Saints baseball brothers: Nelsons join forces for Seward

Deven Nelson, 21, and Jorden Nelson, 19, are brothers from New Mexico who are playing on the Seward County Community College Saints baseball team.

Deven, a red shirt sophomore, had been pretty set on going to Midland or Odessa, Texas but he “fell in love with the program” that SCCC had to offer.

“I liked it so much. I thought it would be the best place for me to come.”

Deven had recommended the program to his younger brother, Jorden, and so he also wanted to attend SCCC.

“I liked this program. It’s a good program,” Jorden said.  He was invited to tryout for the baseball team last April, and before he left tryouts he got to pick out his number.

The brothers have been playing baseball “since they were toddlers,” said Rhonda Nelson, mom of Deven and Jorden, who was at the opening game of the Saints baseball team Saturday.

Rhonda remembers seeing them play baseball in the back yard and thinking about how they were going to be baseball players one day. The boys started with T-ball when they were 5 years old.

Gary Nelson, proud dad of Deven and Jorden, recalls, “The first time that Deven had to step out onto the field, he clung onto my leg. He didn’t want to go out there, but afterwards he didn’t want to come off the field.”

The boys’ activities then followed with Little League when they were, approximately, 6 years old to when they were 13 years of age during the summers.

The boys did travel ball, which is also known as USSSA or United States Specialty Sports Association, for the rest of the year.

Both Deven and Jorden played varsity high school baseball from their freshman to senior year.

“When Jorden was a freshman in high school, we were playing our main rival, Carlsbad, and Jorden was brought in to pitch for few innings an held them scoreless to win game and big brother, Deven, was playing third base and was first to the pitcher’s mound, grinning from ear to ear to hug his little brother.” The whole team dog piled him on the mound when they beat Carlsbad.

Every year the Nelson brothers played in high school, they won district and played in state playoffs. Because of the two-year age difference, high school was the first time that the boys had the chance to play together on the same team. At the time Deven was a senior and Jorden was a sophomore.

“It was a delight to have them both play together. We thought it was a once in a lifetime thing, and now here we are at Seward and they both play. It’s such an honor. Not every parent gets to do this. It’s a blessing,” Rhonda said. The brothers also played in a summer league called Connie Mack while  they were in high school. “There was never a time they didn’t play baseball,” Rhonda said.

“They did play football in high school, but any free time was devoted to baseball. They would  play football in the mornings and baseball in the afternoons. Deven played quarterback in football and Jorden played receiver, so big brother threw a few passes to little brother. We thought that was neat. We come from a football town, but baseball has always been their love,” Rhonda said.

For the Nelsons, “baseball runs in the family,” Deven said. The brothers father and uncle both played baseball.

Gary Nelson played baseball one year in college for Arizona. The brothers were coached all throughout their high school years by their uncle, Martin Green, since he was assistant head coach. “That was a dream come true for him and them,” Rhonda said, “He always coached first base, so if they had a bad at bat and made it safe to first base, he always had something to say to them. Even if they had a good at bat he still told them what to do to get better after that famous grin and the slap on the butt.”

Deven plans on going to a four-year and then play professionally. He wants to teach coaching and physical education.

Jorden wants to do the same. He plans on going to a four-year school and play pro ball if he gets drafted. He then wants to work  towards being a sports trainer.


Courtesy photo/Rhonda Nelson  The Nelsons pose for a photo after the games in Midland, Texas, last season. Jorden was still a senior in high school.
Courtesy photo/Rhonda Nelson
The Nelsons pose for a photo after the games in Midland, Texas, last season. Jorden was still a senior in high school.