BOSTON, Mass. – The Emerson Baseball Program is proud to announce that two of its esteemed alumni will take the field at Fenway Park this Saturday as members of the prestigious Yawkey League All-Star Game. Geoff Lopes and Peter Maltzan, both 2012 graduates, will represent Emerson in the honor at 11:00 am on October 6. The event is free and open to the public.
Emerson Head Coach Dave Hanley expressed his feelings on his alumni making the All-Star Team, stating, "It's gratifying to have student-athletes graduate after four years and still have the passion and commitment to continue to play at a high level. Their selection to represent the team at Fenway is well deserved.
I'm happy for both of them to have this opportunity. They are very different people, but their different personalities and styles work for each of them. They were both captains at Emerson, both GNAC All-Conference players, and both hold school records; so the proof is in the pudding. They both produce and they both love playing baseball; there is nothing more a coach loves to see in his athletes."
Both Lopes and Maltzan sat down to talk about the honor and their time at Emerson:
- How does it feel to be considered as one of the elite baseball players in New England?
Lopes: Being named to the Yawkey All-Star team ranks very high on my list of athletic accomplishments. The Yawkey League is one of the premier amateur baseball leagues in Boston and the league is very deep in terms of talent. If I had to put a number on it, I would say third, next to winning the only playoff game in the school's history and being named the Male Student Athlete of the Year. I've been on the All-Conference team, All-Tournament team, and won other individual achievement awards, but nothing compares to seeing the joy on the faces of our team, our student body, and our Athletics Department that came out to support us. Through everything in my career, I wanted to do whatever I could to make Emerson Athletics great.
Maltzan: The honor ranks pretty high, but baseball is such a team sport that the group accomplishments are the memories that are really going to last, like being a part of Emerson's first post-season win. This ranks right up there with the year I was on the GNAC's First Team All-Conference. There's a ton of talent and passion for the game in the Yawkey League. It's a great time when representatives from each team get together, and the fact that we get to go to Fenway is going to take the whole experience to another level.
- What is the significance of playing at Fenway Park?
Lopes: There is no better feeling to me than calling up my parents and telling them I get to play at Fenway Park and they can come and see me play there. They were ecstatic when I told them about it and have had the date marked on the calendar since I called them. For me, I can always say that I was given the opportunity to play at the greatest baseball stadium in America, one that countless Hall-of-Famers have played on, at least once in my life.
Maltzan: It's going to be unreal. As a native New Englander and lifelong Sox fan, I can honestly say that Fenway is my favorite place in the world, and it has to be the greatest baseball park in the world. Playing there means playing at a field that every American Leaguer for the past 100 years has played on, and some of the greatest games ever played took place there. The quirky dimensions and trademark green and history of the place make it totally unique. It's unparalleled in every possible way and, to be honest, it's probably going to be hard to focus on the game.
- How does the experience change knowing that you'll have a fellow teammate and Emerson alumnus out there with you?
Lopes: Having Peter Maltzan with me at this game is awesome. It's honestly perfect that he and I play together at Fenway Park. For four years, we played every inning of every game together, we hit in front of or behind each other in every game, and we rode to every Yawkey League game together. It wouldn't be complete without both Salt and Pepper representing Emerson Baseball.
Maltzan: It is a great feeling; we've been through thick and thin together, and as a fellow Red Sox fan I know he feels the same way as I do about Fenway. To be able to share the experience with a long-time teammate and friend is pretty amazing.
- What did playing baseball for Emerson College for four years mean to you?
Lopes: Playing baseball at Emerson College was one of the greatest experiences of my life. For the first time in my athletic career, I played with a group of guys that were truly a team. During my time, we set the school record for wins twice, won the only playoff game in the history of the school, and had the most victories by a graduating class. I am honored to be part of all of that and share that honor with my teammates. The relationships I was able to build with the Athletics staff, coaches, fellow athletes, and the student body goes well beyond wins and losses.
Maltzan: It was awesome; I'm so grateful for the ProArts Consortium being in place and allowing that to happen for me. All my life I've felt the pull and tug from teachers and coaches to decide between music and baseball as my main extracurricular so I could devote more time to one or the other, but they are both true passions and I never wanted to give one up. Coming in to Berklee, I had to do some digging to find out that I did have a chance to try out for Emerson's program, so there was a period where I wasn't even sure if my baseball career was already over or not. By earning Coach Hanley's confidence, I got to captain the team for two years, which was a great experience; he is also the reason I'm in the Yawkey League at all and get to live out this dream of playing at Fenway.
Also on Coach Hanley, Lopes added, "I want to thank Coach Hanley for everything he's done for me on and off the field. Coach Hanley took a chance on me four years ago to come in and be on the team. He gave me the best four years of baseball I've ever had. Off the field, if I ever had a problem with anything he was right there for me. I don't know if I've been able to thank him ever, but for all that he's done for me, I can't say thank you enough. I'll always be in debt to him."
The Yawkey All-Star Game is set to kick off at 11:00 am on this Saturday, October 6, at Fenway Park in Boston. The event is free and open to the public.