Dan Scheibe figured he’d probably take the degree he earned from Whitworth University and boost it to a doctorate in cognitive psychology.
That plan is on hold thanks to a welcome call from the Texas Rangers.
Scheibe, a right-hander who served as Whitworth’s ace from the moment he stepped on campus, officially signed a free-agent contract with the Rangers on Tuesday. He’ll spend his summer right back in Spokane as a member of the Indians of the Northwest League.
“To be honest, I’d spoken to a lot of scouts this year, but then I hadn’t really heard from anybody for a little bit, so I was kind of making plans to move on without baseball in my life,” Scheibe said Tuesday as the Indians ran through the second day of a three-day minicamp at Avista Stadium.
“I just got blessed with the opportunity to keep it going, so I’ll chase it as long as I can.”
The Richland native said he’ll work out of the bullpen to start the season.
Scheibe just capped a stellar four-year career for the Division III Pirates. During his senior season the 22-year-old went 9-3 with an earned-run average of 2.10, averaging 11.51 strikeouts per nine innings.
“It sounds cheesy, but when I came (to Whitworth), it just felt right,” Scheibe said. “It felt like a school I could see myself coming to. Looking back, I never regretted it.”
Scheibe threw the first nine-inning no-hitter by a Whitworth pitcher during the metal bat era, producing the gem during the inaugural Northwest Conference tournament in April.
Scheibe had never pitched a no-hitter during his all-league career at Hanford High or even in Little League.
“That was an unreal feeling,” Scheibe said. “That’s one of those things you just dream about, and that was a real team effort.”
After Whitworth’s season ended at regionals in Texas, Scheibe picked up All-West Region honors from ABCA/Rawlings and D3baseball.com.
Scheibe’s parents, Tim and Angela, sent their son on excursions to San Diego and Alaska as a graduation present. Dan returned to the Tri-Cities with the hopes of being selected in last week’s Major League Baseball draft.
The draft came and went without the notification Scheibe wanted, but the Rangers made up for negative news by calling last Saturday with the free-agent offer. Monday marked Scheibe’s first exposure to Avista Stadium. Spokane’s season begins Thursday at home against defending NWL champion Hillsboro.
Scheibe will room this summer with his brother Greg, who runs the Panda Express on Wellesley.
Scheibe’s family will have multiple opportunities to see him pitch in Spokane or at Gesa Stadium in Pasco when the Indians play the Tri-City Dust Devils.
“They’ll have to figure out where they’re going to sit,” Scheibe said. “My grandpa also lives in the Tri-Cities. He’s not very mobile anymore, so I’m really excited that he’ll get to see my pro career, too. It couldn’t have worked out any better for me.”
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