Small player doing it big

LMC pitcher committed to Chicago State


Anthony Martinez

LMC pitcher Dominic Arias committed to Chicago State.

Hugo Calderon, @HCAL09

From being seen as the small kid on the block to the big man on the mound, Dominic Arias’ journey so far has been a curveball.

Arias started playing tee ball at the age of four with his dad as the coach.

When the Los Medanos College pitcher started playing at Pittsburg High School, he realized it was a whole different ball park. The pitcher played all four years at Pittsburg during his time there and played pony baseball during his middle school years.

This was because of the mentality that people were trying to instill in him while he was playing due to his small physical figure.

“The hardest obstacle that I had to overcome was in high school and even before that I was always the smallest guy on the team and not the strongest,” said Arias. “People would tell me I wouldn’t make it past high school and didn’t have a chance to play in college.”

The sophomore found hope in the form of Marcus Stroman, a five-foot seven-inch pitcher that plays for the Toronto Blue Jays. Stroman is only one of seven pitchers in Major League Baseball that are shorter than 5 feet 10 inches, according to Height Line.

As a result, Stroman created a brand called “HDMH” which stands for Height doesn’t measure heart.

I seen that he went through so much coming up like I am it pushed me harder and made me hungry to become the best player and person I can be,” said Arias

Arias’ parents support also provides him with hope. They provided constant support throughout their son’s baseball career. He also attributes a lot of his strength to his Christian faith that got him through tough times and Arias tries to attend church on a weekly basis.

“I thank them so much for all that they’ve done for me because without their support and the support from my family I wouldn’t be where I am today,” said Arias, “when I was growing up through high school my grandma passed away and my cousin got shot and went into a coma in the same year so I didn’t know what to cause I was so down so I turned to god and went to church and never looked back!”

After graduating from Pittsburg, Arias chose to come to Los Medanos despite receiving numerous offers from other colleges to play ball. He said coach Anthony D’Albora played a big part in his decision to play here as well as the school being close to home. He also credits D’Albora with his development not just as a player but a person as well.

Coming out of highschool I had a couple other community colleges asking me to go play for their schools but the reason I picked LMC was because it was close to home and Coach D would attend my games in highschool and text me to check in on me more than any other coach would,” said Arias. “Going through high school I was told I was too small and not big enough but Coach D didn’t care he brought me in and gave me the most opportunities to prepare me as a player.”  

D’Albora discovered Arias when he was playing his trade at Pittsburg. D’Albora believed that Arias’ talent was good enough to land him at a four year college but didn’t have the opportunities available. During his tenure at Los Medanos, D’Albora feels his pitcher has developed physically and is always hungry for success.

He always has been a guy hungry to show everyone how capable he is. When you see him for the first time it’s easy to assume less, based on his size or whatever else but he’s always been a guy who attacks on every pitch with everything he’s got and wants to win every time he takes the mound,” said D’Albora. “Dom is a really positive player and person. He care a lot about his teammates and a lot about winning. He’s definitely the kind of guy you want in your dugout and on your side.”

Adapting to Junior College baseball from high school was not an easy adjustment as it is for many baseball players. At times the difference is too great that some players don’t pursue their sport at the next level but Arias was able to adjust. For the pitcher, he noticed there was a lot more competition in the team but as long as he became the best player he could be, he could make it.

All of Arias’ hard work at LMC paid off. He is committed to Chicago State University. He chose Chicago because he felt he would receive a lot of opportunities there and it makes him feel like he’s at home. Chicago took him on a visit of the campus and he enjoyed what he saw and believed in the plan the school has.

“It was the best thing I’ve done to commit to such a good school, that’s also going to give me the most opportunities and make me feel at home away from home,” said Arias.

His journey is taking him to another state and he still has more baseball ahead of him.