Leighton Cooper.

Countdown To First Pitch: In The Dugout With Leighton Cooper

Feb. 14, 2009

The University of Notre Dame baseball team welcomes eight newcomers to the diamond this season. In the coming weeks, UND.com will feature each Irish newcomer leading up to the team’s Feb. 20 season opener against Ohio State. The fourth Notre Dame player in the spotlight is outfielder Leighton Cooper.

Jersey Number: 36
Hometown: Fort Washington, Md.
High School: Flint Hill
Position: OF
Height/Weight: 6-0/170
Bat/Throw: B/R

If you were to play another sport at Notre Dame, what would it be?
Track & Field

Best thing about the team:
The strong brotherhood we’ve developed with each other.

What are three words that best describe coach Schrage?
Hardworking, Focused, Steady

Which professional player would you compare yourself to?
Curtis Granderson

What is your favorite major league ballpark?
Camden Yards

What would be the title of your autobiography?
Deep Roots, Strong Wings

What is your favorite/most memorable sports moment?
I hit a last inning, game winning, walk-off, three-run home run to end my HS career in style. Hollywood couldn’t have came up with this.

Are you a fan of the American League’s designated hitter or do you prefer the National League style?
I like the National League. Pitchers are great athletes too. I like seeing the good ones have the chance to wield the lumber.

Should college baseball switch to wooden bats?
Metal is simply very distinctive for the college game.

Who is the best hitter and pitcher in major league baseball?
Ichiro Suzuki / Tim Lincecum

Favorite baseball team:
I don’t necessarily have a favorite team. I follow the teams that are winning games the right way from year to year.

Favorite player:
Torii Hunter

Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
Yes, as I don my uniform, I have a necklace and it must always be the first and last thing that I put on or take off.

Why did you choose Notre Dame?
You come to Notre Dame to be the best you can be. We aspire to greatness and, like nowhere else in the world, greatness happens everyday at Notre Dame.

— ND —