Mike Fetscher '95, Digital Media Coordinator for the College of Nursing and Health Professions, always dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player. After finishing a stellar career on the USI baseball team in 1995, he tried out for the Evansville Otters inaugural team, only to be the last one cut from the roster.
“To be that close to being able to say I was a baseball player – which was my dream from the time I could pick up a ball – was a hard pill to swallow,” he said. “Eventually I became an umpire in the Frontier League … but I often said I would rather be on the pitcher’s mound than behind the plate calling balls and strikes.”
Fetscher’s dream was finally realized 26 years later – for just one day. One of Fetscher’s friends, Ryan Reynolds, asked the Otters’ owner, Bill Bussing, if the team would offer Fetscher a one-day contract with all the legal paperwork, Otters jersey and his photo and rookie stats on the scoreboard. They waited until Fetscher’s birthday, January 6, to surprise him with this. “It may have been put on hold for 26 years, but I finally made it,” he joked, crediting his wife, children and even a few people at USI for keeping the Otters’ contract a secret from him for several months.
Before coming to USI in October 2005, Fetscher worked at Channel 14 in television production. For the College of Nursing and Health Professions, he coordinates the online recordings (Panopto and Zoom) as well as classroom lecture recordings. During the pandemic in Fall 2020, he handled almost 1,100 separate class recordings for the semester – sometimes up to 26 classes a day. When he is not in his office in the Health Professions Center, he runs the music and audio at the Screaming Eagles Arena for USI volleyball and basketball games, plus he has also freelanced for CBS Sports, Fox Sports, ESPN, Disney Channel, NBC Sports and DirtVision TV.
Fetscher played baseball at USI from 1992-95 and was inducted into the USI Athletic Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 2007. He threw two no-hitters as a freshman (one a perfect game) and settled into the closer role as his career went along, finishing his tenure at USI ranked first in strike outs and saves. He also set the single game record for strikeouts in a game (14). The three-time All-American was member of USI's NCAA II Tournament team in 1992, 1993 and 1994; the GLVC-title team in 1993; and the back-to-back 40-win seasons.