Tennessee Smokies Outfielder Matt Szczur a Pronounced Hard Worker

News Sentinel, April 22, 2013 | Go to article overview

Tennessee Smokies Outfielder Matt Szczur a Pronounced Hard Worker


SEVIERVILLE -- The official pronunciation of Tennessee Smokies outfielder Matt Szczur's name according to their roster guide is "SEE-zur." That is of no help to fans of opposing teams who want to give the 23-year-old a hard time.

"People say 'Scuzzer,' 'Sore,' 'Zurr,' 'Zees,' " Szczur said Monday. "There's been a ton. The fans at other places are awesome. They mess with me and mess up my name. They can butcher it pretty good."

It may not be long before every baseball fan in the country learns to pronounce Szczur's name. In just his second season in Class AA, Szczur is batting near .300 and has locked down left field.

"There's no negative intangibles about him," Smokies manager Buddy Bailey said. "Good chemistry clubs feed off that. He's one of those guys that brings a club together. His physical tools are getting better, but his character and work ethic put him ahead of where his tools are."

But the tools Szczur already has are pretty good. A former two- sport star at Villanova University, Szczur helped the Wildcats win the 2009 Division I FCS national title as a wide receiver and kick returner. The same speed Szczur used to slice through secondaries is now used on the base paths and in the outfield. But that time at wide receiver, focusing on football, is why Szczur feels he has so much work to do now. …

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