Whittier College is full of amazing athletes who bring forth their all and showcase their talents. For some of the athletes that pour all their blood, sweat, and tears into every game, their efforts often go unrecognized. This is not the case for fourth-year first-baseman Matthew Macey however, whose accomplishments were noticed as he was named part of d3baseball.com’s, Team of the Week. Macey’s outstanding talents have been a work in progress from a very young age.
Growing up in the world of sports and watching his older siblings play, Macey knew he had to find his calling. Since the age of three, he has been devoted to the sport of baseball. Instead of watching classic cartoons like most children, Macey found himself watching programs such as Sportscenter, Baseball Tonight, and his favorite Major League Baseball (MLB) Team, the San Diego Padres.
“One of my best memories of a baseball game is going to a Padres game and getting a picture with Greg Vaughn, who put me up on his shoulder” said Macey. “I was hooked after that, and could name every player on every team when I was little. As [soon as] I was able to, I had a bat in one hand and a ball in the other.”
Macey’s love for baseball did not stop there. He decided to continue with the sport, and pursued baseball in high school. Macey and his teammates were able to earn the title of 2012 San Diego Section California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Championship winners, closing his senior year of high school with an impressive bang.
“We went 31-4 and were named the number one team in California, along with being ranked number eight in the nation by the end of the year,” said Macey.
Macey decided to attend Palomar College, a junior college located in San Marcos, Calif. in the Fall of 2014. With his experience and skill, Macey joined the College’s baseball team, but his baseball career at Palomar was cut short when he was cut from the program.
Fortunately for Macey, when the Palomar door closed, the Whittier door opened, giving him another shot at playing the game he loved. “I was in search of a place to continue playing,” said Macey. “After I was cut, I thought my playing days were over. Luckily, I was able to find Whittier, where I could transfer in the Spring and play that season. Coming to Whittier was mostly about finally having a place where I felt welcomed, and it helped that they had the major I was interested in, which is Kinesiology with a Pre-[Physical Therapy] emphasis.”
Ever since attending Whittier College, Macey has been a star player; and his career statistics continued to increase and improve. His hitting statistics first started at a .243 average and have increased to a .325. His overall batting percentage has gone from .362 to .430, and his slugging percentage improved from .383 to .528. On top of increasing his overall percentages, Macey had the great achievement of breaking the College’s record for doubles as a third-year with 21 doubles. He also was named Second Team All-Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).
According to wcpoets.com, Macey currently places “No. 5 in Batting Average, No. 5 in Triples, No. 2 in doubles, No. 6 in Homeruns, No. 4 in Total Bases, No. 5 in Walks, No. 4 in OB% and No. 2 in SLG%,” in the SCIAC, and he leads the Whittier College Baseball Team in Runs Scored, Doubles, Triples, Home Runs, Batting Average, Walks, RBI’s, OB percentage and SLG percentage.
It was these high percentages and his outstanding effort in the sweep against CalTech that landed him a spot on the d3baseball.com Team of the Week. “I was actually kind of surprised when I heard the news,” said Macey. “It’s always cool to be recognized by others for your achievements, and it makes me proud of myself and the work I have put in these last four years, and trying to improve year in and year out. It’s actually really amazing to think that, out of all these DIII schools, I was chosen for the team of the week. It also just reaffirms to me the mistake my [Junior College] made in cutting me.”
Out of all his most memorable achievements, there is one moment that stands out to Macey above the rest. “The best Walk-off win was [Max Bradshaw‘s hit] against La Verne my sophomore year. It was the first walk-off homer I had been apart of. There is nothing like celebrating a walk-off with your teammates. And then, being named Second Team All-SCIAC with my roommate Andrew was pretty special and something I’m very proud of.”
On top of all the memories, Macey is appreciative to have such a great opportunity and teammates. “This past season as a whole has been one of the best years I’ve had playing baseball, and I couldn’t have asked for a better season to end my career on. We have won 24 games and have a chance to make it to the playoffs — something that we haven’t been close to since I’ve been here, and it feels good to win.”