NEW YORK -- It’s nearly a three-hour drive from Cape May, N.J., to Citi Field, but it feels like a homecoming for Chicago Cubs newly promoted outfielder Matt Szczur.
“I proposed in New York, spent a lot of time in New York, so it’s good to be here,” Szczur said Sunday morning.
Szczur, 25, a football-baseball standout at Villanova, also participated in his first pre-draft workout after his junior season at Citi Field before the 2010 draft. Szczur added that he also worked out in front of scouts at since-defunct Shea Stadium in New York after his senior year of high school.
Szczur said he will have up to 20 family members at Sunday’s game, including his fiancée Natalie Cooper.
Szczur’s father Marc won’t be in attendance Sunday, but he has a legitimate excuse.
“I didn’t expect (the promotion) at all,” said Szczur, who said he was in the hot tub before Triple-A Iowa manager Marty Pevey summoned Szczur to his office before Saturday’s game. “My dad was in town in Iowa, dropped me off and headed to the State Fair (in Des Moines). I gave him a call. He was in town to pack up and take some stuff home for me.
“I called him up and said you might want to come back. We’re packing up for a different reason now. “
Szczur said his father will drive his car to Chicago and reunite with him when the Cubs return home Monday night.
This marks a complete journey for Szczur, who passed up a chance to pursue a football career.
“I didn’t think I’d be playing baseball,” Szczur said of his journey. “I thought I’d be going to the NFL and play football for a career. It just so happened my opportunity at the time was better to play baseball. And I just wanted to work hard and get to the highest level. It’s been a great journey. There have been some struggles. But there are struggles everywhere. You learn from your struggles.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun