Guam may be beautiful, but it is too small to hold Chancellor San Miguel, SWC’s 18-year-old catcher. Baseball is his first love. Always has been.
“When I was three or four I put a glove on my left hand and picked up a bat with my right,” he said. “My father just knew I was going to be a baseball player.”
San Miguel credits his father for all of his achievements, recalling practicing for hours every day until he had to beg his father to stop. To this day San Miguel carries his father’s words of encouragement, giving him the boost of strength that everyone needs in not only baseball, but life.
“To succeed you must strive. To strive in what you want you must be determined.”
At the age of 10 San Miguel made his Little League’s All-Star team as a catcher. He was the youngest player picked.
After winning the local and regional qualifying tournaments, Guam made it to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA as Team Pacific. San Miguel and his team were featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Their run at a championship and worldwide fame would end abruptly after they dropped three consecutive games in the tournament, but San Miguel was undeterred.
“It was every Little Leaguers dream to go that far,” he said.
At the age of 13 San Miguel begged his parents for permission to move in with his aunts in San Diego. Although his family was struggling with personal issues and living off of a single income, they were extremely supportive of his goals and allowed him to immigrate.
“I wanted to come out here to pursue my dreams of baseball,” said San Miguel.
Coming from a family of six, it was hard for him to leave home he said, but his siblings supported his diamond dreams. He made the varsity baseball team at Hilltop High School as a freshman and hit .310.
A brief stint with the Chula Vista North winter ball team would put San Miguel on the local radar. He hit .410 as a junior and .479 his senior year, and dreamed of landing a university scholarship. He got no offers.
“I kind of messed up on my part because I didn’t send any letters to coaches asking them to come out and see me,” he said.
After graduating from high school in June 2010, San Miguel enrolled at SWC.
“I decided to come to Southwestern not because it was my only option at the time, but because the baseball coach from SWC had seen me play so he knew my weaknesses and strong points,” he said.
SWC assistant coach Kenny Salazar said San Miguel is one of the stars on the baseball team.
“Chancellor is a very hard worker, he is always the first one at practice,” said Salazar. “He makes sure he does everything he can to get to practice, even if it means getting up early to take the bus or ride his bike. No one but him makes the effort for his success.”
Life at home for San Miguel is stressful at times, but the benefits that baseball has given him makes it all worthwhile.
“I’m a guy living with two ladies, I had to adjust to their lifestyle,” he said. “But I’m enjoying my life here. It’s the same like it was in Guam, just different people.”
After a successful freshman season at SWC, San Miguel said he remains optimistic.
“I like playing at SWC,” he said. “The coaches are great and the team is good. I hope we go far.”