The Daily Pennsylvania asked 15 questions to Brendan Bean of Penn men’s baseball about his sport, his time at Penn, and life in general. Here’s what the senior had to say.
1. Can you present yourself?
I’m Brendan Bean. I’m a senior, left-handed pitcher on the Penn baseball team, but I’m going to do a fifth year here at Penn next year while taking a third degree. I’m currently in Wharton as a management and law student, and I’m from North Wildwood, NJ
2. Have you grown up with other athletes in the family?
My dad played college basketball at Eastern [University], who had a great influence on me from a young age, just being involved in sports. When I was younger, I dreamed of playing college basketball, but then I realized I was 6 feet tall, and basketball probably would not be the sport for me.
3. When did baseball become your passion?
I started falling in love with baseball when I was about 13, and I committed [to Penn] at the beginning of the second year I was 15. I grew up as a big Phillies fan, but I really started to love baseball when I realized I was pretty good at it. As I looked around the field, I would continue to find better competition to make myself an even better player and the best on the field.
4. What three words would you use to describe yourself as an athlete?
First, I want to say competitive. I’m crazy when I’m on the field. In general, I’m not crazy competitive, but when it comes to baseball, I take everything so personally on the court and make a competition of everything.
Then I would say elastic. I had hip surgery, so I basically missed two years because the pandemic reduced my junior year. Now I have a shortened senior season, so the ability to continue and pursue my dreams, work hard to get where I want to be, has been very important to my success. I keep telling myself that everything is going to be worth it in the end, even though the last couple of years have definitely been difficult for my mental state. I always have all my goals in mind to keep driving me forward.
I want to say fun for the latter. When I’m out there, I always have fun. I’m in a dugout and dance to every single walkup song, keeping my energy up. It’s a kind of role in the excavation, to keep the guys fun and engaged in the game. They call it a game for a reason, it’s not a job yet for us; so yeah, i like to keep having fun with it.
5. Who is your biggest sports idol?
When I was young, it was definitely Jim Thome, who was a left-handed hitter and first baseman, just like I grew up. He was at Phillies, a member of the 600 Home Run Club – he’s just the man. Another would be Albert Pujols. Apart from being one of the best baseball players of our generation, he also does a lot for his community. He has a daughter with Down syndrome, and he is very interested in researching and raising funds for it. He’s a leader in that community, a great person, not just a great baseball player, who I really admire.
6. Do you have any daily rituals?
The first thing I always wear is my socks, it’s just a weird thing for me. Home game morning routine, I always met Wawa to get a Red Bull, a Bodyarmor drink, apple slices and a Sizzli breakfast sandwich. Every single time before I throw, I smash a Red Bull and take some Advil.
7. What is your favorite part of playing baseball for the reds and blues?
It’s 100% the guys and the interaction, day in and day out, we just get so close. I’ve only known the beginners for less than a year, but I still want to do something for some of the guys, and I know they would do the same for me. It is difficult to achieve such a sense of inherent loyalty that comes from being part of this team. No single guy on the team is like another, we all come from different areas and backgrounds, and we all come and support each other no matter what. It’s just wonderful to be apart of this group of boys and coaches.
8. How do you feel you have grown since you were a freshman and went into your first practice?
I was the first-year student who was yelled at all the time. If anyone went wrong, it was Bean’s fault. I would be one minute late to practice, and I would do burpees and run stadiums for 20 minutes, I always always seemed to mess up. I earned time on the mound, but it was definitely not in a leadership role. From then until now, it’s crazy to see how much I’ve actually matured. I have learned to be dependent on myself and not on anyone else, which has been great for me. I guess I have just learned to pay attention to small details, I feel that the guys in front of me have been able to lead me into a role as responsibility and leadership. So now I’m in a position where I’m trying to hold others accountable. It’s just cool to see how much I’ve grown the four years I’ve been here.
9. What’s your favorite baseball memory ever?
My last year at Gloucester Catholic, we won the state championship, which was my best baseball memory ever. That is, of course, until we win an Ivy League championship next year.
10. Do you have a favorite class you took at Penn?
I took Diversity and the Law with José Anderson, and Sports Law with Mason Ashe. I liked both of these and the professors were good.
11. Did you develop any new hobbies over quarantine?
I definitely took my “Call of Duty” game to the next level. I’ve always played, but I got embarrassingly good at it. I also cooked a lot more and tried to step out of my comfort zone and make things I would not normally eat. I want to say that I trust myself in the kitchen after the work I put down under quarantine.
12. Do you currently have any performances?
I just finished The Queen’s Gambit, which I thought was incredibly good. I started playing some chess last year, so I enjoyed that show.
13. Who are we going to watch out for this year in red and blue?
Definitely Joe Miller and Kevin Eaise, two in their mid-90s [miles per hour] jugs that are both spikes. If they are not prepared this year, they should definitely be prepared next year. They give a lot of energy and leadership to our team. From the younger guys, Wyatt Henseler started at third base for us this weekend. I think he has a very good chance of having a big impact on the squad.
14. What is your biggest piece of advice to anyone who wants to be in your shoes as a Division I baseball player?
To never lose your confidence on the court and know that you are good enough. There will be times when you are not the best player on the field, maybe one of the smaller guys, but you have to know that you are there for a reason. If this is your dream, the only person who will stop you from making it is yourself.
15. What do you hope to be remembered for here at Penn?
I hope I am remembered as a guy that people could trust anyway, someone who is trustworthy. I want to be a guy that any of these kids can go to at any time match. From a baseball perspective, I want to be remembered as a bulldog. A guy who never gave up, and competed no matter the situation, and did everything necessary to lead my team to victory.