May 26, 2009
"I've always loved the game," said Abraham. "I always had fun playing it. When I was 12 or 13 I started playing on the same travel team as Tommy Medica and Nate Garcia. It brought out the competitiveness in me more so than before. Ever since then I stuck with it."
Like many of his Santa Clara teammates, Abraham attended Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose. He captained the 2005 team, helping the Bells to a Western Catholic Athletic League (WCAL) Championship. However, Abraham wasn't getting any looks from colleges.
"Coming out of Bellarmine, all but two of us has Division I scholarships," said Abraham. "It was really hard to deal with. But I knew that I deserved something better and if I kept at it, my opportunity would come."
The 5-foot-6 Abraham enrolled at De Anza Community College in 2005 and played two seasons for the Dons. He was voted to the All-Coast Conference first team in 2006 after posting a .320 batting average on the season and a .340 mark in league play. But it wasn't the same.
"I was used to the competition in the WCAL," said Abraham. "So going from that to a junior college was much more relaxed. Everyone I was around was not as competitive. But I didn't let that affect me. I stuck with my plan and did what I had to do to get to the next level."
It was during a scrimmage against the Broncos that Santa Clara head coach Mark O'Brien saw Abraham's scrappiness.
"It was a practice game and he had three or four hits off of us," said O'Brien. "That summer I got a call from Chuck Glare, the Santa Clara Red Sox coach. He told me `this kid really wants to play for you. You'll enjoy him.' So we gave him a chance and he's been a very special surprise for us."
Abraham joined the Broncos for the 2008 season, but did not see much action. Instead he took on the role of a team motivator, a loud supportive voice from the dugout, and at times a mini O'Brien.
"His personality is absolutely infectious," said O'Brien. "He's not afraid to take on things."
But that wasn't enough.
"I really enjoyed being on the team," said Abraham. "So I took the approach over the summer to really help this team. I have a lot to offer."
So during summer ball in Hawaii, he focused on working hard and getting better for the 2009 season. He knew what the coaches expected of him after being with the program for a year.
"He really went on a mission last summer," said O'Brien. "He wasn't going to be happy just being a back-up player. He was all business when he came back and came to talk to me. He was very serious and he told me `I can crack this line up.'"
And on March 7 that's exactly what he did. Abraham earned a starting position at second base. But it took him some time to feel like he belonged out there.
"A lot of coaches didn't think I would play Division I ball," said Abraham. "Last year when I was out there, I really didn't feel like it was mine and even this year, I'd get out there and didn't feel comfortable. I think it was my second start of the year that I finally let go of the fears of failure. I took a deep breath, looked around and said to myself `okay let's do this'."
Abraham produced a solid senior season, more than doubling his games played (38), runs scored (17) and RBIs (15). He also hit his only home run on March 14 against Cornell, and triple and stole base on May 16 at Pepperdine
As his senior year comes to an end, Abraham is looking forward to finally relaxing.
"Ever since joining that travel team when I was 12, it's always been baseball," said Abraham. "I've never really had to time to sit down and relax. Maybe we'll go on a real family vacation."
Abraham will graduate next month with a bachelor's degree in political science and plans to pursue a master's degree, go to law school and become a sports agent.
As for his legacy at Santa Clara, Abraham hopes he is remember for his positive influence on his teammates and his love of the game.
"I never dreaded being out there; being with my teammates. There is no other bond like that of competitiveness and camaraderie in sports."