Born tiny, HutchCC softball player ‘Dink’ is in a league of her own

Born tiny, HutchCC softball player ‘Dink’ is in a league of her own

By Bailey Pennycuff
Co-Sports Editor

Hutchinson Community College softball player Madison Grimes has had an astonishing season thus far for the Blue Dragons. The freshman infielder is leading the team in a whopping seven statistical categories.

Yes, seven.

  • On base percentage: .606
  • Batting average: .578
  • Triples: 4
  • Runs batted in: 48
  • Slugging %: .922
  • Hits: 72
  • Strikeouts: 0

She is also tied for the most home runs with sophomore Natalie Bevan with five each.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is all with 90 at-bats. She has played 28 games and started them all. Twelve of her starts were at third base, and the rest have been at shortstop. Her fielding percentage is .907.

You might think with all those gaudy offensive numbers that Grimes might have a nickname that implies strength or power.

However, Grimes is more known on campus, on the softball team, and by her family by her nickname “Dink,” which was given to her because of how small she was when she was born.

“I weighed two pounds when I was born, and the name just really stuck. I was born two months early,” Grimes said.

Grimes has always had a love for the game, and it started with her roots.

Her father, Darin Grimes, played baseball at Wichita State, then played professional baseball in the Kansas City Royals’ organization. Her brother, Tyler Grimes, played baseball at WSU as well, then after three years, went on to play professional baseball in the minor league for the Minnesota Twins.

Darin went to Wichita North from 1981-1984 and was an All-American. He played second base and shortstop, and added third base to his resume in college and in the pros. Tyler on the other hand, mostly stuck to one position.

“I played shortstop my whole life. When I got to pro ball, they decided to switch me to catcher. From there, I basically turned into a utility guy and played every position but pitcher,” Tyler said.

The family members clearly share a talent, and love for the game, but they have also been through some hardships together.

“Growing up, my dad worked two jobs, because he was a single dad,” Madison said. “My mom left our family on my third birthday. My brother and sister (Maci James) basically helped raise me. Then when I was five, my dad met Mary, who is my mom now. Her daughter came to be my new sister. Not long after, they had my youngest sister, Hayden.”

The bond their family has is incredibly strong, and they rely on each other.

“My biggest motivators are my family. We all push one another in different ways. My dad and grandpa are two of the most important people for my success – if it was not for them, I wouldn’t have achieved a lot of things. Not in only baseball, but life as well,” Tyler said. “My dad is my everything. He set the tone for me. He molded me in ways no one will ever understand. I hope one day I can be the man he is.”

The Grimes family have been particularly talented at knowing their overall goals and expectations, whether it’s for themselves personally, or the whole team.

“The rest of this season is just about focusing on keeping it simple, taking care of my body and winning games. I will never be content. I am trying my best to help my coaches and teammates to reach our goal and that is to make it to Yuma, Arizona for Natty’s baby,” Madison said.

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