It’s been nearly four years now since Gloucester High School athlete Dylan Maki threw an unheard-of 173 pitches while gritting out a dramatic North section championship win over St. John’s Prep and hurling the Fishermen into the state semifinals.
But it was great to see that, while he may never pitch in the big leagues, Maki is carrying that same Gloucester pride to a new level in his senior year as a baseball captain at Northeastern.
How? Given the opportunity to face the Red Sox in the teams’ annual spring training match-up at the Sox’ Jet Blue Park in Ft. Myers, Fla., Maki made the most of it by starting the game, inducing Sox leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury to ground out and then striking out Dustin Pedroia, the anchor of the Red Sox’ infield, the 2007 American League Rookie of the Year and the 2008 Most Valuable Player.
OK, so the Sox did touch up Dylan for a run after he hit Jonny Gomes and yielded an RBI double to Jerrod Saltalamacchia. But his effort once again briefly put Gloucester and its athletic programs on the New England sports map — and the guy who did it is one of the program’s shining lights. For Maki not only earned 2009’s Gloucester Daily Times’ Male Student-Athlete-of-the-Year award on the playing fields, but graduated sixth in his class with a 99.3 grade-point average. And his captaincy at Northeastern shows he’s carried on his leadership skills there, too.
Congratulations, Dylan, on a spring training inning you will likely never forget — and thanks for representing your old high school and city in a way that continues to be a source of community pride.