Founded in 1983, the NCAC is commited to equity, a broad base of athletic programs, and excellence in academics and has served as a model for conferences throughout the country. The North Coast membership stretches across Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana: Allegheny, Denison, DePauw, Hiram, Kenyon, Oberlin, Ohio Wesleyan, Wabash, Wittenberg and Wooster and affiliate member Earlham.
Oberlin junior Hal Sundt sat down with 2010 First-Team All-NCAC Selection and Third-Team All-Regional selection Ben Puterbaugh to get an indepth look at what really makes Oberlin's all-time hits leader tick.
It is a Wednesday in late March, only two days until most of the students from Oberlin College will depart from this small pocket of solace tucked away in northeast Ohio. Along the sidewalk connecting Wilder Hall and Mudd Library some students lean against the cold metal bike racks taking long drags from Pall Malls and Marlboros, while others walk briskly to their next class, the former sucking down thick smoke deep into their lungs, the latter taking in the crisp March air as it rushes through their noses and clings to the back of their tongue. Along the paths the students are moving, gesturing, smoking, breathing, laughing, walking; but they are inside a bubble which remains still while the rest of the world violently spins.
Somewhere a man in this bubble is sifting through the smoke and the drizzle of rain. His 5-foot-11 frame does not draw attention to himself, but rather moves unassumingly, like everyone else. As he walks, missiles soar above Libya and weeping mothers, brothers, and children in Japan attempt to put the pieces of their lives back together. On this day thousands of pairs of bright, excited eyes will enter the world and thousands of others will leave it behind.
And on this day, and every other day just the same, the world does not revolve around the game of baseball. And Ben Puterbaugh knows it.