From the Dirtclods to the Dirtbags, Jacob Hughey is a Long Beach baseball player through and through. The Millikan High alum has made a name for himself with a live arm and a lethal bat, while always playing like the Long Beach native he is.
“Long beach baseball to me is just grittiness,” Hughey said. “Going out there to play your hardest, and not being afraid to get dirty.”
Hughey took the same approach when he tore the labrum in his left pitching arm two years ago. He injured himself working out at Blair Field, and then completed the workout. Hughey then tried to play through the pain for about a month until it was clear he needed surgery.
“When I came back my arm didn’t feel right until one day I just let it eat,” Hughey said. “The harder I threw, the better it felt. I think I’m all the way back now.”
Hughey started playing youth baseball at Los Altos, and was a member of the All-Star team called the Dirtclods. He developed into a reliable first baseman and pitcher while helping the Whaley PONY team win a championship, and chose Long Beach State over other local schools like UCLA because he wanted a chance to pitch and hit.
After a year of rehabilitation, Hughey has pitched this season and is back on the field as a designated hitter and first baseman after winning playing time in practice.
Hughey is not the only Dirtbags player contribute on the mound and in the field…
Last weekend in the first game at Fresno State, Hughey made his fourth career start in the lineup while making LBSU history. The Dirtbags offense exploded in a 24-10 victory, and he went 6-for-7 at the plate with six runs scored and five RBIs. Hughey is the first Dirtbag to score six runs in a game, and his six hits tied Jaron Madison for the program record for hits in a game, set back in 1998.
“I wasn’t counting,” Hughey said of the performance. “I knew I had a few hits, but I had no idea that I broke a record until I was told after the game. In that situation, you don’t want to think too much. You just want to keep it simple.”
We caught up with Hughey this week to ask him some tough questions before the Dirtbags open Big West play against UC Irvine this weekend.
Uploaded by The562.org on 2018-04-06.
Question: What is your favorite movie?
Answer: I was going to be a film major so I watch a lot of movies. I’d say Pulp Fiction is my favorite.
Q: If you made a movie, what would it be about?
A: I would have to write something about baseball. I guess I could talk about overcoming an injury.
Q: What is your favorite television show?
A: The Office. I love how Jim is always messing with Dwight. That combo is my favorite.
Q: What was the best book you had to read for school?
A: Outsiders. I can actually read that book.
Q: Do you have a least favorite food?
A: Oysters, or clams or whatever. Tried them once. Didn’t like them.
Q: What kind of music do you listen to before a game?
A: Hip hop, rap and some EDM. Mainly old school rap like 50 Cent. Like from the 90’s.
Q: Do you have a favorite rapper?
A: Eminem. He’s done it all.
Q: Tupac or Biggie?
A: Tupac. Gotta go West Coast, and Hail Mary is one of my favorite songs.
Q: Do you have an superstitions?
A: I always wear my 3/4 sleeves. If I have a good game in them, I’m wearing them again. If I have a bad game, I wear something else the next game. I always wear my cross, that’s for sure.
Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve seen a teammate do in the name of superstition?
A: Trevor Steer wore one of his stirups backwards and inside out. It was back in the Whaley days. We won the first game of All-Stars, he noticed he had one of his stirups backwards and inside out, and he just kept doing it. We won every game after that.
Q: Favorite candy?
A: Sour patch straws.
Q: Seeds or bubble gum during the game?
Q: What is your biggest fear?
A: Drowning. I love the ocean, but I’ve been washing machined a couple times body boarding, and I was close to losing my life. But I’m not scared to go in the water.