff happens in summer ball. The consequences of winning and losing aren’t as high, you can be a little looser.

What kind of things do you enjoy doing outside of baseball and school?

Well, I am a math major, so I am a bit of a nerd. I love collecting things. Ever since I was little I’ve been collecting comic books, baseball cards; I was really into Pokemon. So I am always looking for valuable stuff to add to my collections. I also spend a lot of time hanging out with my friends that are non-athletes. It’s fun to talk about other things than sports sometimes because that’s what I spend so much of my time doing.

When did you start collecting baseball cards?

I started collecting baseball cards when I think I was about 8 years old. I went to my cousin’s house and they gave me their collection and I fell in love with it. I have a lot of awesome rookie cards from that original collection, like Derek Jeter’s rookie card that they didn’t know was worth anything.

Do you have a favorite place in Portland?

There are so many places I like to go! How about favorite food place? No…that’s even tougher. Well, I guess my favorite area is probably 21st and 23rd  it’s just a cool place, tons to do, some might say a little hipsterish Portland. I also really like Mississippi, not just for the bar scene, there’s a bunch of cool stuff there.

I apologize in advance for asking this, the dreaded question, do you have plans for after you graduate?

Well, what I want to do is become an actuary. Your next questions is ‘what is an actuary?’ Have you seen “Along Came Polly?” It’s what Ben Stiller’s profession is in that movie. An actuary is basically a risk assessor or analyzer. You use statistics and probability to determine things such as risk behaviors and things like that for insurance companies. That is my goal, my dream job if you will.