Former Patriot League Player of the Year Matt McBride Debuts in Major League Baseball

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Matt McBride was a standout at Lehigh and Patriot League Player of the Year in 2006.
Matt McBride was a standout at Lehigh and Patriot League Player of the Year in 2006.

Aug. 6, 2012

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - After six years, Matt McBride finally received the call. The former Lehigh standout, and 2006 Patriot League Baseball Player of the Year, was promoted to the Colorado Rockies from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Saturday.

McBride is off to a solid start in his first two games, going 3-for-6 with a run and two RBIs on Saturday and Sunday against the San Francisco Giants. He becomes the first former Patriot League player to collect a hit in a major league game. McBride is the third Patriot League alum to make it to the majors, joining Bucknell pitchers Eric Junge (2002-03, Philadelphia Phillies) and Matt Daley (2009-11, Colorado Rockies).

A Bethlehem native and Liberty High School graduate, McBride has enjoyed continued success in the minor leagues following a record-breaking 2006 season at Lehigh. After two straight All-Patriot League campaigns to begin his collegiate career, McBride turned it up a notch as a junior when he captured the Patriot League Triple Crown (.417 batting average, 12 home runs and 61 RBI) to win the Player of the Year award. He also set a then-league record with 88 hits while swiping a team-high 22 bases. McBride led the 2006 Mountain Hawks to their first-ever Patriot League Tournament Title and first NCAA Tournament berth in school history.

The Cleveland Indians selected McBride in the second supplemental round (75th overall) in the 2006 Major League Baseball first year player draft. McBride was dealt to Colorado last July in a blockbuster trade that sent pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland.

McBride enjoyed brief stints at Triple-A in each of the last two seasons, but the 2012 campaign marked his first full-season at Triple-A. He has shined in Colorado Springs this season, batting a team-best .354 with 10 home runs and 77 RBIs in 91 games. McBride ranks third in the Pacific Coast League in batting average and fourth in RBIs. He is also tied for second in the league with 35 doubles. McBride was a catcher at Lehigh and was listed as a catcher by the Sky Sox, but has also seen time in the outfield and at first base, adding defensive versatility to his potent offensive ability.

McBride is just the third Lehigh player in the modern era to play in the major leagues, joining Craig Anderson '60 who pitched for the Cardinals and Mets from 1961-64 and Paul Hartzell '75 who pitched for four teams, most notably the California Angels, from 1976-84.

For more on McBride's debut, read this article by Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post