Dec. 3, 2009
By Ultima Rogers, FSU Sports Information Student Assistant
Ten years ago Stephen McGee was playing baseball with a tennis ball in the front yard with his older brother Mike. Fast forward a decade later and the same scene is unfolding at the Division I level. This time it’s an official baseball the McGee’s are playing catch with – Stephen, a freshman catcher and Mike, a junior outfielder/pitcher – on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium as members of the Florida State baseball team.
Stephen is showcasing his skills this season as a newcomer to the Seminole baseball team. Upon arriving at Florida State, Stephen has already noticed a drastic difference from his playing days at the high school level.
“It’s a huge transition,” explained Stephen. “You go from playing with a bunch of guys where you’re known as one of the big guys, then you come here and you play with all these guys who are better or just as good and you’re not used to it. High school is a little less competitive. Coming to college, especially someplace wonderful like Florida State, it is amazing to see the competition out there. ”
Stephen and Mike both played together for two years at Port St. Lucie High School. Stephen looked to Mike as a mentor during his freshman year of high school and it seems to be the same tune this season in Tallahassee. With an identical outlook on baseball, Stephen went on to explain how both he and Mike share a quiet demeanor during competition until something exciting happens.
“I guess at some point I may show a little more emotion,” Stephen said. “I might go a little crazier at some points than Mike would. But other than that, we play the game very similar.”
When asked about the thought of catching his brother in college, Stephen beamed.
“Being able to catch for my brother at least one more time would be awesome,” exclaimed Stephen. “I caught him for two years in high school and if I could do it again this year, that would be great.”
Most people seem to think that Mike was the reason Stephen ended up at Florida State, but the younger McGee made it quite clear that was not the case. As far as his decision on where to play collegiate baseball, Stephen knew without a doubt that Florida State was the best place for him, regardless of whether his brother was playing here or not.
Heading into his first season at Florida State, Stephen is excited for the opportunity to play against such great competition especially in the ACC. But what he is looking forward to the most is getting to know his teammates better, the road trips he will spend with his teammates and the experience of playing at other college ballparks.
It is very evident that the bond between these two brothers is tangible. As the McGee brothers begin the 2010 season, they realize it’s just another day of playing catch.