Spencer Bivens has played baseball all over.
He took the mound as a pitcher for State College Area High School. Baseball then took him to Louisburg College in North Carolina. He said he was not a heavily-recruited prospect and junior college gave him a second chance.
Next, he made his way back home to Penn State. He worked out with the Nittany Lion baseball team, but did not make the final roster for the spring.
The journey continued to Claremore, Oklahoma. Bivens took an opportunity at Division II Rogers State University. Throughout his years, he kept getting stronger and throwing harder.
Bivens finished his career at Rogers State with a strong senior season. He completed the 2018 year with 2.37 ERA and tossed six complete games. He earned second team All-Heartland Conference honors.
His college career ended. Now what?
France. That’s what.
Bivens spent six months in France outside of Paris playing baseball professionally for the Savigny Lions. He did not speak any french, but he did learn to like escargot (you know – the famous french snails dish).
“I learned a lot of curse words. A few phrases here and there. Really nothing substantial sadly,” Bivens said.
Baseball took Bivens from junior college to France. He was set to play in the Czech Republic this summer. Then the coronavirus shut down travel just weeks before he was set to leave the country.
So he kept busy. He played in the Centre County Baseball League for the Lemont Ducks keeping his skills sharp. Now, he has a new opportunity.
Bivens is currently playing for the Washington Wild Things – a team in the independent Frontier League. The Frontier League markets itself as the “largest and longest running independent professional baseball league.” It usually features 14 teams, but has downsized for this summer to just four teams thanks to COVID-19.
“I would like to get to some tryouts of some sort. Maybe continue to play Indy ball and see where that takes me,” he said.
His journey has been long, windy and now features a pandemic. Bivens stuck to baseball. Now, he hopes his younger brother in Japan can watch him play one day.
“It is tough not having him around or being able to be there for him. Part of my dream in continuing baseball is that maybe he could see me play. I would absolutely love that.”