Royals Welcome Hillsdale College Catcher Donald Ring

Hillsdale College catcher Donald Ring will be stepping into uncharted territory when he heads south this summer to play for the Winchester Royals. A native of Illinois, Ring is looking forward to experiencing the Shenandoah Valley for the first time.

“It’s definitely a new experience. (The Valley Baseball League is) a good, competitive league. It’s also going to be the first summer where I don’t know anybody on the team,” Ring said.

Closing in on the postseason at Hillsdale, Ring is one of the top hitters for the Chargers while also making big leaps in development behind the plate.

After a historic 2017 campaign where he set single-season records in home runs (17) and RBI (63), the rising senior owns a slash line of .321/.388/.619 with nine home runs and 32 RBI. He leads his team in slugging percentage (.619) and doubles (13).

“I am so glad I came (to Hillsdale). Definitely would not be the player I am without Coach Theisen (Hillsdale head coach),” Ring said.

Ring did not start seriously catching until he arrived at Hillsdale. Originally an outfielder at Brother Rice High School, the Charger coaching staff has spent over two years transforming him to a field general behind the plate.

“I pride myself defensively because I came into college as an outfielder. (The coaching staff) wanted to make me a catcher when I got (to Hillsdale). I’ve been working the last 2+ years trying to get my defensive ability up,” Ring said.

Being an outfielder, Ring already possesses the arm strength to be a great catcher. However, there is much more to the position than being able to gun down runners.

“Where I’m at right now I feel like I have a good arm. My coach gets mad at me sometimes because I find an excuse to throw. If a guy gets on first, I back pick all the time,” Ring said.

Looking at current MLB players, Brian McCann comes to mind when comparing Ring.

“He’s got a good arm and a pop in his bat. I also think I’m more offensive than a defensive guy,” Ring said.

Naturally, Ring is eager to meet his new team and enjoy a successful final summer season.

“The thing I enjoy about summer ball the most is getting to know other players,” Ring said. “That’s where I’ve learned the most in the past two years is getting to playing with a bunch of different guys and picking their brains about certain things.”

Photo credit: Lorri Ackerman

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