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EMU alum Erik Kratz talks community at Athletics Fireside Gathering

(© Sean Gladwell –

EMU hosted the third Athletics Fireside Gathering of the year, and while it gave Royals fans an inside look into EMU Athletics, most of the hour-long session was spent talking with former Major League Baseball player Erik Kratz.

Kratz, a 2002 alumnus of Eastern Mennonite and a member of EMU’s Hall of Honor, retired this offseason after 19 years in professional baseball, including 11 seasons in the Major Leagues.

Kratz was also a member of Team USA, playing in the Premier 12 tournament and being named to the All-World Baseball Team in 2019. He was EMU’s Alumnus of the Year that same year.

As part of the time, Kratz answered an assortment of questions from where he learned to throw a knuckleball to his favorite home plate collision. He also talked about how his EMU education prepared him for his life after college.

“One of the core principles of EMU is community,” Kratz said. “‘Lead Together.’ It doesn’t say ‘Lead By Yourself.’ It says ‘Lead Together.’ And teams are looking for that community. So, for four years I went to EMU and learned what building community was. … Those are all traits I learned at EMU without taking a class called ‘Community 101’. It was things that were taught to me the whole time I was there.”

Click here to see the entire interview with Erik Kratz.

augusta free press
augusta free press