Reed Rohlman Car Accident: The Life of a Clemson Baseball Legend Cut Short

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The baseball world mourns the tragic loss of Reed Rohlman, a former Clemson outfielder and two-time All-American, who passed away at the tender age of 29 in a devastating reed rohlman car accident in Hobe Sound, Florida. Rohlman’s untimely death has left an indelible void in the hearts of those who knew him, from teammates and coaches to family and friends. Despite his brief time on this earth, Rohlman left an incredible impact, etching his name in Clemson lore and touching countless lives with his infectious spirit.

Reed Rohlman’s Baseball Career

Reed Rohlman’s journey to baseball stardom began at Byrnes High School in Moore, South Carolina, where he honed his skills and developed a passion for the game. In 2014, he joined the prestigious Clemson Tigers program, redshirting his freshman year before bursting onto the scene in 2015. That season, Rohlman achieved a remarkable feat, becoming only the second freshman in Clemson’s storied history to earn All-American honors. He hit an impressive .356, the third-highest average in the ACC, and drove in 58 runs, solidifying his place as one of the Tigers’ brightest young talents.

Rohlman’s excellence continued in the following years, as he consistently delivered standout performances on the diamond. In 2017, he earned second-team All-American recognition after hitting a blistering .361 and helping lead the Tigers to the ACC championship under head coach Monte Lee. Rohlman’s stellar collegiate career culminated in his selection by the Kansas City Royals in the 35th round of the 2017 MLB Draft, where he spent three seasons honing his skills in the organization’s minor league system.

Here’s a snapshot of Rohlman’s impressive college stats at Clemson:

Season Games Batting Average On-Base Percentage Doubles Home Runs RBIs
2015 62 .356 .411 12 2 58
2016 61 .324 .405 19 5 38
2017 64 .361 .437 28 4 39

Rohlman’s former coaches, including Jack Leggett, who guided him during his first two seasons at Clemson, spoke glowingly of his talent and character. “He was a very good player and even more of a good person,” Leggett said. “He always had a smile on his face and was a great teammate. Everybody enjoyed being around him.”

The “Leftfield Jesus”

While his on-field exploits were remarkable, Reed Rohlman was perhaps best known for his unique persona and infectious personality. Affectionately dubbed “Leftfield Jesus” by his teammates and fans, a nod to his distinctive long hair and beard, Rohlman embodied the free-spirited, fun-loving nature that endeared him to all who crossed his path.

One of Rohlman’s most memorable moments came during an NCAA Regional victory against Vanderbilt, as recounted by his close friend and former teammate, Tyler Jackson. “I had a complete-game shutout going in the ninth and I was running out of gas and laid a fastball down the middle and a dude ripped it,” Jackson said. “And Reed robbed it.” Rohlman reached over the wall to deny the Vanderbilt player of a home run, clinching the Clemson victory and preserving Jackson’s shutout in what he considered “the biggest game of his college career.”

Beyond his heroics on the field, Rohlman’s infectious personality left an indelible mark on those around him. Jackson fondly reminisced about his friend’s carefree demeanor, sharing memories of Rohlman’s constant jokes and lighthearted antics that brought joy to even the most intense moments. “Everywhere he went, even if he wasn’t somewhere for long, he always made a big group of friends just through his infectious personality and free spirit,” Jackson said.

A Brother’s Love

While Reed Rohlman’s baseball accomplishments were remarkable, his impact extended far beyond the diamond. To his sisters, Sylvia and Erica, he was a protective older brother, a source of unwavering love and support. Sylvia fondly recalled the “front porch talks” Reed would have with her dates, a ritual that ensured the young suitors treated his little sister with the utmost respect.

“He’d always tell me, ‘You can’t come listen,’ before he’d talk to my date on the front porch,” Sylvia reminisced with a smile. “But they’d have a talk out there, and then he’d let them come inside and take me out on our date. I still never know what he told them. All I know is that he scared every boy I dated. Which was kind of a good thing.”

Erica, the eldest of the Rohlman siblings, shared a particularly poignant memory of her brother’s unwavering devotion. “He was at a baseball practice with Clemson the day our dad passed away,” she recounted. “He came home, and the first thing he said to me was ‘You don’t have to worry about anything. I’ll walk you down the aisle one day.'” True to his word, Reed fulfilled that promise in 2019, locking arms with Erica and giving her away to her husband, Aaron.

