July 7, 2023

‘Baseball was my dream, and Purdue Global moved me forward’

Nearing retirement from pro baseball, Juan Montes had to ask, ‘Now what?’

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Juan Diego Montes Incer (BS health and wellness ’23, Purdue Global) remembers growing up in Guatemala City, watching the World Baseball Classic on the television with his mom. Someday, he told her, that was going to be him.

And in the spring of 2023, it was him, at age 27, playing in the Classic for his mom’s home country of Nicaragua.

With the unreachable dream reached, he felt it was time to round out his skill set because he knew who was watching. He’d once been a kid, watching his heroes on TV, and if they heard any message from him, he wanted it to be the fact that he was about to graduate with his bachelor’s degree from Purdue Global.

“Most players in Latin America either study, or they play baseball. I have to let children know that school is important,” he says. “We can do both. We don’t have to choose between them.”

In May, surrounded by family, he crossed the stage in West Lafayette to accept his diploma.

As he begins playing for a new team this season – the Tri-City Valleycats in Troy, New York – he looks to the years he has left on the field and beyond without worry because he has a degree that’s given him both the knowledge and the qualifications to start a new career once this one’s over.

More information on Juan’s story can be read on The Persistent Pursuit.

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Media contact: Matthew Oates, oatesw@purdue.edu 

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