|BIOGRAPHY | HOME|
In the brisk winter cold of 1985, when the Royals were crowned with the World Series title, and Pete Rose got his 4,000 hit, in a small town outside St. Louis, a young man was born. He had lived in St. Louis for three months while his mother had recovered from the disease she had picked up while in New York, causing the early birth of Marc Southworth. After the three stressful months they headed back up to Tampa where he has had a home ever since. A few months later Marc's Mother would divorce his biological Father, and he hasn't been seen since. However at the age of two, his Mother met his future step Father. They ended up getting married, and Marc has always considered him as his real Father. They were laid back parents for the most part, just letting there kids have fun. Never pushed them to achieve a goal try and strive for anything. Marc just would always play with the neighbor kids. In fact, until the age of 10, Marc hadn't a care in the world for sports. The only two sporting event he had seen was at the age of eight when his Grandfather came over and watched the Buccaneers and the Tigers, Marc's Grandpa favorite teams as well as home town teams. They ended up curshing the Yankees 13-1 that night. At the age of 11, his mother got tired of the Democratic politicians around the area. One democrat had dominated the area for twelve years, so she decided to do something about it. She found this Republican who just moved down to Tampa. She would end up being his campaign manager. She was very successful, giving him a win in his first election and bringing the reign of the Democrat down. It also changed everything in the area turning it to the best. He had a son, who became Marc's best friend. He played baseball. That got Marc interested into the game of sports. It had lifted the nerdish aspects out of him like wanting to be environmentally sound. Marc then approached his mother asking to play baseball. She said," Sounds fun."
They never did sign up for baseball that season, but it brought a brand new gateway to Marc, he had gotten into sports. The hometown Devil Rays became his favorite team. His dream was to play for them one day.
In Late May of 1998, his Grandfather passed away. One of the main people who would got him into sports, even though not straight out. They would move into his house. For some reason, the house took over him, and he became a sports freak. He started watching every sport. Watched every sports team, and became a fan of all Tampa Bay teams, and still is. The Orlando Magic ended up being big with Marc too, they weren't winners for a long time, and they were located in Orlando, but it was basketball! Basketball was really fun for him to watch. The Buccaneers were also a fun team to watch with Mike Alstott but always had a problem getting that big repeat push to a Super Bowl title.
At the end of May, Marc pushed his Mother in signing him up for his first baseball league. They found one right next to Tropicana Field, a pretty well known park in central Florida. He was never one of those kids who had been playing since they were four and when they first started to learn how to walk. It was actually a disorganized team as the coach rarely showed up for practice, and was late for games. It was still fun for Marc, once in a blue moon. He struggled; he didn't know anything about the game. He would strikeout every time at-bat; he would commit many errors in right field. He never got past second base. However by the end of the year, he was recognized as the most improved player in the league. He first started out batting .020 in the early season, by the end of the season he had bumped it up to .198. He also didn't commit many errors in the last game; of course the pitching helped as many balls weren't hit to him in right field. The season ended and so did the hopes for him to join a second season. The league had financial problems and had to shut down. The park would end up being turned into a parking lot for Tropicana Field.
They struggled to find a league where he could play friendly ball. He couldn't play at a place called Forest Hills. They were highly competitive, and there was no rule in place there saying everyone has to get at least one at-bat. Luckily for Marc he had a neighbor who had seen home outside the entire time playing ball by himself. Bouncing the ball against the fence and taking grounders. He suggested to his Mother to join a league in north Miami. It ended up being one of the best ideas they would get. Marc finally hit high school and it was a rocky start. He wasn't the size of a normal freshman. So he was picked on a lot, but he did get through it and became well-known in the school by the time he graduated. They headed to North Miami, and found the league his nieghbor was talking about. He signed up and a week later they had try-outs. He had trouble missing all the fly-balls and missing two routine grounders. He had a decent batting session, hitting balls right down the line, but showed no power or control. One really nice coach still picked him and helped mold him into the player he is today. His name was Brett Buriff. The first thing he suggested was taking him to a place called the Batting Zone to help him learn how to hit and pitch. Which his neighbor who told him about the league suggested too. It took a very long time until it had helped, but Marc eventually got the hang of things. In the second season, he had the same struggles as he did in the first season. He told his coach and his son about the struggles about the other league. He told him about how the coach didn't have much time to work with the players. According to his new coach, this would be like his first season. This coach was much more dedicated. They practiced every Sunday evening, and held batting practice twice a week. He really started to improve and started to pitch. He started watching ESPN Sunday Night baseball. He would learn a few things from Joe Morgan.
By the end of the season he would hit .220 a career high! He was not satisfied; they had a winter league he would join. Only 15 games, but he would show some progress. The coach eventually showed him he wasn't aggressive enough and just needed some time to learn how to see the angle of the ball when catching a fly ball. The batting he was learning at the Batting Zone started to work. Winter League was all fun and games, and none of the players from the spring league were there. It was players like him, who didn't know or how to play the game. They gave Marc a lot of confidence. It made him want to go out and play while trying to show off. It started to click for him and he had a good winter league. He had no errors in right field for the 14 games he played in rightfield, and no errors in the one game he played at first base. He still had a little trouble getting some base hit. But as the other past two years, so were his teammates. They ended up losing a lot of games. This was his last season able to play in any league as he would become too old. So he wanted to make this the best time of his baseball playing career as he would figure that he wouldn't be playing anymore. He wanted to make sure he was able to start pitching as well. He would make sure the coach knew that.
