Shelby Baker ’21: Changing Uniforms


de>Shelby Baker ’21 has proudly worn the orange and blue uniform on the Gettysburg College softball team for the past four years. Soon she’ll be switching to a uniform that holds significant meaning to our country – wearing the scarlet and gold of the United States Marine Corps.


Baker grew up in a military home in Pickerington, Ohio. Her father, Craig, was a Colonel in the Army where he completed 35-years of service before retiring in 2017. Currently, her younger brother, Colby, is enrolled in the Army ROTC program at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.


“Growing up, I loved going to the military base,” said Baker. “It was so cool to see my dad in his uniform and watch him perform his duties as a leader. The older I got the more I appreciated all that he did.”


The organization and management studies major had her eyes set on working either in the marketing or advertising fields. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it had Baker reconsidering her career choice.


“I started thinking how I want to look back on my life and be proud of what I do,” noted Baker. “Seeing what my dad has done, what my brother is currently doing, along with COVID, helped inspire me to push myself and figure out what I wanted to do with my life.”

Softball player Shelby Baker  and her family attending her fathers retirement ceremony from the Army
The Baker family attending Craig’s retirement ceremony from the Army


Baker made her official decision to join the Marines this past winter. Some details continue to be ironed out, but knows she won’t be able to join until May 2022. Once is she physically and medically cleared, she can start aiming towards the necessary preparations for training. If everything works out, she’ll attend Officer Candidate School and either pursue intelligence or logistics. 


“My dad never pressured my brother and I to follow in his footsteps,” said Baker. “It happened to be a decision that we both made independently. My parents are supportive of my decision and are happy with my career choice.”


She opted to wait because she wanted to compete in her final season. In 89 career games, the catcher has a .366 batting average, 101 hits, 79 RBI, 48 runs, 21 doubles, and 12 home runs. She is a two-time all-conference honoree, a Centennial Conference Rookie of the Year recipient, and played a pivotal role in Gettysburg capturing the conference title in 2018.


“What I wanted most out of this year was to be a supportive leader to the freshmen class,” mentioned Baker “I remember how impactful the senior class was to me as a freshman, and I wanted to pay that forward.”


With her family experience, playing softball, and being a leader on the team, Baker feels more than prepared to take this next journey in life.


“Coming to Gettysburg has challenged me and made me a stronger person. It was easily the best decision I ever made.”



This story was originally posted on the Gettysburg College Website.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x