After a long process of sorting through several full-ride academic and athletic scholarships from top-notch schools, Connor Kaufmann, a senior at Lloyd C. Bird High School, was holding out for the choice that was best for his academic career, as well as his passion for baseball. Finally, on Dec. 10 at 5:01 p.m. the offer he was looking for arrived.
Kaufmann made it official on Thursday, Jan. 7, accepting to play Big Red Baseball and entering the College of Engineering at Cornell University, an Ivy League school located in Ithaca, N.Y., while surrounded by family and L.C. Bird coaches in the library of the school.
“I talked to a lot of schools,” he said. “It came down to academics and coaches.”
Kaufmann, son of Carol and Will Kaufmann, has been playing baseball since he was 5. An avid Red Sox fan, Will Kaufmann said he showed an early passion for baseball, catching all the Red Sox games on TV. He has also played on a travel baseball league since the age of 9 with his team taking the National Championship during the summer of 2008.
Kaufmann is a right-handed pitcher with a pitching speed into the 90s, but it is his love for engineering, with a grade point average of 4.65 at the Governor’s Academy for Engineering Studies at L.C. Bird, that takes priority. “I had offers from other programs, but I wanted to hold out for as long as I could for the best deal both academically and athletically,” he said. Originally wanting to stay in Virginia close to home, with an eight-hour drive, Kaufmann will be calling Cornell home for the next four years.