The Student News Site of Lowell High School

The Lowell

The Student News Site of Lowell High School

The Lowell

The Student News Site of Lowell High School

The Lowell

Rising star: How underclassman Reggie Fong solidified his spot in varsity baseball

Roman Fong

As freshman Reggie Fong walks onto the field for the City League championship game in May 2023, his baseball career flashes through his mind. Stepping up to the plate, he reflects on his growth both mentally and physically over the season. As the only freshman on the Lowell varsity baseball team, his initial feelings of doubt from not playing alongside teammates his age faded away as the season progressed. Preparing to bat, Fong is confident that he has proved his worthiness in being selected to the Varsity team, living up to the pressure he faced. The double he hits confirms his feelings, and he smiles towards the dugout triumphantly. 

This city championship game was just the icing on the cake for Fong’s baseball career. 

Last season, sophomore Fong became the first freshman in five years to make the Lowell varsity baseball team, playing an integral role in the successful 2022-2023 season. Prior to this, he felt concerned about not being able to fit in with the team due to his age but soon gained a sense of belonging in the baseball community with the help of his teammates. Eventually, he would help the team win both the City League and CIF State championships. 

In addition, Fong is a member of the Philippines National Baseball Association and was given the opportunity to play in the Philippines and China over the summer. This unique opportunity is another remarkable moment in Fong’s young baseball career.

Kylie Chau

From playing little league to playing baseball overseas on a national team, baseball has been Fong’s life for as long as he can remember. Growing up in a family of baseball players, Fong’s athletic journey began early. “I started playing when I was four years old,” he said. “I always played with my brother and my sister when we were younger.” At eight years old, he started playing at a travel level, where he and his team went to different cities around the country to play. Fong also played baseball at Presidio Middle School during his eighth grade in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic restricting his sixth and seventh-grade years.

Fong’s interest in Lowell’s baseball program emerged before even attending high school, taking influence and insight from his older brother, Roman Fong, editor-in-chief of The Lowell, who was already a player on the team.  Witnessing Lowell baseball’s recent success and being familiar with several coaches because of his brother, joining the team was a no-brainer for him. “The reputation of Lowell baseball is pretty good,” Fong said. “My brother has been here longer and has known the coaches, so I got to know the program a little better before going here.”

Although Fong had some concerns about being the only underclassman on the team,  he recalls having a positive experience of making the team. Once the season started, Fong eventually began feeling a sense of camaraderie with his teammates. “It wasn’t like I was the young guy trying to play with the older guys, it was just me playing with my team,” Fong said. 

It wasn’t like I was the young guy trying to play with the older guys, it was just me playing with my team,”

However, this is not to say Fong’s experience of being the only freshman in the group was easy. Missing the chance to play with close friends on the junior varsity team, Fong felt that making the varsity lineup prompted this drawback.  “When I got called up to varsity, it was kinda tough to hear,” Fong said. “I knew I wasn’t gonna be able to be there with them at all times and build the connections you would with people that you’d be around for the next four years.” Despite these challenges, the support Fong received from his varsity teammates enabled him to push through it. “They became big brothers to me,” he said. “I thought they did a really good job and I wouldn’t change anything about it.”

Looking back at his successful first year, he admits not anticipating his strong performance. By the end of the season, Fong led the league with 33 runs scored and was one of five players – alongside his brother – from Lowell to be selected to the All-City First Team,  an honorary team that highlights the best players throughout San Francisco. “I wasn’t really expecting it in the beginning,” Fong said. “I was just expecting to kind of ride the bench. Luckily I got put into the starting lineup and it worked out for me.” 

Roman Fong

One of Fong’s highlights during his first season was being able to play baseball with his siblings. As the season came to an end and Lowell prepared for the City championship against Washington, Fong described the special experience of not only being able to play with his brother in the championship but against his sister, Isabella Fong, as well. His sister, a junior at Washington and an All-City second-team selectee, is a pitcher for the  Washington varsity baseball team. He noted the championship game as one of his favorite career moments, particularly the one-of-a-kind experience of getting to play in a major league ballpark. “Hitting a double against my sister at Oracle Park was really cool,” he said. “Just playing at a major league field was a super amazing opportunity to have and hopefully we have it this year and the next years also.”

Outside of Lowell, Fong has received recognition on the international stage. Last summer, he represented the Philippines in baseball at the Baseball Federation of Asia (BFA) tournament in Shandong, China. After playing with the domestic Philippines Baseball program, he was invited to play on the 15 U (15 years old and under) national team by a coach. Fong felt extremely grateful for the opportunity. “Being able to travel and meet new people… the opportunity I was given through baseball was really great and something I’ll cherish forever,” he said. “This opportunity to play with this many people and meet new people from other places is really great.”

Looking to the future, Fong hopes to continue playing strong, and eventually at the collegiate level.  “College is a big goal for me,” he said. “Playing in college is something I really want to do, even if it’s just junior college; it doesn’t have to be D1 or anything,” he said. For only being a sophomore, Fong’s baseball career is off to a steady start, filled with impressive highlights and joyful memories.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Kai Lyddan, Reporter
He/Him Kai is a sophomore who enjoys many things, including reading, art, eating, and watching sports. He also likes almost every type of music, but his favorite artist is Mac Miller. He hates public speaking and bugs.
Roman Fong, Editor-in-Chief
He/Him Roman is a senior who, if not chugging coffee or blasting music, is only doing one of four things: playing baseball, watching the sunset, getting hit in the head with a bowling ball, or falling asleep at the dinner table.
Kylie Chau, Multimedia Editor-in-Chief
She/They Kylie is currently a senior at Lowell. When they aren't in the Journ Room, you can find them enjoying a nice medium cup of an espresso chai latte with light ice and short pull, or watching terrible movies.

Comments (0)

All The Lowell Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *