Daniel Cronkright is a venerated athlete of the Central Michigan University community, and will look to impart some of the wisdom and skills he learned during his time at CMU as the guest speaker for this season's Meet the Chippewas event.
An accomplished student-athlete from 1982-85, Cronkright was named the team's MVP in 1984 and 1985, when the team went 41-17 and 37-15-1, respectively. He was, at one time, the record holder for most career doubles, extra base hits and slugging percentage at CMU, and remains in the top 10 all time for both extra base hits and slugging percentage. Additionally, Cronkright was First Team All Mid-American Conference and All Mideast Region in 1985.
While his clutch hitting ability netted him two MVP honors, Cronkright says his fondest experiences from his time at CMU are the friendships he made with his teammates.
“The friendships that I made at Central are something that I hold very highly, it was almost like we had our very own fraternity on the team, we had the same interests, it was quite a good group of guys.”
Cronkright cites the coaching staff at CMU during his career as helping to prepare him for success in his baseball career.
“I definitely learned some discipline and structure from Coach Keilitz, he had very structured practices, and I learned a lot from the other coaches about hitting and competing at that level, definitely.”, explained Cronkright.
The baseball program at CMU dates back to 1896, and as this season's team prepares to be unveiled, Cronkright touched on the tradition of the university and what it means to be a Chippewa.
“I think the program has a tradition of being arguably one of the best teams in the Midwest during the time I played there and continuing on after me, so we're a pretty good program.”
Cronkright's career at CMU and his contributions to the program were formally recognized and immortalized with his induction into the Central Michigan University Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2006.
“I was very proud of being inducted, it was quite an honor, and there were other members of my team that were inducted into the Hall of Fame, and so it was truly an honor," Cronkright said.
Looking ahead to Saturday's Meet the Chippewas event, Cronkright looks forward to speaking to the team about his time at CMU and what it meant to him and what it continues to do for him as a valued member of the CMU community.
“ It's an honor to come back, 30 years after we started the string of consecutive MAC Championships, and I'm hoping to get some of that momentum going again this year with the Chippewas, so it's a great honor.”