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Sports Center

Jul 18, 2017 11:43 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Jalen Atterbury Is A Daredevil On The Basepaths

Jalen Atterbury has commonly batted atop the batting order and played second base for the Breakers. DREW BUDD
Jul 24, 2017 9:05 AM

With baseball running through his veins, Jalen Atterbury has idolized his grandfather, James “Cowboy” Atterbury, who played professionally in the Negro Leagues and for the Chicago Cubs and California Angels through the 1960s. His grandfather’s rich history in the sport he loves sparked a passion in Atterbury, who spends most of his days looking up to his grandfather—literally.

Standing at just 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing a total of 150 pounds, Atterbury has grown into a player that you just can’t seem to overlook.

Atterbury, who is celebrates his 19th birthday this Saturday, July 22, has found his way up the East Coast from his hometown of Decatur, Georgia, to the Southampton Breakers of the Hampton’s Collegiate Baseball League with the hope of one day following in his grandfather’s footsteps and reaching the major leagues.

“My father always told me that size never won a fight,” Atterbury said. “It is all about your heart and driving commitment to what you want to pursue in life.”

Atterbury, a sophomore at Savannah State University, primarily plays second base on the Breakers, although he has played some in right field too, and he often finds himself toward the top of the lineup, where he puts his best skill, his speed, to best use.

Atterbury “is a daredevil on the bases,” head coach Carlton Hardy of Savannah State University Baseball said.

Atterbury accumulated 18 stolen bases this past spring at Savannah State, and has swiped the same amount of bases in just 27 games this summer for the Breakers.

With so much success on the basepaths, Atterbury says he uses his God-given gift of running to make him the standout player that he is.

“Turn off your brain and let your feet fly,” he tells himself when he gets on base.

While his batting average this summer has dipped to .221, he batted .303 with Savannah State, which placed him second on the Tigers. He was awarded 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Academic Honors at the end of the season.

Atterbury’s “ability to drive the ball into the gaps and catch up with premium velocity has been a pleasure to witness,” claimed Hardy.

Besides from “majoring in baseball,” as Atterbury liked to put it, he recently switched majors from psychology to criminal justice and holds a 3.2 GPA, putting him on the Honor Roll both his freshman and sophomore years.

Hardy doesn’t hesitate to mention that he couldn’t ask for a better representative of Savannah State baseball, on and off the field.

“Whoever gets him will be pleasantly surprised with his baseball ability,” he said of Atterbury’s bright future.

The rising junior wears number 3 for the Breakers and the Tigers at Savannah State. He explains that because he started playing baseball at 3 years old, his mother, Dawn Brown, was born on August 3, and his grandfather played in the Negro Leagues for three to four years; the number is just a constant reminder to why he plays.

Baseball “became my lifestyle, every day working out and being a student of the game,” he said.

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