By Jackie Budko
Michael Herson started playing baseball in 1964 at Northwood High School in nearby Silver Spring.
He received a scholarship to play baseball at this university as a pitcher for the freshman team in 1966. He also played at the varsity level for the 1967 and 1968 seasons.
His 1968 season was his best season for the Terps with a .69 Earned Run Average (ERA) and a 5-0 record. Herson’s ERA is the lowest in Terp history to date. Herson also holds the record for most strikeouts in a game with 18 batters against Duke in 1968. He was also was given All-ACC honors and named an All-American.
Herson’s career with the Terps ended in 1968 after he was drafted in the second round of the MLB draft by the Baltimore Orioles as the 30th overall pick and first pitcher selected.
Although he never made it to the major league level, Herson played Minor League Baseball from 1969 to 1973.
After he was cut by the Orioles in 1968, he played for the Miami Marlins AAA affiliate in the International League for Cal Ripken Sr.
In 1970 and 1971, Herson played for the Dallas-Ft. Worth Spurs of the Texas League before being traded in 1972 to the Milwaukee Brewers and played for their AAA affiliate, which led to a trip to the AAA World Series in 1972.
Since 2015, Michael Herson endows two scholarships here at the university, one for the baseball team and another for undergraduates in the Department of Computer and Chemical Engineering.
In 2016, Herson was inducted into the Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Students, though they haven’t heard of Herson, think that seeing local athletes have continued athletic success.
“I grew up in Montgomery County and have a respect for those who come from the area and go on to play for UMD,” said Kaitlyn Davey, a sophomore food science major.
Madeline Gresh, a junior psychology major, also thinks seeing local success is good for this university.
“I think it’s nice to see locals from the DMV area play for the University of Maryland and go on to do great things,” she said.
In recent years, the university made it a priority to attract local talent in the greater Washington D.C. area to play for this university.
“I think we have a lot of great local talent and if the university can attract that talent, we could have a lot of wins in the future,” said Kenny Bonett, a sophomore kinesiology major.