Baseball player ice skates at Theunissen Stadium, video goes viral
Every college baseball team in the Midwest is heading south to start the 2019 season because of weather conditions.
At Theunissen Stadium, freezing temperatures and rain caused a sheet of ice to form over the diamond.
That didn't stop Chase Rollin from taking the field. Instead, he embraced it.
Central Michigan's sophomore infielder/outfielder from Beal City High School laced up his skates, took ground balls at shortstop and even zoomed around the bases. He dove safely into third base for a pretend triple.
He posted a video on Twitter, and it went viral. Rollin's footage was featured on SportsCenter, MLB Cut4, Barstool, Bleacher Report and NCAA Baseball, to name a few. The Detroit Tigers and Colorado Rockies both commented on his tweet.
As of 7 p.m. on Feb. 11, the video has 1.1 million views.
"It just kept going up, and I was like, 'This might actually happen,'" Rollin said.
How it happened
When practice ended on Feb. 9, Rollin left the clubhouse with two teammates to check the field conditions. He planned to just walk on the field. However, an impulse decision helped him go viral on social media.
Rollin first suggested taking ground balls as a joke. His teammates decided against it and went home, but Rollin remained. He was the only player left at Theunissen Stadium.
"Alright, something needs to be done," he remembers thinking.
He called his two roommates, of which one was his brother. He asked one of them to bring his ice skates to the ball field.
The ice skates arrived within minutes. Rollin taped the video, put it together on iMovie and sent it out to the world.
Rollin took skating lessons when he was a child but has no other background on the ice other than an occasional pond hockey game.
Later on Saturday, CMU left-handed pitcher Tyler Hankins was on the couch across from him. One moment, Hankins was silent. The next, he nearly jumped out of his chair.
"Dude, my friend just sent me the link," Rollin recalls Hankins telling him. "It's on Barstool."
Once Barstool showed love to the Twitter post, Rollin got an adrenaline rush. He had a feeling he might become an overnight internet sensation.
Steve Levy anchors the morning edition of SportsCenter on ESPN. He featured Rollin's video his "Haven't Seen It... Should" segment.
"Check out Central Michigan baseball player Chase Rollin," Levy said. "Got the cleats. Oh wait a second, he has ice skates. Their ball field is all iced over. That's not gonna stop ol' Chase from taking ground balls."
First-year CMU coach Jordan Bischel said Rollin's video is an example of the team bringing fun back to the baseball program.
"We don't talk about skating on the field, but it is nice to see the guys have personalities and enjoy themselves," Bischel said. "It's what baseball has to be. Getting out to do something fun is nice to see."
Rollin said he will not try out for CMU's club hockey team, but the multi-tool player is excited for the season opener at 7 p.m. Feb. 15 against Troy.
Luckily for Rollin, the game will be played in Alabama.
"We're more prepared then we've ever been," Rollin said. "We are excited to get into some warm weather where the low is 45 (degrees)."