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Making His Mark: Payton's Path to Texas

Updated: Wednesday, June 18 2014, 10:48 AM CDT
Texas All-American Mark Payton carries his bat around in a sock.

"There was a bunch of pine tar on my bat and it started getting all over my glove and spikes," explained Payton. "So I started carrying it and it was a pain -- so I put a sock on it."

But Payton, a two-time All Big 12 selection, was in a sticky situation long before pine tar began rubbing off on his shoes. During the summer of 2010, just after graduating from St. Rita High School in Illinois, Mark was without a place to play.

"I was a month away from not having a school to go to," Payton recalled.

After de-committing from Arizona State (his first choice), South Carolina (his next option) didn't offer Payton a scholarship. Mark was here in Omaha watching as ASU and the Gamecocks played each other in the College World Series and wondering if he'd ever get his shot.

"I was hoping some big school would come calling or come knocking with a spot open and say 'we have a scholarship," Payton said.

The University of Texas did just that. And four years later, Payton has two trips to Omaha and 274 career hits -- tied for the second most in UT history. His road to Texas was not easy, and once he got there -- he made it hard on opposing pitchers. But being tough has always been a major part of Payton's path.

"When you come out of the south side of Chicago, you're a tough guy," Texas head baseball coach Augie Garrido said smiling.

"I won't shy away from anything," Payton affirmed. "That's something I had to learn growing up on the south side."

Even though they're on the north side of Chicago, Payton grew-up cheering for the Cubs. Soon though, his loyalty will shift to the Yankees. New York selected the senior in the seventh round of the Major League Draft. But before he joins the franchise with 27 world titles, he wants national title number seven for Texas.

"I'm not worried about what the Yankees are doing right now," Payton admitted. "They'll be waiting when I'm done with this. Right now, I'm with Texas and I want to soak it all in for the next couple days and hopefully another week."

Whenever Payton's UT career comes to an end, it will go down as one of the most sock-cessful in Texas history.

"I don't want to remembered as a guy that was the best player," Payton said. "I just want to be remembered as a good guy who did things right."

By Adam Winkler









Making His Mark: Payton's Path to Texas


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Scores & Schedules

April 25, 2015 08:20 GMT

Latest results; Upcoming games

Friday's Scores

INTERLEAGUE

Final N-Y Yankees 6 N-Y Mets 1

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Final Boston 7 Baltimore 5

Final Cleveland 13 Detroit 1

Final Tampa Bay 12 Toronto 3

Final Kansas City 2 Chi White Sox 2 - suspended game

Final L.A. Angels 3 Texas 2

Final Seattle 2 Minnesota 0

Final Houston 5 Oakland 4, 11 innings

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Final Philadelphia 1 Atlanta 0

Final Chi Cubs 7 Cincinnati 3, 11 Innings

Final Miami 3 Washington 2

Final St. Louis 3 Milwaukee 0

Final Colorado 6 San Francisco 4

Final Pittsburgh 4 Arizona 1

Final L.A. Dodgers 3 San Diego 0

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS

Final Houston 130 Dallas 128

Final Washington 106 Toronto 99

Final San Antonio 100 L-A Clippers 73

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

Final Minnesota 4 St. Louis 1

Final Ottawa 5 Montreal 1

Final OT N-Y Rangers 2 Pittsburgh 1

Saturday's Schedule - All Times EDT

BASEBALL

Cleveland at Detroit, 1:08 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati, 1:10 p.m.

Kansas City at Chicago White Sox, comp. of suspended game, 2:10 p.m.

Kansas City at Chicago White Sox, after comp. of suspended game

Houston at Oakland, 4:05 p.m.

N.Y. Mets at N.Y. Yankees, 4:05 p.m.

Washington at Miami, 4:10 p.m.

Toronto at Tampa Bay, 6:10 p.m.

Boston at Baltimore, 7:05 p.m.

Atlanta at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m.

St. Louis at Milwaukee, 7:10 p.m.

San Francisco at Colorado, 8:10 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Arizona, 8:10 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers at San Diego, 8:40 p.m.

Texas at L.A. Angels, 9:05 p.m.

Minnesota at Seattle, 9:10 p.m.

NBA Playoffs

Atlanta at Brooklyn, 3 p.m.

Chicago at Milwaukee, 5:30 p.m.

Golden State at New Orleans, 8 p.m.

Memphis at Portland, 10:30 p.m.

NHL Playoffs

Washington at N.Y. Islanders, 3 p.m.

Detroit at Tampa Bay, 6 p.m.

Nashville at Chicago, 8 p.m.

Vancouver at Calgary, 9 p.m.

Sunday's Schedule - All Times EDT

BASEBALL

Cleveland at Detroit, 1:08 p.m.

Toronto at Tampa Bay, 1:10 p.m.

Washington at Miami, 1:10 p.m.

Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati, 1:10 p.m.

Atlanta at Philadelphia, 1:35 p.m.

Boston at Baltimore, 1:35 p.m.

Kansas City at Chicago White Sox, 2:10 p.m.

St. Louis at Milwaukee, 2:10 p.m.

Texas at L.A. Angels, 3:35 p.m.

Houston at Oakland, 4:05 p.m.

Minnesota at Seattle, 4:10 p.m.

L.A. Dodgers at San Diego, 4:10 p.m.

San Francisco at Colorado, 4:10 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Arizona, 4:10 p.m.

N.Y. Mets at N.Y. Yankees, 8:05 p.m.

NBA Playoffs

Cleveland at Boston, 1 p.m.

L.A. Clippers at San Antonio, 3:30 p.m.

Toronto at Washington, 6:30 p.m.

Houston at Dallas, 9 p.m.

NHL Playoffs

St. Louis at Minnesota, 3 p.m.

Montreal at Ottawa, 6 p.m.

Longhorn Football Scoreboard

Longhorn Football News

 

KEYE-TV Sports Team


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