Former Ivy Leaguer Calamari fits in with the Wolf Pack


Wolf Pack baseball players warm up during a game against University of Houston-Victoria on Jan. 29. Former Dartmouth first basemen Michael Calamari has become a strong contributor for the Wolf Pack this season after transferring to Loyola over the summer. Hannah Renton/The Maroon Photo credit: Hannah Renton

Alex Akes

While Loyola hasn’t been a historic destination for NCAA Division I transfers, that may be starting to change.

Michael Calamari, the former first baseman for the Dartmouth Big Green baseball team, is one of many Division I spring-sport athletes who have transferred following changes to eligibility requirements across college sports brought about by the pandemic.

Calamari, a South Carolina native, played three seasons at Dartmouth before joining the Wolf Pack. Calamari left his mark at Dartmouth by playing in 111 career games and ranking as the 15th toughest hitter to strike out in NCAA Division I baseball as a junior, according to

“At a young age, my parents would always say I grew up holding a baseball bat. I’ve played baseball from two years old until now,” Calamari said.

Like many other Division I athletes, Calamari faced a new challenge after his senior season at Dartmouth was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“It was definitely kind of a heartbreaking thing with my teammates seeing our season get canceled like that,” Calamari said. “The door kind of opened to transfer when COVID-19 closed the door on my senior season.”

Calamari remembers speaking to Loyola baseball coach Jeremy Kennedy shortly after entering the transfer portal.

“Coach Kennedy reached out to me and just like talking to him and the other coaches, I thought we had a really good culture here, and it seemed like a great place to be,” Calamari said. “It’s a similar fit to Dartmouth where you get the academics, but you also get very competitive athletics, so I felt like it would be a very easy transition.”

Calamari earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Dartmouth and is now studying for his MBA at Loyola.

“I’m taking a number of classes in the MBA program, and I’m getting a little bit of everything in the business world. I think I’ve adjusted pretty well,” Calamari said. “Classes are online, so it’s kind of a unique year in terms of academics for everyone,” Calamari said.

The NAIA, which Loyola competes in, decided not to charge spring-sport athletes with a year of competition when they canceled the spring sports season. On March 30, the NCAA Division I Council voted to extend eligibility for spring-sport athletes as a result of the canceled season, according to the NCAA.

The decision to grant an additional season of eligibility to spring-sport student athletes created ripple effects felt throughout college baseball. Wolf Pack baseball’s head coach, Jeremy Kennedy, has seen both positive and negative aspects from the eligibility changes.

“There’s a lot of grad students playing college baseball now. That’s usually abnormal, but it may continue for the next few years with all the guys that got an extra year of eligibility,” Kennedy said. “Now, there are fewer roster spots available because of these older players in the transfer portal.”

The eligibility changes have not affected the Wolf Pack in a negative way altogether, according to Kennedy.

“For a lot of guys, it’s turned into a positive thing because they get another opportunity to play,” Kennedy said. “I think our team from a talent standpoint has benefited a little bit. The guys have done a good job dealing with it.”

Kennedy said Calamari has had a seamless transition into the Wolf Pack.

“Michael’s a good teammate and a good player, so he fits right in,” Kennedy. said “He’ll play left field and hit in the middle of our order somewhere. He’s a good hitter and will bring some power to the plate.”

As a sophomore at Dartmouth, Calamari led the team with five home runs and had 27 RBIs, according to

“I kind of just want to do anything I can to help us win. I think we’re gonna be really good this year. It’s gonna take everybody, COVID or not,” Calamari said. “It’s gonna take every single person in the lineup, every single pitcher and pretty much everybody on the team to contribute what they can.”

Calamari has adjusted to the Wolf Pack’s team dynamic in a short amount of time.

“I know this is my first year here, but it feels like I’ve been playing with these guys for a while. They’re really fun to be around, and the level of baseball we play is really high,” Calamari said. “I’m really excited about this team. I think we’re really talented and have high baseball IQ as a group.”