Bison Nation, LET’S RIDE: The Josh Speaker Story
By: Zach Pressnell
Name: Josh Speaker
Birthday: September 14, 2001
Year: COVID Senior
Position: 1st Baseman/Pitcher
Fun Fact: He is related to Tris Speaker, who holds the record for the most doubles in MLB history.
Introducing Josh Speaker
Josh Speaker is one of the newest faces in the Bethany community, having transferred here in the Fall of 2022. But the Josh Speaker story starts way before he ever stepped foot on campus. The sport of baseball has been engrained in his life since he was just a little boy. Little is one of the adjectives that can’t be used to describe the 6’2 senior anymore. The First Baseman has achieved over a 340-pound bench press and over a 600-pound deadlift, both the highest on the baseball team by a wide margin.
Baseball became extremely important to myself at the age of 13 while I was playing for the Pittsburgh Diamond Dawgs.” Speaker said
But even before that, baseball has always been in his blood. In fact, he is a relative of a former Major League baseball player. Not just any player either. He’s related to Hall-of-Famer Tris Speaker, who holds the MLB record for most career doubles. Talk about baseball in the genetics.
This is the Josh Speaker Story.
A Winding Road
Josh Speaker’s path to Bethany College was far from an ordinary one. Out of high school, Speaker committed to Walsh University, a division 2 school located in North Canton, Ohio. But just like many of our current college students, COVID-19 put him in a tough situation with Walsh. This led to him transferring to Franciscan University, where he would be named an All-PAC Designated Hitter in 2021. He held a .311 batting average and totaled 18 extra-base-hits in 180 at bats, including 4 home runs.
But the journey doesn’t end there.
After the Fall of 2021, Speaker was then led to transfer to La Roche for the Spring 2022 season. After 1 semester there, he finally ended up at Bethany College.
“I cannot thank Coach Thomas enough for the support he has given me. I am tremendously blessed to finally be at Bethany College to finish up my accounting degree and give everything I have left on the baseball field with my teammates.” Speaker said.
More Than Just an Athlete
Speaker's impact goes beyond his production on the field. In fact, he prides himself on being a leader and a coach. Yes, a baseball coach.
“After high school, I was given the opportunity to coach at the Pittsburgh Diamond Dawg organization and I love it. I have been coaching there for 3 years now and I have learned more about the game of baseball by coaching than from playing.” Speaker said. “Therefore, I hope all of this will help the Bison Baseball team and myself to reach the PAC playoffs and compete against the best in our conference. Bison Nation, Let’s Ride!”
The journey from a player to a coach has led the senior to become an extraordinary leader and teammate. The energy when Speaker is around is heightened, enthusiastic, and much different than past seasons. With all that said, Speaker and his teammates have just one thing on their mind: WIN.
“There’s no I in team and you cannot win without a team. I want to see the Bethany Bison make ourselves known in the PAC.” Speaker said.
The Josh Speaker Story is far from over. In fact, with 5th year options in play, he could spend 2 years at Bethany College. Either way, expect a high-powered year from the Bison First Baseman. His name is going to be attached to a lot of success and accolades this spring. Bison Nation, Let’s Ride!