« Baseball 2010

Cory Kovanda


Ohio State Univeristy

Second Base
Early Childhood Development


Kovanda is on track to graduate while majoring in early childhood development.


Kovanda was voted by his teammates to be a team co-captain as a senior. He is quick with a smile and he always seems to be making good things happen. Life hasn’t been easy for him. He lost his mother, Linda, to pancreatic cancer two weeks before the start of the 2009 baseball season. At age 12 he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. He heard the swimmer Gary Hall Jr., who also has Type 1, say the disease would not run his life. Kovanda lives by that rule, too. He keeps extra food and insulin wherever he is. He checks is blood sugars repeatedly during games. He has collapsed prior to games and come close to it during games. But he gets back up and he takes care of himself. Kovanda has a twin sister, Kimberly. She was born with Down syndrome. Kovanda knows what it means to be responsible for someone with special needs. He knows what unconditional love is. He loves Kimberly. And Kimberly loves him. She likes to tell Kovanda he is her favorite brother, but then she goes and tells their older brother, Chris, that he is her favorite. Kovanda is a favorite to a lot of people around Columbus, Ohio.


Kovanda has done everything from raise and give money to the pancreatic cancer society to take part in diabetes walks for life. He takes time to go to the elementary schools in Columbus and talk to children about the importance of being good people and good teammates. He also has visited cancer patients at Columbus Children’s Hospital. And this year he and his teammates are working to “adopt” a cancer patient and make that individual a part of the team. This effort is still in the planning stages, but it is going to happen. Kovanda will see to it that it does.


Kovanda was Ohio State’s Big Ten Conference Sportsmanship honoree in 2009. He is the most experienced Buckeye, having started 157 games. He will become a four-year starter this season. He sports a .320 career batting average and he is one of the most clutch players on the team, batting .415 with runners in scoring position in 2009. He has 185 career hits and he has scored 125 runs. Last year he was second-team all-Big Ten Conference. He made the Big Ten all-tournament team in 2008. And in 2007 he was a freshman All-American.