Jan. 22, 2016
Editor’s Note: Senior Nick McCarty, an economics & history major in the College of Arts & Letters, spent much of his summer in St. Petersburg, Russia on study abroad through the School of Russian and Asian Studies. He was sponsored by the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.
On the field McCarty is a three-time monogram winner who boasts a 4.52 ERA in 58 appearances (187.1 IP) on the mound for the Irish. He has started 22 games for the Irish and has struck out 104 batters over three seasons.
As Told To Joe DiSipio (’18)
Q: What’s your favorite family memory?
Honestly, just being around my family and baseball is my favorite memory. My dad got to throw out the first pitch at an Indianapolis Indians (Triple A team for the Pirates) game. That was just a cool little thing. My family loves baseball so much. My brother played throughout all of high school, and I play here. It’s been such a big part of our life, I guess, and to get my dad to kind of take part in that is a really cool thing.
Q: What’s the best thing about your hometown?
Probably the best thing about Indianapolis in general is it’s a fairly big city, but it’s not too big. There’s so much to do. There’s great people, you’re in the Midwest, there’s great weather. My high school was great. I had such great friends there. It’s a great sports town too. You have the Colts, the Indiana Pacers, all that great stuff. It was an awesome place to grow up and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
Q: So who was your favorite athlete growing up?
My favorite baseball player for sure was Greg Maddux. I always modeled myself after him. I don’t throw the hardest in the world or anything like that, and neither did he. One quote–I used to read biographies all the time–but one quote he had was, “I make my strikes look like balls and my balls look like strikes.” That’s kind of what I always wanted to be like. He’s one of the best pitchers of all time, and so for me to emulate him, I think has been my goal for the past 15 years I’ve been pitching. So I’d definitely say he’s my favorite.
Q: What’s something no one would know about you?
Some people know about this, but I actually got to go to Russia this past summer to do some research for my senior thesis. I’m a history and economics major. So my thesis got me to do some primary research there and go through some archives, to see some monuments and all that stuff. I was there for six weeks. It was the greatest time of my life. I mean yes, most people see I play baseball and all that stuff, but I do care a lot about my schoolwork, and I try to better myself, both thinking-wise and academic-wise too. It was great experience.
Q: Where’s the coolest place you’ve ever been?
St. Petersburg, Russia, is the coolest place in the world in my opinion. In 2018 the World Cup (soccer) is in Russia, and my goal is to go back for that. It’d be really cool.
Q: What Disney princess are you most like?
Let me see. I don’t know, I can’t remember her name, but the princess from Brave [Merida]. I saw it back in high school because there was nothing going on, and we were like let’s go see a movie, and we saw Brave. She’s very stubborn. She’s very independent, but she’s also a great friend and a great part of her family, too. I like to be like that–I like to go on adventures, go out in the woods and just be myself.
Q: What are your preferred pizza toppings?
I’m really kind of straightforward with my sausage, pepperoni and sometimes mushroom. I’m not too crazy with it. New York style for sure.
Q: What’s your favorite movie?
My favorite movie of all time is a movie called “Master and Commander.” It has Russell Crowe in it. This also a bit of a secret, but I used to love ships and the Navy and the sea and all that stuff. Actually a big dream of mine growing up was to go to Navy. So this movie is about a fighting ship in the 19th century, and they’re fighting Napoleon. They are chasing this ship in the Pacific, through hurricanes and through hot doldrums, where they can’t move at all because of the wind. It kind of fits in with my interests in history.
Q: What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
You think I’d say baseball, but I’m probably going to have to live without baseball in a little bit. But honestly, the friends I have made here. My teammates are the greatest people in the world, and I want to have them in my life for as long as possible. But also the friends I have made in the dorm. My random roommate from freshman year, he became my best friend for the past three years and this fourth year too. This school has given me a lot, and I am so grateful for it.
Q: North or South Dining Hall?
You know I grew up a South guy, but I’ve become more of a North guy all of a sudden. I’m kind of turning my allegiances around.
Q: Who’s your favorite professor?
My College Seminar class was called “Odysseys of the Self” and was taught by Professor O’Connor. It was a class where we listened to the Odyssey on tape, watched a few operas, and read the entire Lord of The Rings trilogy. The Odyssey was fine and the operas were fine, but to be able to examine the Lord of The Rings in depth was the coolest thing. I loved going to that class, and O’Connor was a great teacher. He actually had us over to his house one time and made us breakfast. I’d love to take a class with him again.
Q: You’re a history and economics major. Who’s your favorite historical person or what’s your favorite historical event?
So my historical person actually is, me being into Russia and all that stuff, this Russian emperor called Peter the Great. He was the first person to bring the country into the European world and so he literally changed the entire course of history. I read a biography of him freshman or sophomore year of high school and that changed my life because I realized I wanted to study Russia and learn more about the country.
Q: What’s your go to pitch?
My best pitch is my two-seam fastball. It helps me out so much because it goes in on righties. That helps me to miss batters and barrells of bats in general, and I get a lot of ground balls on it. I turn a lot of double plays with it. So definitely my two-seam.
Q: Who’s your funniest teammate?
Joey Cresta (SR RHP), for sure. He’s a hilarious guy. His motto is, “Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story.”
Q: What is your favorite thing about Notre Dame besides playing baseball?
The entire culture around it. I came to this school because of the history and culture around it. Obviously being a history major, I really love how this place places so much emphasis on tradition, and the past and living up to who you should be. That to me makes such a big difference in choosing to come here, and why I have been so happy here. This place expects more out of you through both its Catholic tradition, and the fact that the people that come here are the best of the best. When you’re surrounded by that you can’t help but to be lifted up by that too.
Q: If you could play catch with any other Notre Dame athlete, past or present, who would it be?
Now I’m going back to those old football guys…I wonder if they could even play catch. Actually, probably Jeff Samardzija because he could play some good catch, you know. And he’s such an awesome guy. He’s a great pitcher, a great athlete, so it’d be an honor to play catch with him.