By Bruce Hope and Troy Hollinger
If you stand next to Colby Halter, the first thing you notice is, this kid is big. Not football player offensive lineman big, or basketball player power forward big, but he is big. He’s above average height, about six-foot-one, and muscular. You can see that he puts in time at the gym, so that every swing of the bat, if it makes contact, is meant to do damage and send its round opposition [the baseball] into some distant corner of the field, allowing him, his teammates, or some confluence of the two, to round the bases and score runs for his team.
Halter is very good at baseball, as evidenced by him being able to do something that very few athletes in any sport get the chance to do. Halter earned a spot on the 18-and-under USA baseball team.
“There’s nothing that compares to being offered to play for our country,” said Halter. “The whole buildup my whole life, I’ve looked up to guys like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, they all played on team USA, and just being a part of that group is just surreal for sure.”
Halter was invited to PDP [Prospect Development Pipeline] along with 79 of the other elite players in the country. After a month, that 80 player group was cut in half. That group then went to national trials in California where the group was finally cut down to the final 20. Halter made the team where he traveled overseas to such places as Taiwan and Korea to play in tournaments.
Halter’s presence is also a boon for his teammates. With scouts constantly coming to his games and practices, it gets attention onto his teammates which they might not otherwise have received.
“It means a lot to the program,” said high school teammate Max Hefner. “All the spotlight on him helps us work.”
Halter advises that skill is one of the most important things team USA looks for. A player for team USA is something of an American ambassador every time they go somewhere to play a game or a tournament.
“The best advice I can give someone who wants to play for team USA, is just to do everything the right way,” said Halter. “That is what they care about the most, is your integrity, and how hard you play the game. If you’re there, you’re talented but the little separators are your integrity and how hard you work every single day.”
He also takes great care to make sure that the repetitive motions of the game don’t damage his body by constant engaging in his rehab and plyocare exercises.
Halter recently signed to play baseball in college for his dream school and will be a Florida Gator next year before he hopefully embarks on a career in Major League Baseball.
“Being humble is one of the most important things I think anyone I can have,” said Halter. He had humility in spades.
Even if baseball doesn’t take him everywhere he wants to go in the future, it’s already taken him pretty far.