Alum of the Year: Nate Mondou ’13
August 23, 2023
By Kimberly Banti
Nate Mondou ’13 has been making headlines over the past 12 months—first after appearing for the Oakland Athletics in his Major League Baseball debut last fall, and then again in February after signing with the Chicago White Sox organization to support their minor league needs at second base. In honor of his achievements both on and off the baseball field, Charles Wright Academy is honored to recognize Nate as the 2023 Alum of the Year.
A CWA lifer, Nate started his Tarrier journey in kindergarten and cited the school’s breadth and depth of academic and extracurricular offerings for helping him discover a wide array of interests and skills early on. “It’s truly a diverse community, one that allows you to pursue your dreams, find out what you’re passionate about, and try things that you otherwise wouldn’t try,” Nate recalled. “I was able to find so many passions here. I spent hours in Laurel Webster’s calculus class and hours in the ceramics room with Miles Struxness—and I was able to go out to the baseball field with Jim Pelander and Tyler Francis, and I enjoyed every single moment of that.”
In 2009 Nate and his teammates on USA Baseball’s under-14 national team won the gold medal at the Pan-American Baseball Confederation (now the World Baseball Softball Confederation Americas) tournament in Ecuador. During his tenure on the CWA varsity baseball team, Nate was named to the Nisqually League first team three times—and, his senior year, he was an all-state honoree. Athletic Director Tyler Francis coached Nate and noted not only this athletic talent, but also his work ethic. “Nate has always been a talented baseball player, but he was not just born with his talent,” Mr. Francis said. “He had to put in long hours of practice to improve and progress in his skills. There was no off-season for Nate, as he would begin his indoor training sessions to get ready for the next season.”
Fellow coach Jim Pelander, a now-retired Lower School teacher, agreed. “He was and still is a natural leader who leads by example and oftentimes helped his CWA teammates develop and elevate their own skills,” Mr. Pelander said. “Nate sets goals for himself and works extremely hard to achieve those goals. He has all the leadership skills to help any organization be successful. There are not many Nate Mondous in this world, and I feel very fortunate to have been part of his baseball journey.”
Nate went on to play National Collegiate Athletics Association Division I baseball at Wake Forest University for three years before being drafted in the 13th round of the 2016 MLB draft by the Oakland Athletics. He played for various minor league A’s teams—including Triple-A affiliate Las Vegas Aviators—before being called up to his first major league game on October 4, 2022, against the Los Angeles Angels, where he went 0-for-2 with a walk. In late February, the Chicago White Sox organization signed Nate and added him to the roster of their Triple-A team, the Charlotte Knights, in April. As of late June, he had more than 200 at-bats, 35 runs, 53 hits, eight home runs, and 29 runs batted in, with a .260 average.
“Nate is a great athlete, but more importantly, he’s an even better person,” Mr. Francis said. “He treats teammates, opponents, and officials with respect no matter what the situation might be. And there have been times during his professional baseball career when his team will be playing in Tacoma, and Nate will take time to talk to all his friends and younger players whom he has trained before he gets to have a conversation with his own family—who waits patiently. Nate has been a baseball all-star at every level he has played, but he is a bigger star in life. He always takes time for others, which makes Nate Mondou special.”
Not only did Nate first hone these impressive professional skills while at CWA, but he also met his wife while both were in the Upper School: He and Abby (McDonald) Mondou married in October 2021. “This community introduced me to my now-wife as a sophomore in high school, and it’s a community that holds a very special place in our hearts—one that we’ll be part of for a long time to come,” he said. “There are so many wonderful students, faculty, alumni, and coaches here that do so many great things for our community. It really is an honor to receive this award.”