Graham Sim Commits to Michigan’s Mott Community College Bears

by Jim Stewart

18U Titans starting pitcher Graham Sim has committed to the NJCAA Mott CC Bears in central Michigan as a tried and true pathway to NCAA Division 1 baseball.  Three former Mott Bears appeared in the 2021 World Series, including Adam Duvall of the champion Atlanta Braves.  Sim was attracted to Mott Community College’s historical tradition of baseball excellence and became the fourth Titan to commit to a US College in late-November.  Lawrence Vera, the Titans Director of Operations and Player Development, praised Sim’s choice to attend Mott CC as well as the hurler’s resilience:  “We’re extremely proud of Graham Sim.  He will be getting his opportunity as a Mott Bear to move into the NCAA which he will do undoubtedly. It was very unfortunate this year that Graham suffered some injury-related setbacks during the CPBL season, but he has come back bigger and stronger and is a name to watch for years to come.” 

 Sim’s goal to play NCAA D1 baseball made his decision to commit to Mott “a very easy one.” The resident of Bradford, Ontario chose Mott due to “their tremendous reputation for sending players on to 4-year schools, Division 1 specifically.  After talking to Coach Moore and the rest of the staff, it was very evident that I am someone who they want in their system and a player that will not only survive, but thrive while playing for Mott.”  What really caught Sim’s eye were Mott’s excellent four year connections and its ability to “put together a strong team over the past years. Playing in the MCCAA (Region 12) will provide a great challenge.” According to Sim, Coach Vince “laid out a very detailed and organized pitching program that is proven to be successful and one that will help elevate me as a pitcher at the next level. I will be in a position where I can earn a starting spot in their rotation and work my way to becoming a top pitcher at the school. Being a Bear will be a great opportunity for me, and one that I will seize. I am more than excited to play college baseball in Michigan and to attend Mott Community College.”

The resident of Bradford, Ontario also extolled the benefits of moving to central Michigan, including its proximity as well as some possible integration into Michigan football culture:  “It is very close to home compared to other U.S schools, being only 4 hours away from home. While living in Michigan, I will have the opportunity to be surrounded by some of the United States best athletic colleges and hopefully the chance to play in front of them as well. Michigan is one of the best states in the US for college sports, and that is no different for baseball. Despite a relatively colder climate, Michigan has a strong reputation for hosting big tournaments and for having a lot of fans to attend their local college games. On top of all of this, it’s a short drive to ‘The Big House’ so I will be sure to catch some of the University of Michigan's football games.”

Sim, an excellent student with a 3.6 GPA and an Honor Roll graduate of Bradford District High School, will be majoring in “business/sports management at Mott. I am excited for this because all the credits I will be earning will be transferable over to 4 year schools.” While his long-term goal is to attend and play for a 4-year school, Sim’s outlined his more immediate academic and athletic goals at MCC during his tenure in Flint, Michigan:   “Academically, I have always held myself to very high standards, and will be no different at Mott. It is a goal of mine to have an average in the 90's, and a GPA of 3.8 or above. I do this not only for success in the future, but to assure that my grades will not hold me back when looking to go to a four-year school after Mott. Athletically, it is a goal of mine to be an immediate impact player at Mott. I wish to help the team in any way that I can and just get better as a player and an athlete every single day. I will put in all the time that is needed for me to succeed at Mott, and then some. After playing at Mott, it is a goal of mine to play NCAA D1 baseball. Finally, I will pitch and compete every day for a starting spot, but also the number 1 starting spot in the rotation.”   

Ever the good citizen, the collegial 18U starting pitcher thanked the Titans front office for their help:  “The organization made this process very easy, and as smooth as it could be. After sitting down with Coach Jim Stewart and Coach Denis Bailey, we set up a plan that included what I was looking for in a college and Coach Bailey went right to work. He dedicated a lot of his time to contact coaches and to set up conversation amongst myself and said coaches. After Mott reached out, Coach Bailey did not stop there; he acted as an advocate and kept in contact with the coaches there and with myself. I cannot thank Denis, Jim, and the entire program enough for helping me throughout this process; it could not have been possible without them.”

The 18U veteran right-hander also reflected on his highlights as a Titan from the last two years:  “The first being last year, when I had the opportunity to be the starting pitcher in the players vs coaches charity game. It was a great time and we raised a lot of money ($2333) to contribute towards the Movember Foundation. For the other highlight, it took place this year in the Orange and Navy World Series. I got the start for Denis's team and we won in a blowout, setting up another blowout win in the finals. This game is very special for me as it was the day of my aunt's passing. I pitched a complete game 7 innings, giving up 1 earned while striking out 13. It was truly a special moment and one that I will never forget!”

18U Head Coach Denis Bailey praised his front-of-the-rotation mainstay for his leadership, athletic ability, and comportment: “Graham has the ability to be an impact player at the next level.  He’s a leader on and off the field as well as a student of the game.  He has a tremendous work ethic and is the epitome of what we want from our Titans student-athletes.”

The model student-athlete offered a recipe for success to the younger players in the Titans organization:  “Do not give up! Some days in the gym, on the field, and in the classroom are better than others, but that is no excuse to quit. Have an end goal in mind and push for it; it does not have to be a sprint every day, but small progress will create something larger. Push yourself to be a better athlete, baseball player, and person every single day. One thing that has always stuck with me is this, in life you can fake being happy, you can fake being sad, but pain is the one constant, the one real thing. Push through whatever you may be going through in life because it does get better. Stay determined and chase your dreams.”

Congratulations on chasing your dreams, Graham. The Titans Baseball Club is proud of your determination and accomplishments.  We look forward to your future achievements as a student-athlete in central Michigan with the Mott Bears!