Sports

Eastside Catholic's Boyd earns spot on Washington Nationals scout team

Mercer Island resident and Eastside Catholic baseball player, Matt Boyd, is starting to show Major League potential.  - Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter
Mercer Island resident and Eastside Catholic baseball player, Matt Boyd, is starting to show Major League potential.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter

Matt Boyd, a Mercer Island resident and Eastside Catholic baseball player, has had a busy year with numerous regional all-star team selections, helping to guide the Crusaders through an undefeated league schedule and verbally committing to play at Oregon State University. What’s next? His senior year of high school.

“Baseball takes up a lot of my time,” said Boyd. “But I wouldn’t give up something I love.”

Boyd’s accomplishments have recently culminated in being chosen as the opening day starter for the Washington Nationals scout team.

“My dream has always been to play in the majors,” said Boyd.

That dream may come true, but Boyd would only be the second Islander in nearly two decades to accomplish the feat. But as a left-handed pitcher who stands at 6-foot-3, the Crusader has some intangibles that make scouts drool.

The success that Boyd has seen has not changed the lifelong Islander’s work ethic or demeanor.

“I work on my game every day,” said Boyd, whose nickname at Eastside Catholic is Mayor Matt because of his likable personality. “I love playing baseball.”

Boyd first started playing baseball when he was 5 years old. By the time he was 6, he was playing on an 8-year-old select team.

“Ever since I could walk, I had a bat in my hand,” said Boyd, whose father, Kurt, is the pitching coach at Mercer Island High School and was one of the top softball players in the United States. “My dad and I have played catch ever since I can remember.”

Boyd has grown up playing on Mudville select teams with Mercer Island friends and neighbors.

“Most of those teams were from Mercer Island, and we didn’t play much on the Island,” said Boyd.

By the time he entered high school, he was playing with friends and with his dad as pitching coach during his freshman year at Mercer Island High School. But Boyd and his family decided to make a change, enrolling at Eastside Catholic for academic considerations.

“It doesn’t matter what uniform you wear — you give it your all,” said Boyd. “My dad gave me the passion for this game.”

A trip earlier this year to the Dominican Republic gave Boyd perspective on his success.

“It made me more thankful for what I have in general,” said Boyd. “Some people don’t even have the basic necessities of life.”

In addition to baseball, Boyd said that his faith and commitment to his church has shaped his life and passions.

Those passions led a young Crusader’s team to a league title.

This past spring, Boyd had a huge influence on his high school team’s success and got noticed for his work. He was selected by reporters to the first team as a Class 3A all-star pitcher, earned an All-State second team selection by the coaches and was named first team all-Metro for first base and pitcher.

“We went on an 18-game win streak, and we felt like we couldn’t lose,” said Boyd. “We know how good it feels to be No. 1, and we know how bad it felt to lose. That will help in 2009.”

Boyd is not slacking in the classroom either, making the honor roll during the first semester of last year and earning the American Literature Student of the Month Award, also known as the Nordberg Award, in October 2007.

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