Nutley Male Athlete of the Month

Pete Lopez – NHS baseball, Senior

When did you first start playing baseball?
I first started to play baseball as early as the age of 3. I would go out to the backyard with my mom almost every day and just play catch. Soon after, I learned how to hit, and by the age of 5, I was playing T-ball. From there, I never stopped.

Talk about your best on-field memory.
I have so many on-field memories, individually and as a team. I can never rank one over the other because they are all held so closely to me. On the other hand, I believe the best moments in baseball and in my high school experience, are when we play as a collective unit and come back from deficits.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?
Before the game, I will usually listen to music, and eat a little snack. Five minutes prior to game time, I will try to rid myself of what is going on outside of the field and focus on the game at hand.

What’s your favorite baseball team? Player? How come?
My favorite baseball team would be the New York Yankees. My favorite baseball player would most definitely be Derek Jeter. I remember growing up watching him play each and every day, and I idolized the way he carried himself on and off the field.

What music are you listening to?
There is not much music that I do not enjoy listening to. I try to listen to all varieties, although I do not like rock, and I am not the biggest fan of country.

You’re a senior this year. What are your post-grad plans?
After high school, I am planning on attending New Mexico Military Institute on an ROTC scholarship. After my two years there, I plan to attend another school for two more years to obtain my Bachelor’s. Soon after, I have a six-year commitment to serve in the U.S. Army.

If you could have any superpower for just one day, what would it be? How come?
If I could have any superpower for a day, I would have to choose super-speed. I realized how important speed is in the game of baseball, and often in life.

Any advice for a youngster looking to improve their baseball skills?
For anyone trying to improve their baseball skills, all I can say is: work hard, have no excuses, leave your heart out on the field each and every day, and listen to those mentors that are trying to help you. Playing on any team is a great tool, and if you can not afford it, even going to the field with your parent or friend is a great way to keep active.

Having idols is a great thing and I highly recommend it, but I also recommend to stay true to those around you, do not overdo it, and be yourself no matter what. Keeping in mind that you do not know everything is very important as well.

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