For Los Angeles Dodgers' first baseman Max Muncy, those who know him best did not exactly see this coming.
“He wasn’t really that type of player, that had big leagues written all over him,” Keller High School baseball coach Rob Stramp said. “But he’s taken what he’s got and made it into something special.”
Muncy spent most of his childhood in Keller and played just about any and every sport whenever possible.
“At a young age, he was playing baseball, and at 1 1/2 years old, he could throw a baseball from 30 or 40 feet away and hit a tree constantly,” said Lee Muncy, Max's father. “So he’s been around baseball his entire life.”
He went on to excel on the baseball field at Keller High School and carried himself then the way just about everybody describes him now.
“He wasn’t ever a high maintenance type of guy,” Stramp said. “He never cared where he was playing.”
That humble approach helped Max go on to play college baseball at Baylor, and gave him an opportunity in the major leagues, playing a few up-and-down seasons with the Oakland Athletics before being released, unsure of if his baseball dreams were over.
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“This is what he wanted to do,” said Max’s mother Midge Muncy. “He didn’t want to give it up. You could tell he didn’t want to give it up.”
After a few months without a team, he decided to give it one more chance, and returned to the field he knew best to work while he waited.
“He would be out here (at Keller High School) working,” Stramp said. “He and his dad figured a few things out, and it just took off.”
A major league team did eventually call, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and boy are they glad they did. Muncy has emerged as one of the best hitters in the National League, a key contributor on a Dodgers team playing in the World Series for the second time in three years.
“You think back and think about all the kids you know playing baseball and to have your kid playing baseball on arguably the best team in (Major League Baseball), it’s just pretty amazing,” Lee said.
“It inspires these (current Keller High School players) to see what the potential is for them too,” Stramp said.
An inspiration to those who play on the high school field that helped rejuvenate his career, and a sense of pride for those who know him best, who did not exactly see this coming, but who know the work he has put in to get to this point.
“How do you get a determination like that?” Midge said. “How do you stay in there and do that? Not a lot of people could do that. Not a lot of people would have the guts to do that. He does that and I am very proud of him.”