April 13, 2006

Growing up in Terre Haute, Ind., Chris Macke was born with baseball in his blood. Learning the game from his dad and cousin, who both played college baseball, Macke’s childhood dream was to follow in their footsteps. The influences and coaching from his dad, Virgil, helped him make a dream come true. Now, the 6-foot, 160-pound sophomore infielder is learning to balance the ropes of athletics and academics and making lasting memories on the field. “Macke, the Six Packy,” as called by his teammates in reference to his physique, stepped in for the Buckeyes at third base last season when called upon and hopes to once again prove himself this season.

How did it help you growing up to have your dad and cousin play baseball in college?
“It helped to have people around me that knew how to play the game. They knew the history of the game and when I was little, growing up, it really helped to have them there to teach me.”

Were they big influences to you growing up?
“My dad definitely was a big influence on me. He coached me when I was younger in Little League and was there for me all along the way. If I have any questions or need help with anything he is always there to fine tune things. He was definitely a positive role model for me.”

With baseball in your blood did it make playing college baseball a lifelong dream?
“Definitely. I think that every high school baseball player’s dream is to go on to the next level. Players are always looking to go on to the next level.”

Why did you choose to further your dream at Ohio State?
“For its tradition of excellence in both academics and athletics.”

Being a student-athlete at Ohio State, what is the most important lesson you have learned?
“I’d say time management and to get your homework and studying done ahead of time. I handle it pretty well but could do a better job. It is rough knowing you are going to leave Thursday morning and return late Sunday night. Definitely time management and getting things done when you have time because you might not have the time later.”

What would you say was your best memory in baseball and what made it special?
“Winning the Big Ten tournament last year and going to Oregon. Knowing you have a chance to make it further in the tournament and possibly go to the College World Series made it special. Just having the hope of continuing on.”

Can you explain your nickname “Macke, the Six Packy”?
“We have a lot jokesters on this team so that just goes along with that. I guess I like to focus on abs in the weight room sometimes.”

Last season you stepped in for Ronnie Bourquin at third base and did “a very admirable job” as said by coach Bob Todd. How did it feel to come out and play well for the Buckeyes?
“It was pretty exciting to go from never playing at all to starting 11 games straight. It was just nice to be known that I could do the job when I’m called upon and just help out whenever I can.”

Do you feel you have more to show this season?
“We’ll see. I’d like to think that if the team needs me I’ll be there.”