Strong Arm: Former TCU pitcher rises in legal field

2011 MAR 20: TCU's Trent Appleby (11) pitches during an NCAA Baseball game between the host UNLV Rebels and 9th ranked TCU Horned Frogs at Earl E. Wilson Stadium in Las Vegas, NV. TCU won 8-4. (Cal Sports Media via AP Images)

Underwood Law Firm

1008 Macon St.

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Fort Worth 76102

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The Underwood Law Firm P.C. was founded in Texas in 1912. The firm has offices in Amarillo, Fort Worth, Lubbock, Plano, Hereford and Pampa.

Trent Appleby thrives on feeding his competitive nature.

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He did that while playing baseball at Texas Christian University from 2008 through 2011. He currently does that as a Fort Worth lawyer for the Underwood Law Firm.

He compares being a lawyer to playing baseball.

“It fills that competitive nature I had with baseball that’s no longer there,” Appleby said. “I can apply that to the legal field to fill that void.”

As a TCU relief pitcher, Appleby was on the mound 96 times, a school record. He also was on the university’s first team that earned a trip to College World Series in Omaha, in 2010.

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After graduating from TCU in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in criminal justice, Appleby migrated to Southern Methodist University in Dallas where he earned a law degree a year ago.

Appleby was with Anderson & Riddle L.L.P., where he was responsible for transactional and litigation matters in the areas of civil litigation, aviation litigation, estate planning, insurance coverage and defense, real property, corporate transactions and employment disputes, prior to being hired by the Fort Worth-based Underwood firm in May.

He is a member of the Tarrant County Bar Association, Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association, the Dallas Bar Association-Real Estate Section and the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers.

Appleby, 28, said the Underwood firm provides the type of challenges he’s looking for.

“I’m getting to do a lot of new things,” he said. “I’m doing both litigation and transactional work, which I enjoy. I like that I’m getting experience doing things that I didn’t really anticipate doing while in law school. But I enjoy learning new things. I’m learning a lot quickly. It’s certainly enjoyable. They’re great about letting me do things on my own while guiding me at the same time.”

Mitchell Moses, an attorney at the Underwood firm, said he’s elated that Appleby is on board.

“We think he’s a good fit in our office,” Moses said. “He’s very responsive and grasps concepts very quickly. He has a great ability to get good answers back to clients.”

Appleby was raised in McKinney where he thrived as a high school baseball player. His 21-0 pitching record helped earn a baseball scholarship at TCU.

But during his sophomore year, Appleby had rotator cuff surgery. At that point, he realized he needed to look for a more realistic profession.

“It kind of dawned on me that baseball probably was not going to be my full-time job once I finished at TCU. I had the realization that being a major-league pitcher was very unlikely.”

However, Appleby was successful down the stretch at TCU.

In 2009, for example, he was a First Team All-Mountain West Conference-Relief Pitcher. In 2011, he was a Second Team All-Mountain West Conference-Relief Pitcher.

“Trent had a great career,” TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “He was a reliable reliever and he was a real fun guy. You could bring him in the third inning and he could finish a game. You could have him close the game.”

Appleby also was on an academic scholarship at TCU and fit in well with Schlossnagle’s heavy emphasis on his players taking their classroom work very seriously.

“We have high standards around here academically and athletically,” Schlossnagle said. “Excellence is one of our core values, which means you strive to be the best you can be in all of the areas of your life and Trent was committed to that, especially later in his career. He was a very well balanced guy. He did a good job of being serious when we need him to be serious. He also liked to have a good time. He was a team favorite. That’s for sure.”

Danny Wheat, TCU’s baseball team trainer, said Appleby made sure he and those around him had fun while he played for the Horned Frogs.

“Trent was a lot of fun to be around,” Wheat said. “If you had to label him, he was a team clown. He kept things loose and was always in the middle of everything.”

But as a pitcher, Appleby had a knack for throwing the ball accurately.

“He could put it where he wanted to,” Wheat said. “He was able to be extremely successful.”

Appleby praised Schlossnagle and TCU for a high commitment to building a highly respected baseball program.

“They have an incredible coaching staff – the entire sports staff is just top notch,” Appleby said. “TCU is just a great place to come if you want to play baseball. Their facilities are the best in college baseball. They have great fan support as well. The fan support is tremendous.”

Appleby is one of those avid Horned Frog fans.

Earlier this month, he attended games at TCU’s Lupton Stadium where he watched as the Horned Frogs clinched both the NCAA Regional and Super Regional titles. Winning the coveted Super Regional title earned the Horned Frogs a fourth consecutive berth at the College World Series in Omaha.

Appleby said he’s awestruck by the current TCU pitching staff that includes remarkable hurlers such as Brian Howard and Jared Janczak who both helped TCU edge Missouri State in the June 10-11 Super Regional Series.

“It’s good to see how their starting pitching has been at the Regionals and Super Regionals,” Appleby said. “Obviously, they’re very experienced.”