It was baseball from the beginning
Liberty Flames senior shortstop Dalton Britt began playing baseball with his dad in the backyard not long after he learned to walk as a toddler.
“We had a little plastic ball and bat,” Britt said. “I started tee-ball when I was five or six and then pretty much played from there.”
Along with baseball, Britt played basketball and football until he suffered a broken hip during football season his freshman year of high school. The fracture turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Britt, because it allowed him to realize he should focus his time on baseball.
“I didn’t love football enough to risk getting hurt (again) for baseball,” Britt said. “I talked to my dad and made the decision baseball is where I was going to go from there.”
When his senior year of high school arrived, Britt was not highly pursued by colleges other than Liberty, something he uses for motivation today.
“It’s always tough being told you’re not good enough for something,” Britt said. “You kind of get an internal drive to want to prove (other colleges) wrong. There’s always a chip on your shoulder when someone tells you you’re not good enough. I think that’s human nature.”
Despite only being recruited by one college, Britt never allowed that to deter him.
“College baseball is a business, and that’s how the real world is,” Britt said. “I used it positively. I never let (not receiving other offers) affect me negatively. I used it as fuel everyday.”
Britt says he has matured in more ways than one since he arrived at Liberty his freshman year.
“When I came here, I was a Christian, but I wasn’t always following God in the way that I do now,” Britt said. “I sometimes would put him on the shelf whenever I would play. Now I’m in such a great place in my walk with Christ that now there is no time to put him on the shelf. He is always with me, and He influences my decisions and everything that I do.”
Britt graduated last year, earning his undergraduate in communication studies in three years. He is currently pursuing a master’s in strategic communications and enjoys anything to do with advertising, public relations and journalism.
In the rare moments he is not on the baseball field or working on his graduate studies, Britt is no different than any other college student. He plays video games, goes to concerts and hangs out with friends. Other times, he sleeps, exhausted from the travel that comes with baseball season.
“In the season, you don’t have time (to do a lot of activities off-the-field),” Britt said. “All you want to do is sleep. Whenever you get home from being on the road, you don’t feel like doing anything else.”
Britt has spent his entire career under Head Coach Jim Toman, who recently earned his 300th win as the coach of the Flames.
“It’s really special,” Britt said. “He’s been the face of the program for (nine years). He’s been successful. It’s been really special to have been a part of a lot of those (wins).”
Britt said he is going to try his hardest to remember every little thing about his senior season, including the experience of playing at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
“The first time I ever experienced (Liberty Baseball Stadium), we were playing Penn State my first game here,” Britt said. “Sometimes it feels like it’s not real because it’s so perfect. You couldn’t ask for anything more. You see the packed house, the mountains, the scoreboard (and) it almost feels like you’re watching yourself in a movie sometimes.”
Dillard is a sports reporter.