Mumme steps into the box for his first at-bat of his final year for the Bears. Last year as a junior, Mumme was named first-team All-American and looks to maintain his status of being one of the best outfielders in the country. Here we go folks; the pitcher gets the sign and gets set. Here’s the wind up and the pitch and … the season is over.
One of the most prolific players to ever step on the campus in Collegeville was set to lead his team to their first Centennial Conference championship since 2000. On top of this, Mumme was on pace to set records that had a chance to last until his children had children. But it was all for naught. Covid-19 took the world by storm and forced everyone in their homes for the unforeseeable future. Life has changed drastically for Mumme, but regardless, Alex Mumme is one of the greatest athletes in Ursinus College’s history.
It was spring break, and the Bears were on their annual trip to Florida to get ready for their season. The Bears were winning a lot down in the Sunshine State, enjoying the weather and some good baseball. As the days pass, there was some chatter among coaches that something may happen to the season, but the players and coaches tried not to pay attention to the outside noise and just continued to play baseball. It was their second off day; Coach Exeter called a meeting for whoever was on site at the hotel. He broke the news: season is over, but they will play all of the remaining games they have down there.
Mumme was not on site and missed the meeting. He received news from fellow seniors about what had just happened. “I was in complete disbelief. It’s as if I was in a bad dream and was just waiting to wake up,” said the senior outfielder. “I was at a loss of words and still somewhat am. I’ve never cried so much before. This team was going to do something special, but there is nothing we can do about it. It is important that everyone stays home and stays safe so we can get back to our normal lives.”
Even with his senior campaign cut short, Mumme already etched his name in the Ursinus history books. He was in first place for career home runs, second in RBI (one behind the leader), second in hits (29 hits away from first and 31 from 200), first in career runs scored, fourth in career on-base percentage, first in career doubles, first in career slugging percentage, fourth and fifth in single season batting average, tied for first in single season hits, first in single season home runs, first in single season runs which he lead the nation in last year, first and second in single season doubles, and finally, first in single season runs batted in.
Mumme just about broke the record for almost every offensive category, but the ones that will stick with him the most are the career hits and RBI record. “I knew I was close. I don’t try to go out there and break records. I do whatever I can to help the team” said Mumme, “If I break records along the way, great. I just want to win.”
Mumme finished his career with a .386 average, .444 on-base percentage, and a .737 slugging. He accumulated 169 hits over his four years, averaging 52 hits per season, which would have shattered the hits record and made him the only player in Ursinus history to achieve 200 hits. On top of this, he hit 58 doubles, 3 triples, 30 home runs, 113 RBI’s, 43 walks, a staggering 106 strikeouts, and 10 stolen bases in 110 games played.
Yes, Mumme played Division 3 baseball, but these types of careers do not happen often at this level. He was also 52 games shy of playing a full 162 game MLB season. Let’s compare Mumme to 2019 AL MVP Mike Trout. Mike Trout, of the Los Angeles Angels is considered the best player in baseball. He played 134 games last season and put up career numbers. He hit .291 with a .438 on-base and .645 slugging. He had 137 hits, 27 doubles, 2 triples, 45 home runs and 104 RBIs. Trout played more games and had more at-bats, and Mumme blew his numbers out of the water.
Mumme’s ability to do damage made him one of the most feared hitters in the conference. Senior pitcher Tommy Koide of Dickinson college, who was a first-team all-conference pitcher last year, had high praise for Mumme. “I grew up playing with and against Mumme. When I learned I was going to have to play against him in college, I was not thrilled. He is easily one of the best hitters I have ever had to pitch to. I never wanted to throw him a strike.”
Baseball is all that Mumme has ever known. It is his life, but now, his life has been taken away from him without him being able to put up a fight. What is next now for Mumme? “You know, I am not sure. I am looking at going to a tryout held by the Phillies. I know that I was granted another year of eligibility, but I haven’t put much thought into it. All of this is still hurting.”
Whatever is next for Mumme, whether it is going back to school, trying to make a pro club, or acclimating himself to normal civilian life, he will be remembered as the GOAT. The greatest Bear of all time.
“Now batting for the Bears #21 Alex Mumme.” Mumme stepping in for his final first at-bat of his college career, looking to continue the success of last season. The pitcher gets the sign, gets set. Here’s the wind-up and the pitch and …