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Baylor Student Athlete Spotlight: Theron Kay
April 23, 2015

By Spencer Cutright
Big12 Campus Correspondent 

Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach were all famous composers, but were not often mentioned in the same breath as baseball. Baylor pitcher and music composition major Theron Kay might just be out to reverse that trend. Kay, a freshman from San Jose, California, knows that it is not often you come across a music major that also plays baseball.

“I think they are a little taken back sometimes because it’s not very common,” says Kay. “I think a lot of people think that you can do one or the other, but you can’t do both.”

To his teammates Kay is just another player on the team, but with a very interesting off field hobby.

“We call him the most interesting man in the world,” said Baylor outfielder Levi Gilcrease.

“He is a little bit different,” said senior pitcher Sean Spicer.

Not only is Kay’s music composition ability unique, but also is his choice of music. Instead of listening to rock, pop, or rap, Kay enjoys listening to classical music and even movie soundtracks.

“It probably would be hard to believe that somebody is listening to classical music like he does,” said Baylor associate head coach Steve Johnigan.

When he isn’t at school or on the mound Kay spends his free time at his keyboard and computer composing music. From a young age Kay showed interest in music and began playing the piano, while at the same time he also began playing baseball.

Baseball and music actually share many connections, they both involve rhythm, timing, and patience. The connections they share even go beyond that.

“Both take pretty intensive focus as you work,” states Kay. “Baseball can be difficult. Composing music and coming up with work like that can take a lot of focus, a lot of time, and a lot of concentrated energy.”

One of this season’s bright spots on Baylor’s team, Kay is 3-3 in nine appearances with six starts and a 4.45 earned run average. Kay’s three wins tie him for second most on the team and he holds the sixth best earned run average on the team in 32.1 innings of work.

Prior to even stepping on the mound for Baylor, though, Kay’s musical career skyrocketed when he was presented with the chance to compose the music for the ESPN feature “Snoop and Son.”

“It was daunting because it was not only my first big project, but it was Snoop Dog out of all people,” said Kay.

Kay was offered the chance through his girlfriend, who also happens to be the daughter of former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer.

“I am very fortunate to know Trent Dilfer,” says Kay. “When he first heard my music he wanted me to use some of my existing songs for his ‘Elite 11’ show and the director for the ‘Elite 11’ show was also the director for ‘Snoop and Son’ and so he approached me afterwards and said, ‘hey man I really like your music what do you think about doing an original score?’ That was the first time I had ever done something like that.”

For Kay it was the chance of a lifetime. He went on to create a nine-song soundtrack, which included creating an original score.

“It was an opportunity I really couldn’t pass up,” said Kay.

Although his music may just have been in the background, Kay’s teammates were well aware of his accomplishments.

“We all actually watched it in the locker room the first time it came on, and we all went crazy for him,” states Gilcrease. “It was pretty cool to hear his music on ESPN and I was proud of him for sure.”

As to whether he will be playing baseball or composing music in the future?

“They are both almost jobs for me now, but I consider both hobbies at the same time. They are both stuff I love to do.”

For now Kay, will stick to baseball as Baylor looks to finish its season on a strong note. One thing is for sure, though, we won’t see Mozart, Beethoven, or Bach on the baseball diamond anytime soon. 

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