Matt Szczur

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Matt Szczur
File:Matt Szczur 1549.jpg
Szczur with the Daytona Cubs
Chicago Cubs – No. 20
Outfielder
Born: (1989-07-20) July 20, 1989 (age 30)
Cape May Court House, New Jersey
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
August 17, 2014, for the Chicago Cubs
MLB statistics
(through April 29, 2016)
Batting average .250
Home runs 5
Runs batted in 23
Teams

Matthew Francis Szczur (born July 20, 1989) is an American professional outfielder for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played college football and baseball at Villanova University prior to signing a professional contract with the Cubs in January 2011.[1][2]

Early life

Szczur was born in Cape May Court House, New Jersey, and grew up in Erma, New Jersey, He attended Lower Cape May Regional High School, where he earned varsity letters in football, baseball, and track and field. Szczur was drafted in the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft out of high school by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 38th round, but decided to attend Villanova University instead.

College

Szczur played wide receiver, running back, wildcat QB and was a return specialist on special teams for the Villanova Wildcats football team. He gained 270 all-purpose yards and scored two touchdowns in a winning effort in the 2009 Division I FCS National Championship Game helping Villanova capture their first NCAA Football Championship. He was named MVP of that Championship Game. Also was a consensus All-American and 2009 CAA Offensive Player of the Year.

Matt also played centerfield for the Villanova Baseball Program.

Professional baseball career

Szczur signed a contract with the Chicago Cubs organization, which drafted him in the fifth-round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft.[3] He received a $100,000 signing bonus, with an additional $500,000 if he declined to attend the NFL combine and made a written commitment to baseball before February 10, 2011. He was assigned to the club's short season Class-A team, the Boise Hawks, and first appeared in uniform July 8, 2010. He was then promoted to the club's mid-A team, the Peoria Chiefs on July 27, 2010. He hit .347 in 25 games in 2010.

After the 2010 season, Szczur committed to baseball and signed a $1.5 million deal with the Cubs in January 2011.[4] As he was released from his initial contract and signed a new contract to receive the bonus, he would have been eligible in the 2011 Rule 5 draft if not added to the Cubs' 40 man roster.[5]

On July 9, 2011, Szczur was assigned to the Class A-Advanced Daytona Cubs roster.[6] On July 27, 2012, Szczur was promoted to the Double-A Tennessee Smokies.[7]

On August 16, 2014, Szczur was called up to the Cubs. He made his debut with the Cubs the next day.[8][9]

In 2015 Matt would spend time with the Iowa Cubs but would be recalled to Chicago on June 2.

On April 29, 2016 Szczur hit his first Major League grand slam against the Atlanta Braves in the 8th inning putting the Cubs up 6-1 , which the Cubs would go on to win by.

Personal

In 2009, Szczur donated bone marrow to a 15-month-old Ukrainian girl named Anastasia battling Leukemia. Szczur essentially saved the girls life given how hard it would have been to find another person that was a match for bone marrow and the severity of her condition. He met the healthy 4 year old girl and her parents via Skype using a translator that was present at Anastasia's house. It was documented in E:60 Risking it All, which is one of ESPN's E:60 presentations.[10][11]

References

  1. Cubs, Matt Szczur have deal ESPN.com, January 18, 2011
  2. "Player Bio: Matthew Szczur - VILLANOVA OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE". Villanova.com. July 20, 1989. Retrieved June 13, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Cubs pick Lower Township's Matt Szczur in fifth round". pressofAtlanticCity.com. June 9, 2010. Retrieved June 13, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Draft News - Baseball America". BaseballAmerica.com. Retrieved March 10, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Minor League - Baseball America". BaseballAmerica.com. Retrieved March 10, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Florida State League Transactions". July 2011. Minorleaguebaseball.com. Retrieved July 26, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. http://www.csnphilly.com/baseball-philadelphia-phillies/phillies-talk/Villanovas-Szczur-promoted-by-Cubs?blockID=747291&feedID=704
  8. Chicago Tribune (August 17, 2014). "Matt Szczur promoted - Chicago Tribune". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved March 10, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Lower Township's Matt Szczur is officially a Major Leaguer". pressofAtlanticCity.com. Retrieved March 10, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Star of Villanova's FCS title, Matt Szczur, may help save the life of a 15-month-old girl". nydailynews.com. December 20, 2009. Retrieved January 31, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/media/pressreleases/2013/0904.html

External links