What does major league baseball have to do with Union English professor Pam Sutton? Her son, Drew, plays for the Boston Red Sox.
Drew Sutton has played baseball since he was 6 years old, she said, and he will turn 30 in May. He is a utility player, meaning he can play any position on the field except pitcher or catcher and hasn’t played center field.
He also is a switch hitter, which means he is both a left- and right-handed batter.
He has played on five different teams in the majors: the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Pam Sutton said her son always has been a natural athlete.
The family lived on the campus of Southern Arkansas University, and he, his brother, Tyler, and his father spent a lot of time at the baseball field. When he was 12, he saw one of the players switch hit and decided he wanted to do the same.
Drew Sutton played baseball at North Side High School in Jackson from his sophomore to senior year, when he graduated in 2001.
He went on to play two years at Texarkana College in Texas, then transferred to Baylor University in Waco.
“He did an associate’s degree in general studies at the community college level, and he only did two semesters at Baylor,” Pam Sutton said. “He took enough to be eligible to play baseball … [so] when people ask me [what he majored in], I’ll say ‘baseball.’”
Drew Sutton was drafted by the Houston Astros in 2004 after those two semesters at Baylor. He never graduated from college.
“He is pursuing his dream first,” Pam Sutton said.
Drew Sutton played each of the three levels of minor league baseball before being called into the majors.
He played two years of AA baseball on the Corpus Christi Hooks before he was called into AAA to play for the Astros.
“The Astros traded him to the Cincinnati Reds on his 26th birthday and within two weeks, I think, he was called into the majors,” Pam Sutton said.
Pam Sutton kept Drew’s baseball memorabilia in her house until he and his wife, Staci, bought a house in Dallas. When they were settled, she boxed it up and sent it to them, she said.
She keeps some of his baseball cards in her desk. One of his cards, from his time with the Astros, was made by Team JAM, or Jesus’ Athletic Ministry. That card has his testimony on the back.
“I’m proud of that because it does talk about his faith,” she said.
The only thing she has left in her house, she says, is a pink baseball bat. All players were given two pink baseball bats for breast cancer awareness last year. He signed it for her.
“Did he sign ‘to my favorite mom’? No,” Pam Sutton laughed. “He just signed his name.”