It is not everyday one gets to sit down and hear the perspective of someone like Jahmoi Percival, an outfielder who is a leader for the Grambling State Tigers baseball program.
Percival is originally from St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands but came to the U.S. for college.
St. Thomas is the only U.S. territory where people drive on the left side of the road. In a world of difference Percival said that detail was one of the first to be resolved.
“That was something I had to get used to as well,” said Percival. “I remember when I first got here, driving around with my teammates. It felt so weird to be on the right side of the road.”
The speedy leadoff hitter is a right handed thrower but a lefty hitter with sweet stroke which was on display at the 2020 Andre Dawson classic which was televised on MLB Network.
He said becoming accustomed to playing the United States over the past few years has been a process.
“It was definitely a big adjustment that I had to make,” said Percival. “Especially hitting in the cold. It isn’t like hitting in a warm climate, especially when you miss-hit a ball it can sting and make your hands feel very uncomfortable. That was definitely something that I had to get used to.”
He started his journey at Lackawanna College, a junior college in Scranton, Penn.
After a sophomore campaign in which he put up monster numbers, he transferred to Grambling where he continued to excel both on and off the field.
Percival was unable to really get going in the 2020 season due to the season cancellation due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, so he returned as a graduate player. His hopes of being signed to play at the professional level may come to fruition.
While the the team is upside down at 9-14 for the 2021 season, Percival is having a great season.
He has the highest batting average among starters on the team at .345.
He has 20 RBIs on 29 hits in 84 outings and boasts the highest on base percentage of any regular player.
Percival said the culture and camaraderie present on the baseball team is amazing and results in a fun environment where players love to work hard and compete.
The Grambling state baseball program is well into the 2021 campaign after a shortened 2020 season in which they finished with 6 wins and 10 losses.
The team still has high hopes for this year.
They will compete for the SWAC Baseball Tournament May 19-23 at Smith-Wills Stadium in Jackson, Miss.
The Tigers aim to move on to the NCAA Tournament set to begin June 4.
The double-elimination tournament will include 64 winners, including the SWAC winner.
The season officially concludes with the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.