Making the show When former Laker baseball star David Lough got his shot in the majors this summer, you might say he seized the opportunity. Lough, who’s been part of the Kansas City Royals’ organization since 2007, was called up to the parent club on Sept. 1. He singled in his first major league at-bat and came around to score. Three innings later, he singled and scored again, becoming just the fourth Royal in franchise history to score two runs in his major league debut. He stole his first career base on Sept. 3 and had his first major league RBI on Sept. 5. But he made his biggest mark on Sept. 18 when his impressive backhanded catch in left centerfield topped ESPN’s list of the Top 10 plays of the day. Lough says it’s hard to put his emotions about all this into words. “As a kid I always dreamed of one day playing at the elite level with all the players I idolized. Now, I am in their shoes while young kids now look to me for that same inspiration,” he marvels. “It truly is a blessing and I am so thankful that the Kansas City Royals are giving me a shot in the Major Leagues, and thankful to all my coaches, family and friends who have been there through this journey.” 27
Lough, 26, is the third former Mercyhurst baseball player to reach the major leagues, but the first position player and the first to start a game. Pitchers John Costello (1988-91) and David Lee (1999-2004), both of whom are in the Mercyhurst Athletic Hall of Fame, appeared in relief. During his Mercyhurst career from 2005 to 2007, Lough batted .383 and had 202 hits, 16 home runs, 126 runs batted in, and 60 stolen bases. An 11th-round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals in 2007, he batted .294 in six minor league seasons, recording 62 home runs, 91 stolen bases, and 327 runs batted in. Baseball America ranked Lough 18th among the Royals’ top-20 prospects. He was batting .275 for the AAA Omaha Storm Chasers in the Pacific Coast League before the call-up. When the Royals played the Cleveland Indians late in September, his family and Mercyhurst fans (including most of the current baseball roster) headed to Progressive Field to see him play. Lough is pictured at top left with Mercyhurst coaches Joe and Charlie Spano. Ironically,
Lough, a native of Akron, Ohio, had been a longtime Indians fan. After being drafted, Lough left Mercyhurst before graduating but he’s returned in his off-seasons to take courses and is now just a couple of classes away from his degree in finance. He hopes to wrap those up during winter term – just in time to head to Royals training camp.