Here’s a curveball right off the bat: Jalen’s feared as an elite pitcher on the diamond, yet is one of the nicest kids you’ll ever meet.
Even more daunting than senior Jalen Wade’s curveball are the questions which bear his name in Mr. James Kirchner’s Spanish class.
“The [St. Louis Cardinals and former Malvern pitcher] Tim Cooney curveball is the first one I remember inventing. Any tricky, out of the ordinary question or verb form was fair game,” Kirchner said. “From there on, whichever MP varsity pitcher was in my Spanish IV class got to have tricky questions named after him.”
Unfortunately, Wade’s reign will be coming to end upon his graduation.
“Jalen Wade has had a nice two-year run since he took my class as a junior. Sean ‘Hombre de Cristo’ [also known as senior Sean Christman] immortalized Jalen with his use of it in the Christmas talent show,” Kirchner said. “But I’ve already begun using a Billy Corcoran Curveball to set the stage for next year.”
Outside all the fun in class, Wade put an effort forward which really earned the respect of Kirchner.
“Jalen is one of the few guys who take me up seriously on my plea for them to initiate conversation with me in Spanish,” Kirchner said. “He always wanted to practice and improve his Spanish speaking skills, in and out of class.”
Wade was largely influenced to come here by his father’s own childhood and education experience.
“My dad went to a school similar to Malvern in upstate New York, and he wanted me to have a similar experience,” he said. “Also, my dad’s college coach’s wife worked at Malvern for many years, and she told us many great things about the school and the athletics.”
Anyone who knows Wade knows his love and aptitude for baseball. Perhaps even greater than his talent is the way he carries himself on the field. The best way to think about Jalen Wade is as mint chocolate chip ice cream: cool, calm, and collected on the outside but sweet on the inside.
“He’s a great kid. He goes on the field and puts in work,” teammate and senior baseball player Matt Wray said. “He never does any trash talking; he’s all business. People still fear him but they definitely still respect him.”
A lot of Jalen’s favorite moments have been linked with his great athletic successes with Malvern baseball.
“Winning the Independent State Championship and winning the Inter-Ac have been great moments. My least favorite was when we lost the Independent State Championship last year,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed the past six years at Malvern making many friends and different memories, and I owe a lot of that to baseball.”
Wade’s athletic success got him recruited to play baseball at the University of Cincinnati. His hotline blinged one day and the coach was on the other end of the call, demonstrating real interest.
For those who don’t know “Hotline Bling” is a song by Drake, Wade’s favorite artist.
“I’m looking forward to begin my next step in life and play baseball at the next level. The campus is really nice and I’m excited to get on campus and get the work started,” he said. “I’m majoring in communications there. My goal is to play baseball for a long time, and to own some sort of sports related company.”
Jalen may seem like your normal Malvern kid on the surface, but he is so different. Like so different.
He’s never been to Chipotle before.
“I’m surprised I haven’t been expelled yet,” he said. “Getting a Chipotle burrito bowl seems like a graduation requirement at Malvern.”