Friday Feature @SUMMballer

@SUMMballer

research and development / retired college athlete /  cryptocurrency specialist

Surround yourself with others active in their faith…

“I am a washed-up college baseballing tech nerd who spends most of his day as an operations analyst at an Ad Tech Firm named El Toro.” This sentence describes Ryan’s occupation and his personality very well. Ryan is arguably the funniest guy I have ever known in my life. That’s not to say he doesn’t take things seriously. When it is time to work, Ryan works harder than anyone I know.

Ryan dedicates most of his success to his family and coaches saying, “My amazing family and strong faith provide the foundation of what ultimately makes me ME… I’d be silly not to mention training long hours with my coach Adam Zebian, who probably spent more hours hitting with me that he spent with his own family. I am beyond thankful for this man. I played 4 summers in a row with Northeast baseball where I was lucky to play for a man named Scott Patterson”

There is no coincidence that Ryan was at Louisville when they had some of their best years in the programs history. Making it to 4 super regionals and 2 college world series in a 4 year stretch, while Ryan roamed the outfield. Ryan was a leader since the moment he arrived and was eventually voted captain during his senior year, “Being voted to captain by your own peers is something extremely special to me and is to this day the highest honor I have held.”

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Prepared and ambitious, Ryan began his MBA at Louisville immediately after finishing up his career at the College World Series. While continuing his education, he also worked an 8am-4pm job Monday through Friday. “Grad school gave me a taste of the real world and how crappy it could be. Yes, I was fortunate and have been lucky and really haven’t experienced the “real” world, but talking to mothers about bug bites and mosquito treatment while slaving away at homework for exams on content written in 1980 isn’t exactly a great time. “

El Toro is a digital marketing company where Ryan currently works. He loves the culture of the company because they allow him to be himself. He wears what is comfortable, can leave when needed, and is never questioned. I believe this is a testament to the trust Ryan has built throughout his life. He is a GSD (Get Stuff Done) kind of guy. He isn’t going to mess around or get distracted until his work is done. “I love what I do now because the culture of the places you spend your most time is important to who you are. I came from a military-style baseball culture that kicked [butt]. and now I’m part of an extremely intelligent, comfortable tech culture where we kick [butt].”

Bitcoin trading is a large hobby of Ryan’s. He is skilled and genuinely one of the best in the field. He has studied analysis and trading strategies for almost 5 years. If you are interested in his take on Bitcoin, continue reading this paragraph lol. “Bitcoin is a digital currency controlled by no central authority. its programmed money whose total supply will never exceed 21 million. it is the only currency in existence that allows you to be a truly financially sovereign individual. Laslty for those willing to be curious and learn more, bitcoin solves the Byzantine general’s problem, making it censorship resistant. Arguably its most important feature. It’s saved several of the financially oppressed. Bitcoin could assist in preventing the twisted authority of those in charge who selfishly destroy the wealth of many. Prime example, What’s happening in Venezuela right now.”

Ryan admits it can be hard to focus on Jesus when you have a job you love. He is someone who wants to be the best at whatever he does. “It’s an ongoing process I struggle with daily.” Ryan grew up Roman Catholic and has vivid memories of Sunday school twice a month from Elementary until High School. “The church played a more disciplinary role and because of this my relationship with Jesus was almost non-existent… I’m extremely thankful for my roman catholic upbringing and it built a base for me to truly understand what it’s like to find Christ.”

I have been very fortunate to have been roommates with Ryan for 6 years now. It has truly been a blessing to see him grow from freshman year in college till now. “There were 2 times my freshman year when I recall getting much stronger in my walk with Christ” The sermon that stuck with Ryan until this day was one about the devil’s temptations in our life. He also recalls a phrase that will always be on his mind, “Too soon, it’ll be too late.” Wow. There is so much truth in this phrase and I hope to remind myself of this daily. Ryan knows he can’t do this thing called “life” on his own, and continues to remind himself that he needs his friend Jesus’ help.

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Ryan struggled with injuries throughout his career at Louisville. What I admire most about him is how he handled these times. When things aren’t going your way, you really find out what kind of person you are. I saw Ryan become the best teammate, the hardest worker, and one of the best leaders I know. This guy could motivate someone to take a shower with their clothes on if he wanted to. He has a confidence that others are just drawn to. It has been special to see him really take younger players under his wing and show them that he cares about them. Life is all about relationships and Ryan doesn’t miss on those.

One relationship Ryan developed was one with Brendan McKay (if you don’t know who he is, google him, trust me.), “I’ll get crap for this if my friends read this but playing baseball with Brendan McKay will leave me with plenty of memories. sure I could go on about 1000 different great times but McKay is without a doubt the best college baseball player ever play the game. he is not done yet either. it was an actual joke how good he was.there were Plenty of memories but the dude hit a thousand doubles and had a million strikeouts on the mound.”

This is Ryan’s favorite verse in the bible, Psalms 28:7-9, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.”

Ryan wants to encourage others by saying, “Surround yourself with others active in their faith. Always know people are either in a storm, going into a storm, or coming out of a storm.” It is easy to not worry about your friends or those close to you and how they affect your life. The truth is that your ten closest friends are ultimately who you become. You want to see your future, show me your closest friends.

I ask Ryan how we can be praying for him and he had this to say, “I could use some prayer in the sleep region. I don’t sleep great. It’s mostly my fault. I know how powerful a Lyman prayer request is so if you could help your brother sleep a little better i would appreciate it!” He is too funny, but let’s make sure to be praying for Ryan’s sleep, his family, job, and his future. I know God has big things in store for him and I cannot wait to see Jesus continue to shift Ryan’s heart for those around him.

Love you dude.

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