Nearly three years ago, UCI jump-started their baseball program with a new team and ballpark. Some prospective players may have been hesitant to join a team that had no prior wins, records or stats since it was put to a halt in 1992 due to budget cuts.
However, one player in particular saw the fledging team as an opportunity. Now in his junior year, Jordan Szabo has grown into a one-of-a-kind athlete, husband and individual.
On the field Szabo has been the ‘most consistent player all season long,’ according to Head Coach John Savage. He is also known as a ‘leader on and off the field and has stepped up his game as an outfielder.’
On campus, he attends classes like the rest of the student population and is majoring in sociology. But, in the evening, unlike most of his fellow peers and teammates he goes back to his apartment and to his wife, of almost two years, Darcy.
School, baseball, a healthy marriage and a possible pick in this year\’s major league baseball draft may seem like an enormous amount of work and pressure, especially trying to balance all of them at the age of 20. But for Szabo, everything has been his decision and it seems to be paying off.
Szabo comes from a family of six and is the second youngest of four children. He started playing T-ball around the age of five and found his niche playing outfield during his freshman year at Carlsbad High School. That year he also met his future wife during their physical education class and the two started dating during their senior year.
After high school, Szabo went to UC Irvine while Darcy went in the opposite direction to the University of San Diego, later transferring to Palomar. After getting more serious and being away from each other, Szabo knew he ‘wanted to marry her … so why not just do it.’
Both their parents, who married at around the same age, supported Szabo and Darcy’s decision. After they figured out how they would make it financially, the two tied the knot in front of over two hundred guests. Their marriage is also headed for the long haul because divorce is not an option for these two individuals who share strong Christian backgrounds.
After exchanging vows, they moved in together. Darcy got a job and transferred to UCI this past school year, where they both share the same major.
Today things for Szabo couldn\’t be better. Sure, he said there were ‘stressful things’ at first, like the one summer he was away at Alaska playing baseball for the Chillicothe Mudcats. But his wife is his support system.
They not only fit well with each other, but ‘work well together.’
Both even each other out: Szabo says he is the more relaxed of the two while Darcy is the more academic one.
This year, Szabo has also been a starter for the Anteaters and received Big West Second Team All League honors in baseball. He mentions that his game has been ‘doing a lot better since being married’ but attributes it to a coincidence, while his teammates say he has ‘married
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