By: NICOLE HURBAN
Editor: KYLE BENNETT
Photo Courtesy of: CCC Athletic Department
Anthony Lopez, a 19 year old student and baseball player at Cumberland County College, is an up and coming star that has caught the eyes of several major league teams, such as the New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and White Sox.
From the time Lopez was two years old, he was interested in baseball. By immersing himself in the sport, at a young age, it instilled the drive to play within him.
At age four, Lopez moved from Florida to Tuckerton, N.J. and joined their all-star team, Bay Shore. He remained on the team for five years, until age nine. He then left Bay Shore and became a player on the Sand Sharks. Lopez played on this team until age sixteen. Later, Lopez became a member of the Buena Regional High School Baseball team for four years.
After graduation, Lopez wanted to play on a college level team. He received an athletic scholarship to Bloomfield College in N.J. but declined the offer. Instead, he decided to come to Cumberland County College and play on the Dukes baseball team. Keith Gorman, head baseball coach at CCC, told Lopez that CCC would be a better fit and give him time to grow as a player.
Lopez enjoys the nature of college level baseball, He explains, “The game is more fast paced, but as you learn and really play and understand it, the game slows down and your baseball IQ goes up and you think more. There’s more to the game in college than there is in high school.”
After playing on the team for less than a year, he was scouted by several major league teams last spring. The first teams to approach him were the New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants. He has already done workouts with both. A workout is also more formally referred to as a pre-draft workout or a tryout for the major leagues. Lopez is also planning workouts with the Chicago Cubs and White Sox.
He says all the teams are “high up on him,” which means they are very interested. The Yankees, in particular, have the most interest. Within the year he will, most likely, know what team he will join.
Whatever team he will be on, he would like to be paid enough to cover his education. He said, “I’m called a student athlete for a reason.” He is currently considering a major in Criminology at CCC and hopes to get a masters degree in it someday.
He also hopes that others, that are up and coming players, follow the same path he has followed. When asked what advice he would give a future student athlete he shared, “Work hard every day, push and strive to become something you always dreamed about and take every opportunity you get because it might not come again.”