Hall Of Fame Focus: Chris Magruder
Nov. 11, 2008
On Friday, Nov. 14 the University of Washington will officially induct the 2008 Husky Hall of Fame class. Former Major League baseball player and Husky star, Chris Magruder, is among the member of the class. Magruder hit over .400 twice in his Pac-10 career and left school with the Pac-10 record for most runs scored in a career. Magruder recently talked with GoHuskies.com about the honor of entering the Husky Hall of Fame and reminisced about his time at Washington.
For information on tickets for the Husky Hall of Fame ceremony on Friday, Nov. 14 at 6:30 pm, please call 206.685.3739.
What does it mean to you to be inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame?
Chris Magruder: 'Just being at the UW and then being a professional, this is very important to me. Being at the University of Washington is more important to me than some of the other things that I did. The University of Washington is first and foremost in my opinion. Without that stepping stone [I] wasn't going anywhere. So, it is a real honor and a privilege to have this opportunity.'
Has it set in for you the legacy you left at the University of Washington?
CM: 'I don't think it was ever about what I just meant to the program. I think there were a lot of individuals that worked together as a team to create some of the legacy that we left behind. I don't necessarily look back at what I did -- it's more like what we did. I just happened to be one of the leaders in facilitating that. Has it sunk in? Definitely. I look around and I talk to other people and we all appreciate what we did, but it is more of a `we' and not necessarily an `I' situation.'
You left school with the Pac-10 record for most runs scored and you batted over .400 twice in your career. Are there any of your college stats that particularly stand out in your mind?
CM: 'I've never paid too much attention to stats. You let your play dictate who you are. The stats are something that you look at later on and other people look at them to dictate how good you are. But, while you're playing, you never look at them to be an indicator of who you are.
What is your most fond memory of being a Husky?
CM: 'Looking back at the 1997 year where we went down to Mississippi State [for the NCAA Regionals] and really showed the nation that the UW was serious. It was a big event and looking back at it, that is a big memory. They didn't even know who the University of Washington was in baseball and when we down there we showed the country and Mississippi State who we were. Mississippi State is very instrumental in the USA Baseball program and to go down there and show some people that we're good, that is a memory that I can't forget. It changed who we were and changed our lives from that point on because we were such a good team.'
What memories stand out about your Major League days?
CM: 'There were a couple things that really stand out from my professional career and a couple moments. But, professional baseball is not anything to be taken lightly. It is very tough. Not only is it tough on your family, it's really tough on you. You have to be really mentally strong and physically strong to handle the grind. Professional baseball is very tough. Right now, I'm just trying to finish my schooling, get my degree and start life outside of baseball. I'm just very thankful to have this opportunity to be in the UW Hall of Fame.'
You mention you're in school right now. What are you finishing your degree in?
CM: 'I'm finishing my last quarter in forestry. I'm looking to get involved in the timber industry. It's very challenging. It's probably more challenging than being a baseball player. So, I'm not looking at making my life any easier, but it is something that is challenging and fulfilling if you can be successful at it.'
What else is going on with your life outside of baseball?
CM: 'I'm married and I've got a boy, Robert, who is three years old. I'm very anxious to get out of Seattle, get out of school and have a normal life. I want to settle in Eastern Washington if there is an opportunity in the timber industry, but I don't know whether that is going to happen.'