ON THE FARM AT LAKE ELSINORE
~~WITH MATT JACKSON, MAY 25, 2013~~
Matt Jackson is a man who is not afraid of hard work. “My dad is a home-builder and I would always help with that.” In fact, when asked what he would do if he couldn’t play baseball he felt he would probably work in construction with his dad.
He started playing ball when he was very young – playing T-ball. We asked him about his earliest baseball memory and he talked about remembering when the Rock Cats were holding the All-Star Game. “I was there – watching Todd Walker – who was a local guy from Airline High School. He made it with the Twins and the Reds. That is one of my childhood memories.”
He grew up liking Chipper Jones. “I liked the way he went about his business, playing through injuries. He knew their winning percentage stayed up when he played. I like the way he played 3B, I liked his swing. I like the way he carried himself. He’s just someone I looked up to when I was younger.” In high school, Matthew played both football and baseball for the Haughton High Buccaneers, earning letters in both sports. During his freshman year, he was 3-0 and as a sophomore he compiled a 6-2 record with 6 saves. Matt was selected an all-district infielder as well as being as member of 2 district championship teams.
After a solid high school career, he attended LSU in 2007 pitching in 14 games for the Tigers with a 5.4 and a 4.50 ERA. He transferred in 2008 to Chipola College and had a terrific season with a perfect 10-0 record and a 2.61 ERA in 19 games. He transferred again in 2009 to the University of Southern Alabama where he was 5-4 with a 5.40 ERA. The Padres decided to draft Matt in 2009 with their 31st round pick and assigned him to their A- team in Eugene where he finished 2009 with a 3-7 record and 4.97 ERA. He started 2010 with Eugene but was called up to the Padres A ball team in Ft. Wayne and finished that season with a 4-2 record with a 5.22 ERA. 2011 was a banner season for Matthew in Ft. Wayne. He had a 5-1 record, a 1.95 ERA and struck out 68 in 64 innings. 2012 saw Matt pitch for the Padres A+ team in Lake Elsinore, their AA team in San Antonio and their AAA team in Tucson making 25 starts for all 3 teams going 9-5. 2013 has been about the same for Matt bouncing between Lake Elsinore and Tucson.
Click HERE to access his up-to-date stats.
With each stop he makes in the minors, Matt appreciates the game he plays. “I was never a big prospect guy, so just to be given the opportunity to play I have just always been grateful for. If you told me 5 years ago I would be where I am, I would have laughed at you. I’ve got talent, but not the talent that some of these guys do. I think my work ethic has covered my talent and I’m just grateful to have the opportunity.”
If you have an opportunity to see Matt Jackson, take time to say hello to him. He loves the game of baseball and he loves the fans.
In the meanwhile, be sure to connect with Matt ….
- Follow on Twitter @mcjackson87
Lake Elsinore is a terrific ballpark and a great place to take in some wonderful baseball (see schedule) and see the stars of tomorrow. We highly recommend you take a drive up the I-15 and enjoy a ballgame at The Diamond!
Interview & Story by Wayne McBrayer, TheCasualFan
Editing & Photography by Rebecca Herman, TheBaseballPHD