Student-Athlete Spotlight

Gabe Kleiman - Baseball


1. Name: Gabe Kleiman

2. Class Year: 2018

3. Sport: Baseball

4. Position: Pitcher

5. Why did you choose Penn?
When I decided to transfer after my freshman year, I knew I wanted to go to a bigger school that pushed me in the classroom, while still playing baseball at the highest level possible. Because I’m from New York City, I thought being in a city would have just been a bonus. So when I was accepted to Penn it was really a no brainer.

6. What does the experience of being a Penn Baseball student-athlete mean to you?
It means I get to channel my time and energy into something constructive, be part of something that’s bigger than me, and have a second family on campus of more than 30 guys all working together towards a common goal.

7. What has been your favorite moment/memory with Penn Baseball?
I had to sit out a year because of transfer-eligibility rules, and it was tough watch from the sidelines for that long, so I’d have to say my favorite memory was stepping onto the mound for my first start last year at North Florida after more than a year and a half away from meaningful competition.

8. What has been your favorite class to date and why?
There are a couple of different classes that come to mind, but I think my favorite class I’ve taken so far would have to be Consumer Behavior. I took it last Spring and I liked how it combined some aspects of business with psychology. I’m really interested in psychology, especially the behavioral aspect, so for a class to be able to demonstrate how that can be used in a tangible, meaningful way like marketing was pretty cool.

9. What does life after Penn look like (where you live, what you will be doing)?
I’m a city boy, and at this point, I’d be happy living in the city for the foreseeable future, although I always think it’s interesting to explore new places, and I wouldn’t be opposed to trying something different or moving to a city in a different area of the country or even the world. In terms of what I’d be doing, right now, the short answer is I’m not sure. I’m a PPE major with a focus in the Choice & Behavior theme and a Consumer Psychology minor, so like I said above, it might be interesting to do something related to marketing or maybe even sports psychology. However, part of the reason I chose PPE is that it’s broad enough where I think I could go in a lot of different directions, so I’m still willing to see where life takes me.

10. What are some lessons that you have learned through athletics at Penn that will stay with you after graduation?
I think first and foremost anyone who is part of a serious college sports team learns about accountability. I’d never been on a team as professional or hard-working as the Penn Baseball team, so being on the team has pushed me to hold myself, and my teammates, to a higher standard. You learn to become detail oriented from the small things like showing up early to the locker room, to your reps on the field every day. The school year is a grind, so to add being part of a Division I team to that means you’re going to have ups and downs throughout, but I think everyone who plays a sport here at Penn has to develop a huge amount of physical and mental toughness to push through the rough patches and achieve success in and out of the classroom, which is something we’ll take with us after we graduate and benefit from for the rest of our lives.

11. Last year, over 237 Penn Baseball alumni, family and friends made a financial contribution to your program to help provide you with things like equipment, training tools, uniforms, travel to away meets, meals on the road, sports medicine and sports performance.  What would you say to those who invest in your experience as a Baseball student-athlete? 
Obviously I have to give a huge thank you for allowing me and my teammates and coaches to continue doing what we love here at Penn. It might sounds cliche but the team couldn’t exist as it does without the contributions people who care about our program make every year, and it really does make a difference. We don’t go to a huge sports school, so even relatively small contributions can make a real, substantial difference to the program. It means a lot to all of us that people, whether they be alumni, family, friends, or just fans of the program, care enough about the team and our players to invest in our experience to help us get the best equipment, treatment, and facilities we can.