New Saint Mark’s alumnus Brock Long ‘13 signed this past week with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Division I baseball team, which is coached by another Spartan graduate and former Major League Baseball player, Pedro Swann ’88.
Long, who helped bring the 13th seeded Saint Mark’s team yet another state championship title this year, said he is excited to aid his new coach in bringing the tradition of excellence for which the Spartan baseball program is known to the Hawks’ team.
“I am really looking forward to making a difference and to help rebuild the program,” said Long.
Long, who is majoring in exercise science at the university, said that he sees many parallels between this season and the challenges that he may face on his new team.
“We were a strong team, but we weren’t living up to our potential at first,” he said. “And winning although we were seeded 13th was a great way to end our senior year. In the end, we proved everyone wrong.”
This years’ experience will give Long the determination to do the same on Swann’s team. Swann inherited a team in need of a turn-around this year, and though his first season was a losing one, he still earned non-conference victories against teams from the Big South Conference, the Patriot League and the Atlantic-10 Conference. Several of his current players earned Mid-Atlantic Eastern Conference honors.
Swann played professionally from 1991 to 2007, including three years playing in Major League Baseball. Drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1991, he made his major league debut for the team in 2000. Swann also made major league appearances for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2002 and the Baltimore Orioles in 2003. His final year in the majors he hit a home run off Roger Clemens at Orioles Park at Camden Yards. He also played with the Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies organizations.
In addition to earning numerous awards during his playing time, including election into the Delaware State University Athletic Hall of Fame, he also has appeared on the big screen in the role of Juan Vasquez in the 1998 baseball movie "For Love of the Game," starring Kevin Costner and Kelly Preston.
A dedicated student athlete, Long said that he is very happy with the academic support that he will have as a UMES athlete, and that the required study hall hours will help him to sustain the level of focus and organization he cultivated as a Saint Mark’s student. He also said that his time at the high school helped him to increase his faith and to rely on God through his experience.
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“Though I’m not Catholic, Saint Mark’s helped me in prayer,” Long said. “They also taught me to trust in God more – through my athletic career, my academics, everything.”
Long joins many other members of the class of 2013 in playing collegiate sports, including football, volleyball, soccer, swimming, basketball, lacrosse, baseball, softball, and crew.