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Making His Mark: Payton's Path to Texas

Updated: Wednesday, June 18 2014, 11:48 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

March 01, 2015 08:07 GMT

Latest scores; Upcoming games

NBA

Saturday's Game

Washington 99, Detroit 95

Atlanta 93, Miami 91

New York 103, Toronto 98

Memphis 101, Minnesota 97

Brooklyn 104, Dallas 94

San Antonio 101, Phoenix 74

Utah 82, Milwaukee 75

Sunday's Games

L.A. Clippers at Chicago, 1 p.m.

Cleveland at Houston, 3:30 p.m.

Charlotte at Orlando, 6 p.m.

Golden State at Boston, 6 p.m.

Philadelphia at Indiana, 6 p.m.

Portland at Sacramento, 6 p.m.

Oklahoma City at L.A. Lakers, 6:30 p.m.

New Orleans at Denver, 8 p.m.

NHL

Saturday's Games

Florida 5, Buffalo 3

Detroit 4, Nashville 3

Carolina 5, N.Y. Islanders 3

New Jersey 2, Columbus 0

Boston 4, Arizona 1

Montreal 4, Toronto 0

Philadelphia 4, N.Y. Rangers 2

Minnesota 3, Colorado 1

St. Louis 2, Edmonton 1

Ottawa 4, San Jose 2

Sunday's Games

Los Angeles at Winnipeg, 4 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Florida, 5 p.m.

Columbus at Pittsburgh, 5 p.m.

Toronto at Washington, 7 p.m.

Anaheim at Dallas, 8 p.m.

St. Louis at Vancouver, 10 p.m.

TOP-25 MEN'S BASKETBALL

Saturday's Games

( 1) Kentucky 84, (18) Arkansas 67

( 2) Virginia 69, Virginia Tech 57

BYU 73 ( 3) Gonzaga 70

( 4) Duke 73, Syracuse 54

( 6) Villanova 78m Xavier 66

( 7) Arizona 63, (13) Utah 57

( 8) Kansas 69, Texas 64

(11) Wichita State 74, (10) Northern Iowa 60

Kansas State 70, (12) Iowa State 69

(14) Maryland 66, Michigan 56

(15) North Carolina 73, Miami 64

(16) Oklahoma 67, TCU 60

(17) Louisville 81, Florida State 59

(19) Baylor 78, (20) West Virginia 66

Dayton 59, (22) VCU 55

(23) Butler 67, DePaul 53

Boise State 56, (24) San Diego State 46

Sunday's Games

( 5) Wisconsin vs. Michigan State, 4 p.m.

(21) SMU at UConn, 2 p.m.

(25) Providence vs. Marquette, 3:30 p.m.

TOP-25 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Saturday's Games

( 1) UConn 87, Memphis 24

Iowa State 76, ( 3) Baylor 71

( 7) Oregon State 73, California 55

(14) Princeton 79, Brown 67

(18) Chattanooga 64, ETSU 42

(21) Florida Gulf Coast 78 Jacksonville 47

Sunday's Games

( 2) South Carolina at (13) Kentucky, 5 p.m.

( 4) Notre Dame at N.C. State, 2 p.m.

( 5) Maryland at (25) Northwestern, 1 p.m.

( 6) Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt, 5 p.m.

( 8) Louisville at Virginia, 1 p.m.

( 9) Florida State at Miami, 3 p.m.

(10) Arizona State vs. Colorado, 4 p.m.

(11) Mississippi State vs. Mississippi, 2 p.m.

(12) Texas A&M at LSU, 2 p.m.

(15) North Carolina at (16) Duke, 3 p.m.

(17) Iowa vs. Minnesota, 3 p.m.

(19) Stanford at Oregon, 4 p.m.

(20) Rutgers vs. Indiana, Noon

(22) George Washington vs. George Mason, 2 p.m.

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KEYE-TV Sports Team


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