|Baseball, One Woman's Perspective #5: Mark Sweeney||| Print ||
Written by April Addington (Contact & Archive) on July 05, 2003
Since then I have followed his career and progression. Like any other player, Mark has been through his share of trades, releases, demotions, promotions, and injuries. He has endured surgeries and rehab stints, but through it all, Mark never lost sight of his goals and dreams or his hope, will, and desire to continue playing baseball. He fought back and overcame adversity.
Through the years he played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, and in 1998 he went to the World Series with the San Diego Padres. In January of 2003, Mark signed a minor-league contract with the Colorado Rockies and was a non-roster invitee to Rockies Spring Training Camp in Tucson.
On March 15th, 2003, I met Mark on the field at Hi Corbett during the Rockies' annual Spring Training Fan Photo Day. We introduced ourselves to each other and got a picture taken together. We talked for a few minutes afterwards and I found myself very impressed with him. He is very friendly, outgoing, polite, down-to-earth, and has both a great personality and sense of humor. After my time with him, I watched Mark interact with other fans and he was so amazing. He is not just a man who loves his job as a baseball player; he is a man who truly loves his fans.
Mark started off the 2003 season playing AAA baseball for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Three weeks into the season, he found himself making a trip an hour up Interstate 25 to Denver to join the big club when first baseman/outfielder Chris Richard went down with a shoulder injury. Mark figured his promotion was only temporary and was well prepared to make the trek back to Colorado Springs. Upon hearing the news that Chris Richard needed season-ending shoulder surgery he learned that he'd be staying with the Rockies.
The Rockies should feel lucky to have Mark on their team. He provides the team with veteran leadership, both on the field and in the clubhouse. Mark brings another left-handed bat to the team and can give first baseman Todd Helton or any of the outfielders a day off, since he is versatile and can play at first base or anywhere in the outfield. He also has the ability of hitting anywhere in the lineup, an accomplishment not many players can lay claim to.
Off of the field, Mark is active in many charities and organizations, including the Make-A-Wish/Touch Them All Foundation with country musician Garth Brooks, fellow Rockies teammate Larry Walker, and former San Diego Padres teammate Steve Finley (now with the Arizona Diamondbacks). He is also an honorary member of the San Diego Madres, an organization that helps children in the community fulfill their hopes, dreams, and wishes of playing baseball become reality.
Mark has a big interest in broadcasting, and wants to pursue it once his baseball career is over. With his awesome personality and sense of humor, I think he will definitely excel.
I collect everything on Mark Sweeney and run my own online fan club about and for him and his fans. It's my way of showing my appreciation and paying homage to a player who has really made a positive impact on me. Mark checks out the site when he has some free time and I think that's great.
If you are looking for a fantastic player to cheer for and watch, take a look at Colorado Rockies first baseman/outfielder Mark Sweeney. He truly is a gamer.