In the wake of their father Erik’s passing in 2014, Reed assumed the role of the family’s pillar, supporting his mother Jennifer and sisters during their time of grief. Erica fondly remembered how her brother embraced his newfound responsibilities, stating, “Our family, and especially Reed, went through a lot as kids, so he learned how to be a man earlier than most people have to. It shaped him into the amazing guy he became.”

His One True Love

Amidst the triumphs and challenges of his life, Reed Rohlman found solace and unwavering love in his relationship with his girlfriend, Emma Vollbracht. Their connection was immediate and profound, defying Emma’s skepticism about the concept of “love at first sight.”

“The first time I locked eyes with Reed, I became a believer,” Emma reminisced. “Ask anybody that knew us, and they’d all say the same thing: our love was magic. We lit up the room when we were together.”

Emma spoke glowingly of Rohlman’s unwavering devotion and care, describing him as “old-fashioned” in his gestures of love and respect. “He held every door, paid for every meal, and loved me every day,” she shared. Their Tuesday night tradition of drinking red wine, playing rummy, and falling asleep in each other’s arms epitomized the simplicity and beauty of their bond.

Tragically, just weeks before reed rohlman car accident and untimely passing, he had confided in friends and family his desire to propose to Emma and start a family. “We were truly each other’s person. He was my one,” Emma said, her voice cracking with emotion. “My heart is going to ache for the rest of my life that I don’t get to experience getting engaged to him, marrying him, and having kids with him. All the good things we talked about together.”

Remembering Reed

As the baseball community and Rohlman’s loved ones grapple with their profound loss, plans are underway to honor his remarkable legacy. Byrnes High School, where Rohlman’s athletic journey began, will host a celebration of life on Saturday, April 6, at the school’s baseball field. Friends, family, former coaches, and teammates are expected to gather in large numbers to pay tribute to the man who touched so many lives.

“We hope anyone who knew Reed or just wants to stop by will come out,” Erica Rohlman said, extending an open invitation. “We know he meant a lot to so many people.”

During this time of mourning, those closest to Rohlman are finding solace in the countless cherished memories they shared with him. Teammates like Tyler Jackson strive to remember “one of the best guys I’ve ever known,” while coaches like Jack Leggett lament the loss of a truly exceptional person. “The world is going to miss Reed Rohlman,” Leggett said, his words echoing the sentiments of all who crossed paths with the vibrant, caring soul.

As the grieving process continues, friends, family, and admirers of Rohlman are encouraged to share their own stories and memories, celebrating the indelible impact he left on their lives. Whether recounting his infectious laughter, his unwavering loyalty, or his genuine kindness, these tales will serve as a testament to the extraordinary human being that was Reed Rohlman.

One such tale comes from Michael Maus, Rohlman’s former head coach at Byrnes High School, who fondly recalled his former player’s playful, carefree spirit. “He was a kid at heart,” Maus said with a reminiscent smile. “He never took anything too seriously, and he was always smiling.”

Maus recounted a particular incident during Rohlman’s junior year, where a friendly wager between Reed and former Byrnes star pitcher Alex Cunningham turned into a memorable display of Rohlman’s natural talent and infectious joy. Cunningham had bet Rohlman that he could strike him out, to which Reed countered by saying he’d take Cunningham over the fence. If Rohlman succeeded, Maus promised to end practice early for the day.

True to his word, Rohlman took one swing and sent Cunningham’s pitch soaring 400 feet over the centerfield wall. “I remember after he hit it, he was rounding the bases and gloating, goofing around,” Maus chuckled. “He took off his cleats and was laughing all the way back to home plate.”

Moments like these, etched into the memories of those who knew him best, serve as a poignant reminder of the sheer joy and exuberance that Rohlman brought into every aspect of his life. His former teammate and roommate at Clemson, Jordan Coker, echoed this sentiment, stating, “You always knew what you were getting with Reed: an infectious smile and great energy. He always lightened the mood, even if he wasn’t trying to. That was just his personality.”

As the baseball world and Rohlman’s loved ones continue to grapple with this devastating loss, they take solace in the knowledge that his legacy will endure. His impact on the lives of those he touched will resonate for generations, serving as a reminder to cherish every moment and to approach life with the same unbridled enthusiasm and zest that defined Reed Rohlman.

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