He was still batting 9th, and facing the toughest pitcher in the league didn't help either. His first at-bat was however most enjoyable. He had recorded a base hit, he was batting 1.000! According to Marc," He may throw fast, but I have seriously increased my bat swing, and having zero movement on his pitch helped." Marc ended up 2-4 but left the day happy. His last season there was a joyful one. He hit around .289, and had no errors on the season. His very last game was the one that gave him the confidence he needed to play into the high school leagues. In his first at-bat he hit a blooper down the right field line. Triple. In his second at-bat, he tried checking his swing, but hit it to the fence; it came two feet short of a homerun. He went two for two. In his third at-bat he finally reached third base on his one hit. He was three-for-three. In his last at-bat, he got something he had been always hoping for, a game-leading Homerun, his first ever in his career. He was the only player to go four-for-four. As the away team they had to get through the bottom of the 9th. It was 7 to 5, and they had the bases loaded with two out. The centerfielder and right field had gotten hurt earlier in the game as they both misplayed the ball and broke there noses. The other outfield didn't show up to the game because of family reasons. He was the only normal outfield out there, so they moved him to Centerfield. Marc was playing back, because the guy lead the league in HRs with fifteen, well he hit a blooper in CF. This play would make or break him, he just remembered to go all out, and don't worry about any errors, or what other people thought. He ran his hardest, he knew he wouldn't make a normal catch as the ball was slicing down towards the ground. He dove for the ball while he closed his eyes. He felt the ball hit his glove. He got up looking for it, but he couldn't find it, it ended up in his glove for the last out. After that one game, he knew he had the ability to play baseball and to keep improving. From the early days on knowing nothing, being a loser trying to play baseball to someone who has learned how to play the game.
He tried out for his High School the next season, his junior year. He showed some pretty good skill. However, his coach had a mindset on how his players should look. Built like a football player, kicker that is, 6'2, tan, with power. Marc did make the varsity team, but only as a backup. There were no rules saying he had to have an at-bat every game. So he would sit for the first two weeks. Then the best thing happened for him, the teams top two relief pitchers got hurt while racing out on the street. They had to put Marc in. He wasn't known as much of a pitcher. He didn't try out as a pitcher but they knew he could pitch. He would come in and face one of the top hitters in Miami. He held nothing back and had him foul out deep to right field. He would proceed to strike out the remaining two pitchers and get the save. He continued his success as a relief pitcher throughout the year. Towards the end of the year they wanted to try him out as a starting pitcher. He would have a chance to get three starts to end out his junior year. He first stint didn't go so well. He would pitch five inning and surrender seven runs. I guess the good not was he struck out twelve batters. He and the coaches would shake it off since it was his first start and let him continue to start. His second start was much better as he last eight innings giving up zero runs and striking out six. The coaches wanted to add to his arsenal before he takes the mound for his last start. His changeup was coming a lot but they wanted to added a fourth pitch to complete his arsenal. They would teach him the splitfinger-fastball. Marc's problem was he always liked to stay around the strike zone and the split-finger was thrown mainly for a ball to get a batter to fish for it. With Marc always ahead in the count though this new pitch would really help him ring up the batters.
In his senior season he looked to improve even more so he would earn a scholarship to the University of Miami. His senior season would be the one he was looking for. He would be the only player to have an ERA below 2.50 in Dade county. He would finish the season eighteen wins. He ended up getting a scholarship offer from the University of Miami. Not many colleges were interested since he only played 2 seasons, and they thought those two were fluke seasons. The U decided to take a gamble and Marc would prove them right. He became the fifth starter on the team, and the only freshman to play for the team. Miami was taking a gamble letting a freshman start and risk losing there top 25 ranking. In his freshman season he had to face a large amount of critics. In his first start he would end up throwing a complete game giving up only two runs. Miami's defense was stellar and really made some plays to keep him in it. Marc's next start would be against LSU one of the top teams in the nation. He started off rocky in his first inning giving up two homeruns but would settle down quickly striking out the side. This was a team that attacked the strike zone consistently so he would have to make use of the split-finger fastball. It would prove the undoing of LSU as they would fish all day. Marc would end up pitching seven innings and give up only three runs on six hits. His next start was a complete opposite of LSU as he would face the South Florida Bulls. The game ended up being on of the most exciting games of the year. Bulls starter Chase Lirette would keep the Bulls hanging tough but Marc would keep them out of it. Miami took the game 1-0 on Marcs first ever no-hitter. He would go on and finish the season fifteen and one with an ERA at 2.89. Miami got knocked out of the college World Series by USC in the semi-finals. Marc was disappointed but nonetheless thrilled with what he had accomplished the past two years. During the off-season he caught wind of a league opening it's doors to all baseball players. They gaurenteed big money and able to travel around the world, the WBS it was called. Marc decided that he would sign up for the league and hope he could get drafted. If he gets drafted he would possibly use this opportunity to progress and the pro-spotlight and maybe get into the MLB as He Hate Me did with the NFL. His scouting report for the WBS reads the following....
A strong, tall pitcher who can really locate his pitches well. He loves to hit the strike zone but fails to use all of the plate and can sometime hang balls over the plate. His size gives him a strong arm throwing up into the upper nineties but has trouble fielding his position. He continues to work with his college coaches and has the ability to become a frontline starter. He sometimes lacks confidence and be shaken pretty easily. However, if he finds the zone he can become unstoppable.