Feb. 23, 2010
Rob Folsom has seen some of the best seasons in Oregon State baseball history and is approaching his final season in Corvallis with fervor. He made the trip to Omaha in 2005, the team’s first since 1952, and has been an established presence for the Beavers since the 2008 season.
Folsom has been an outstanding representative for Oregon State baseball, using his status in the community to do service for those in need. He’s majoring in agricultural business and has enjoyed his tenure at OSU, in both academics and athletics.
Q: What has being a senior at Oregon State been like for you?
A: “Being a senior has been interesting so far. You have a chance to reflect because you’ve been here for a number of years, but it’s also exciting because our team is good, we have depth and we have experience. It would be nice to go out on a winning team, a team that maybe wins a Pac-10 championship or a regional or a super-regional, and plays in Omaha. Those are our goals, so it’s been exciting.”
Q: Reflect on your time at Oregon State. What comes to mind when you think about OSU?
A: “It’s been a good place for me to grow and to learn. I’ve been able to play with a lot of different players, kids from all over the country and I think that’s a benefit to anybody. I’ve enjoyed some success here and got to play in Omaha my first year here. I think having experience and tasting success gives me motivation and drives me to have a good senior year.”
Q: You were on the 2005 team, and then you were away for a couple of years. Describe that situation.
A: “I was here in 2005. I got to play with Jacoby (Ellsbury) and Andy Jenkins, and play in Omaha. Then I left for two years to serve a mission for my church, and they had a couple of pretty good years while I was gone. Coming back it was interesting. When I first got to Oregon State, they were middle-of-the-road Pac-10, scrapping for the postseason every year. Coming back, all of a sudden they have gotten any recruit they wanted, they’ve won games and they’ve won regionals. I’ve enjoyed all the years that I’ve been here, but these last three or four have been exciting because when you play with good athletes, you win games and you play in big games, so it’s been fun.”
Q: What is your major and what do you want to do with it?
A: “Agricultural business with a minor in crop science. I like agriculture and I’d like to stay in it. It’s a little hard in Oregon because I want to go back to Medford and agriculture might be difficult. I’ve thought about farming, I’ve thought about getting into business, I have a few friends back home who have small businesses and have talked to me about joining them. I’m trying to keep my options open right now.”
Q: What is it about agriculture that you love so much?
A: “I love people in agriculture. I think that it’s an interesting market. I think that there’s always going to be capacity for growth. It would be fulfilling to be a part of feeding people. I think that anytime you get a chance to work with developing countries that would be interesting. Between the people that are in agriculture and the affects that you can have on people, those are my main interests.”
Q: How does Oregon State challenge you academically in that field?
A: “I’ve appreciated the knowledge that I get. Most of the professors, either through extension or their personal experience, are really qualified to teach about agriculture and wheat and corn and berries. For me, being a little naïve and inexperienced in agriculture, it’s been nice to have people to push me along and challenge me in real-life, applicable ways.”
Q: You’re one of the few student athletes who is married, what has that been like for you?
A: “My wife is Ashley Folsom and she plays on the soccer team. Marriage so far has been a blast. It’s been nice to have a steady support. I’ve always had my family and things, but Ashley and I get along really well and we understand each other. It’s been a huge blessing to have somebody there. It’s been fun. I get to watch her play, she gets to come to my games, and between our athletics and schooling it can be difficult, but we’ve found time to have fun.”
Q: Describe going back with the soccer team to the Sweet Sixteen last year. What was it like not being someone who was playing, but someone who gets to watch?
A: “It was fun because I get to hear about their soccer team through her paradigm. To see a team that has struggled in the past finally taste success and really be able to run with it and make it to where they did (was fun). They played Notre Dame tough and lost 1-0. It was exciting to see them play in the Sweet Sixteen and really compete for a chance to go to the Elite Eight. It was a lot of fun and it helped me reflect on our team. When you can get hot and everybody’s clicking and firing on all cylinders, that’s when you can win games. Hopefully we can find that comfortable area for our team to get hot.”
Q: How have you become a better person by playing for the Oregon State baseball team?
A: “I think, at Oregon State, you learn accountability. You learn accountability for yourself and also to your teammates. I think that’s a big lesson to learn, especially coming out of high school when you’re young and green, to learn that your actions have consequences, good or bad. Working hard can pay off and fooling around can have its consequences. I think that being accountable to myself, to my wife, and to the coaching staff has been a tremendous blessing and a good learning experience. I think it’s something that will anchor my work ethic throughout the rest of my life and it’s something I appreciate.”