When Taylor Starr walked off the mound in the Civil War finale back in May, everyone thought it was his last appearance at Goss Stadium, including him.
“It’s bittersweet,” Starr said in May, “the fans here are unbelievable. It’s definitely a memory I’ll never forget.”
The fifth year senior went undrafted, so he decided it might be time to walk away from baseball.
“I was planning for my future; I’ve had my degree for over a year now, and I was working on a second degree. So just thought maybe it’s time to move on,” Starr said.
The right-hander’s OSU career was marred by three elbow surgeries which resulted in three missed seasons. The pitcher was ready to leave Corvallis behind to start a life post-baseball in Arizona. 18 hours before leaving he went to see Beavers head coach Pat Casey for what was supposed to be a “goodbye.”
“I went into the coaches office and [Casey] said ‘you want to hear something funny? We might have found that you have another year of eligibility,” Starr said.
So instead of leaving for the desert. Starr is spending the summer with the Corvallis Knights, a team he pitched for after his freshman season in 2008.
“I think it was 2010, I was actually working field crew [for the Knights], recovering from my second Tommy John [surgery]. And they actually inducted me into the Corvallis Knights Hall of Fame. So it’s pretty, pretty rare that somebody would come back and play for that team again,” he said.
That’s exactly what he’s doing, and if he gets another year, that would also mean another “Civil War.” Fellow Knight, Connor Hoffman is a Duck, and if the two face each other next season, Starr will be ready.
“I think he’s a really good guy and we get along really well, and he’s a good player. But I definitely got some insight on how to pitch him next year,” Starr said.
Whatever the NCAA decides, Starr will be back at Oregon State working on a Master’s degree, but make no mistake about it, he’s hungry for one more year.
“Getting on the bump again, it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do, and as long as they don’t rip a jersey off my back, I’m going to keep doing it.”