black and white dr martens Marietta to celebrate Dansby Swanson
When Phillip Rogers was named Marietta’s head baseball coach last summer following eight seasons as an assistant, one of the first things on his list was to honor former Blue Devils star Dansby Swanson.
The Atlanta Braves shortstop and former No. 1 overall draft pick will be on hand Monday for Marietta’s season opening game against Campbell at Jackie Smallwood Field, where the Blue Devils will retire his No. 3 jersey and pay him back for a debt of gratitude.
“We just wanted to take the opportunity in our first game to honor him, put his number on the fence and thank him for what he has accomplished,” Rogers said of Swanson, who also played basketball at Marietta. “He’s a model citizen that we wanted to recognize on his hometown baseball field where he got his first start.”
Before the start of the game, Swanson is scheduled to speak briefly about the accomplishments he achieved at Marietta before heading on to Vanderbilt, where he led the Commodores to their first College World Series title in 2014. He will then speak about his time as a pro, first in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ organ ization and then with his hometown Braves.
Rogers, an assistant under former coach Chris Stafford when Swanson suited up for the Blue Devils, remembers some of the attributes that elevated Swanson to become one of the nation’s best college players, and ultimately, one of the majors’ top prospects.
“He would see things, notice things, the minute baseball details that other guys weren’t seeing,” Rogers said. “You can tell by the way he looks at and hear things that he was going to be at a different level. I can’t just stress enough how intelligent he is, in the classroom and on field also.”
An injury delayed Swanson’s professional debut in the summer of 2015, but he did hit .289 with 11 RBIs over 22 games with the Hillsboro Hops, Arizona’s affiliate in the Class A Season Northwest League. That December, Swanson’s career took another turn when he, center fielder Ender Inciarte and pitching prospect Aaron Blair were traded to the Braves for starting pitcher Shelby Miller and minor leaguer Gabe Speier.
Swanson was promoted to the majors in August 2016 and batted 2 for 4 in his first game against the Minnesota Twins. He also hit the Braves’ first inside the park home run in 15 seasons against the Washington Nationals on Sept. 6 and went on to finish the season with a .302 batting average.