Tag Archives: Colorado Rockies

Collin McHugh pitches in World SeriesCollin McHugh (09c) celebrates after striking out a Los Angeles Dodgers batter in Game 5 of the 2017 World Series. Photo courtesy of the Houston Astros.

Collin McHugh with David Beasley at Berry's Bowdoin Field.

Collin McHugh talks with Berry baseball coach David Beasley during a Jan. 23 workout at Bowdoin Field.

A decade has passed since Collin McHugh (09c) last took the mound for the Berry baseball team, but the Houston Astros pitcher remains a Viking at heart. Recently, the 2017 World Series champion returned to campus and spent the day sharing his experiences and insight with current students.

“I really do love this school,” McHugh said. “I had a great experience here.”

McHugh played three seasons with the Vikings before embarking on a professional career when he was drafted by the New York Mets in 2008. He spent the next six years climbing baseball’s minor-league ladder, making brief major-league stops in New York and Colorado, before finally landing a permanent roster spot with Houston. His journey was chronicled in this 2015 Berry magazine feature.

Since joining the Astros, McHugh has compiled a 48-28 record with 567 strikeouts in 102 regular-season starts. He’s also made four playoff appearances, including two innings of relief duty in Game 5 of the 2017 World Series.

That outing got off to a rocky start – McHugh walked two batters and gave up a three-run homer in his first inning of work – but he finished strong, retiring five of the last six batters he faced. The strikeout he recorded to end his final inning sparked a memorable burst of emotion (pictured above) out of the former Berry standout.

“That was kind of a microcosm of my career,” McHugh said. “So you put yourself into trouble, get knocked around a little bit and then have to figure out a way to get through it.

“When I was able to get that strikeout, I think the emotion of the crowd and the emotion of the moment – the emotion of the whole year – kind of washed over me. It was just a really powerful moment for me in baseball.”

During his Jan. 23 visit to Berry, McHugh spent time with this year’s baseball team and interacted with students taking classes in sports communication and sports administration. Later, during evening remarks in Krannert Center, he stressed the importance of goal setting, hard work and thankfulness. In every interaction, his appreciation for Berry shined through.

“This is where I really cut my teeth on how to play and how to pitch and taking my game to the next level,” he said. “I’ve always had a special place in my heart not just for Coach (David) Beasley but for the whole staff and for the organization and the team here.”

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Dr. Brad BushnellThe Berry College Board of Trustees recently welcomed noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brad Bushnell as its newest member. A Rome resident since 2009, Bushnell is vice chairman of orthopedic surgery and sports medicine at Harbin Clinic. His numerous professional affiliations include service as team physician for the Rome Braves and as a consulting physician for both the Atlanta Braves and Colorado Rockies. He holds an undergraduate degree in religious studies from Vanderbilt University, an M.D. from the Medical College of Georgia, and an MBA from Auburn University.

Prior to being named to the Board of Trustees, Bushnell served on Berry’s Board of Visitors. He is also a team physician for Berry athletics and has taught Introduction to Healthcare Sciences on an adjunct basis. His wife, Kimberly, is a CPA and Berry adjunct instructor of accounting and finance. The couple’s two children attend Berry Elementary School.

Public Relations Student Supervisor Elizabeth Bradford contributed to this story

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Collin McHugh

Collin McHugh addresses Berry baseball players and their families during a recent visit to campus. Photo by student Blake Childers.

In 2012, Collin McHugh (09c) experienced the dizzying heights of a Major League Baseball debut that was nearly flawless,striking out nine batters in seven scoreless innings as a starting pitcher for the New York Mets. A year later, the right-handed hurler found himself in the midst of a prolonged “lesson in understanding and managing expectations” as he bounced between two organizations and six affiliated teams in pursuit of a career in the majors. This spring brings a new organization – the Houston Astros – and a fresh perspective for the former Berry standout, who recently returned to campus to address current players and their families.

“We believe things happen for a reason,” Collin wrote in a blog post picked up by ESPN New York. “And some things won’t change just because we change cities: I expect to be a great husband; I expect to be a great teammate; I expect to treat everyone with respect; baseball will be baseball, but I expect to work my hardest in the hope of reaching my fullest potential as a ballplayer … wherever that may be.”

Keep up with Collin’s progress by reading his blog and following him on Twitter.

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