When Noah Berghammer and single are mentioned in the same sentence, most Janesville residents would associated it with his baseball skills.
That is not the case these days.
Yes, the 2018 Janesville Craig High graduate and three-year starter on the Cougars baseball team is spending the summer in Saugerties, New York. He’s playing summer baseball for the Saugerties Stallions in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.
But these days, a Berghammer single also could be about the songs he has produced. “Lately”, “Slow Drift” and “Self Destruct” are all available on his Spotify account.
The 21-year-old University of Minnesota student also has published a book entitled “The Push & Pull” that he began writing when he was a senior at Craig High.
Baseball is still a passion for Berghammer. He just isn’t consumed by it.
That means on his one off day a week from playing in the Perfect Pitch Collegiate League, Berghammer drives an hour and 40 minutes into New York City. There he has made a dozen friends that share his interest in creating music and writing.
A business major at Minnesota, Berghammer is primed to take advantage of the recently passed name, image and likeness (NIL) legislation for college athletes.
The legislation allows student athletes to endorse products and businesses, and use their images and social media contacts to earn money.
University of Wisconsin sophomore quarterback Graham Mertz has started his own line of personalized T-shirts—at $29.99 each. Mertz also has his own logo.
The NIL legislation has turned college sports on its head. Alabama coach Nick Saban told the Texas High School Coaches Association convention Tuesday that incoming freshman quarterback Bryce Young, who was the consensus top quarterback prospect in the 2020 class, is approaching millionaire status with the deals he’s made thus far.
For Berghammer, the new regulations won’t result in millions.
He is using it as freedom to merge his baseball with his musical and writing interests. He always felt he had to “hide” his baseball activities from his musical and writing friends.
He can now post songs and similar items on his Facebook page that he would not have posted before. He always had separate Facebook and emails to separate his baseball and musical interests.
“It’s given me the ability to be my full self,” Berghammer said before a summer league game Wednesday. “It’s been a weight off my shoulders.”
Berghammer does earn royalty payouts from “The Push & Pull” that he wrote to detail the trials and tribulations 18-year-olds go through after graduation from high school to whatever comes next.
He began writing the book when he realized his Craig classmates had different outlooks for their futures than he had for his.
“All I wanted to do since I was 12 was get out and see the world,” he said. “Go to the big cities and be part of something different.
“But I had a lot of friends that said, ‘Ah, I don’t know if I want that. I like my sense of home space. I’m afraid to fail.’”
“The Push & Pull” explores the different paths 18-year-olds face after graduation.
He started jotting down ideas for the book. He “put it on the back shelf” when he entered the University of Minnesota with studies and baseball taking up much of his time.
Berghammer was recruited by several Division 1 colleges after being named a preseason All-American before his senior season. He played on the traveling team Top Tier Americans, and was team captain and Most Valuable Player.
But then he suffered a torn hip labrum and a sports hernia his freshman season at Minnesota. That shelved his baseball plans, but allowed him to return to his book.
At about that time, a Craig High classmate died, which made him more determined to finish the book.
“For the first time, I realized that life is fragile,” Berghammer said.
He spent the summer of 2019 writing. When he was finished—with the guidance of a published University of Minnesota professor—Berghammer sent inquiries and a synopsis to 65 publishing firms. Two responded. One from Philadelphia accepted it.
“The Push and Pull” went on the market a month ago.
“It’s doing well so far,” Berghammer said.
Berghammer plans to use the NIL legislation to make money conducting private hitting clinics.
“I can now post on Facebook, ‘University of Minnesota infielder, if anybody is looking for private hitting lessons…’ and what the hours are and what I charge,” he said.
The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League season ends a week from now, and he plans to spend about 2½ weeks in Wisconsin after that before heading back to the Twin Cities. His parents, Mike and Jean, moved to Fox Lake after Noah graduated from Craig.
He’ll spend time there, but will be in Janesville to perform a concert at Bodacious Brew in the Block 42 area of downtown Aug. 20, and also will perform at his father’s class reunion.
Berghammer will graduate in the spring of 2022. He plans to play one more season of baseball at Minnesota, but does have the option of two more years of eligibility with COVID-19 provisions.
He does not have a specific job objective.
“I’m just throwing enough stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks in the next year,” he said about his post-graduate plans. “I’ll probably go to New York City and get an internship either in marketing, music or publishing. Maybe take a job in a marketing agency for a little while, while working on my entrepreneurial pursuits in writing or music.”
If anyone can take advantage of the name, image and likeness legislation, it’s Noah Berghammer. He definitely is not single-minded.