Padgett a native of South Carolina, played his college baseball at Clemson University. He was a 5th Round pick(160th overall) by the Florida Marlins in the 1998 MLB Draft. He played eight years in the Marlins organization; with his best season coming in 2004 with Albuquerque(AAA) when he batted .267 with 24 home runs, and 93 RBI. Padgett also played in the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies organizations.
In 2008, he signed with the York Revolution where he played for two seasons. In February 2010 he was traded to the Ducks for John Pachot. York fans were upset by the trade but still embrace Matt because of his class and personality on and off the field.
Matt took some time out to answer some questions:
CM: Favorite Baseball player?
MP: Growing up in South Carolina the Braves were popular, so I liked Dale Murphy but my all-time is "The Hit Man" Don Mattingly. (lefty)
CM: Favorite Athlete?
MP: It would have to be Michael Jordan. He did what he wanted when he wanted on the court.
CM: How did you become a Duck?
MP: I was traded from York to LI for catcher John Pachot.
CM: When you came to the Ducks, what were you first thoughts?
MP: I would say that I thought about playing in front of a big crowd every night there and winning a championship, but that's every year.
CM: Two season later, how do you feel about the Ducks and it's fans?
MP: After two seasons I think the fans are very supportive and they let you know when they think you could do more. Haha! I think the playing surface, clubhouse and teams in my two years here have been amazing to be a part of.
CM: You made it to AAA, but never the majors. What are you feelings towards that?
MP: I loved playing in AAA. The games were clean and fast and even more so in my big league Spring Training. To be honest I feel like I could have contributed to a MLB team. Obviously the teams I played for felt differently or at least the timing was off. One team did tell me that if I didn't break my arm that I would have been called up that year. In some ways that was tough to hear but I have no regrets. I have much respect for all who have been to the highest level at their craft.
CM: You get a chance to play catch with one person dead or alive who is it?
MP: I'd probably toss it around with George Washington. I'm not sure what kind of arm he had but the conversation could've been fun.
CM: Favorite Baseball Moment?
MP: Wow! Favorite moment? Too tough. I'm all about championships so I'd say our high School state title is tied with the two in the minors. My personal favorite is the feeling you get when a ball you've just crushed leaves you're bat. Nothing compares to it.
CM: If a fan asks you to sign 10 autographs what are your thoughts?
MP: This one is tricky...everything comes down to etiquette and common courtesy. I get it all but I would never ask that of someone with all the kids who are generally waiting. I usually sign about five and move on.
CM: What's your favorite piece of sports memorabilia?MP: I love my rings, but they're just objects. It's easily the smells, sights and sounds of game day tied with the 24 other guys sitting around me in the clubhouse doing whatever it is that they do to prepare for competition.