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Baylor Baseball

Fifth-Year Journeyman Infielder Mason Greer Finally Feels “At Home” with Baylor Baseball

February 27, 2024
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In the top of the second inning against Oregon on Feb. 17, Baylor senior infielder Mason Greer roped a low-hanging breaking ball 376 feet into the right field bleachers at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

After the game, Mason said with a smile, “To be able to hit a home run in the [Texas] Rangers ballpark, where [my dad’s] former team plays, is definitely a cool thing to have done.”

Most famous for his diving catch in center field to preserve Kenny Rogers’ perfect game in 1994, Mason’s father, Rusty Greer, is a member of the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame and played in the organization from 1994-to-2002, where he suited up in over 1,000 games and boasted a career .305 batting average.

Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365
On Feb. 17 against Oregon, senior infielder Mason Greer hit a home run in Globe Life Field. His dad, Rusty, is a member of the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.

Rusty, however, wasn’t in attendance for his son’s 101st career Division I hit because he was busy coaching his Fort Worth Christian Cardinals to a 7-6 victory over St. Dominic Savio at Keck-Horton Field just 25 minutes northwest of Globe Life Field.

Mason later joked that his dad would probably give him a phone call after the game and say, “‘Congrats on the home run, but you have some things to work on in the other at-bats,’ he’s always coaching.”

Mason, now 23 years of age, is soft-spoken but possesses the confident and positive aura of a veteran who’s seen a thing or two and has been around the block. And to put it lightly – he’s been around the block.

After graduating from Colleyville Heritage High School in 2019, Mason has made stops in Auburn, Alabama (Auburn University), Waco, Texas (McLennan CC), Springfield, Missouri (Missouri State), and Waco, again, all in pursuit of his dream to continue playing collegiate baseball. 

But 2,501 miles and 588 at-bats later, Mason Greer finally feels comfortable being back in Waco and playing under a familiar face in Mitch Thompson, who coached Mason on the 2021 Highlanders team that won the JUCO World Series.

“Transferring a bunch, it’s hard to feel at home,” Mason said in a sit-down interview earlier this month with SicEm365. “Being back in Waco would be the most I’ve felt at home because I’m familiar with where to go, what to eat, what to do, etc.

When you go from school to school, you don’t know how things are done. The first few months of being at a new school it’s like feeling out how it is. But when I came here, even though I’d never seen Baylor’s campus, I felt way more comfortable just because I know how Coach Thompson is.”

Mason originally committed and went to Auburn out of high school before COVID-19 canceled the 2020 season and forced him to return back to Texas, where he landed at McLennan Community College with Thompson, just six miles up the road from Baylor Ballpark.

At MCC, Mason was an integral part of the World Series-winning Highlanders lineup, hitting for a .322 batting average with 17 home runs and 66 RBIs across 62 games. During that 2021 season, Mason was constantly putting in the necessary work in an attempt to make it back to the Division I level the following year.

“When you get to junior college, you realize what people meant when they say the ‘JUCO grind,’” Mason joked. “When you’re in D1, you have time constraints. In JUCO, we’re out on the field all day, which definitely tests your love for the game.

There were days where I showed up to hit early at like 11:30 [in the afternoon], and I would roll out of the field around 7 p.m. … After practice, we’re there for so long because we wanted to hit and get better because junior college is fun, but it’s hard and you definitely want to get out of there. So it’s like working extra to have an opportunity to perform well [so you can play elsewhere] is why everybody does it.”

Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365
After winning the 2021 JUCO World Series with head coach Mitch Thompson at MCC, Greer has returned to Waco for his fifth and final season of eligibility. 

Eventually, Mason earned the opportunity to play again at the Division I level and headed north without ever taking a visit to Missouri State – traditionally a solid program in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Over his two seasons in Springfield, Mason faced both highs and lows. In 2022, he hit for a .312 average, picked up 32 extra-base hits and drove in 53 RBIs. In 2023, Mason saw his playing time dip and started just 26 games; his batting average dropped to .235, and he finished the spring with just 13 RBIs, 39 less than the previous season.

“I definitely had some questions of, ‘Do I want to [keep playing baseball]?” Mason said looking back on his rough second year at Missouri State. “After talking with my parents and my fiance, it was like, ‘This is all I know; baseball is all I know, so I’m going to keep going,’ and they were very supportive.”

Shortly after the conclusion of the season, Mason entered the transfer portal. Despite his family’s support, he still had a bit of apprehension about whether he wanted to keep playing baseball.

“It was kind of like, I’m going to enter the portal, and if Coach Thompson calls, then I’m going to continue playing,” Mason said. “And if he doesn’t, I don’t know if I will. So luckily, he called me [not long after] I put my name in the portal, and it went from there.”

For Thompson, he couldn’t have been more thrilled about reconnecting with Mason – this time at Baylor instead of MCC.

“I’m not sure we have anyone on our team who has more at-bats than Mason Greer has over his last three to four years,” Thompson said. “He’s just a down-to-earth guy. He’s a baseball player. And that's fun for us to have as coaches, have guys who understand the game and understand what we’re asking of him.

[He’s also] another guy who can provide leadership. We continue to need guys who know how we're doing things to step up and lead the program. Mason having the ability to do that and being around us gives an opportunity to be one of those guys.”

As for Mason, he’s more than prepared to take on a leadership role for Thompson’s young Baylor squad in his fifth and final season of eligibility.

Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365
“He’s just a down-to-earth guy. He’s a baseball player. And that's fun for us to have as coaches, have guys who understand the game and understand what we’re asking of him,” Thompson said of Greer.

“Personal success is cool,” Mason said. “But for me, it’s my last year; I’d rather have team success over anything else. Being able to help Coach Thompson and the rest of the staff and be a part of this rebuild and get Baylor back on the right track would be a cool thing to be a part of, especially in [Thompson’s] second year. So I’m looking forward to helping the team in any way I can.” 

Being a good teammate and playing the game the right way is something that his dad, Rusty, engrained in Mason from a very young age.

“Obviously, playing Major League Baseball, my dad taught me to play the game hard and the right ways to do things,” Mason said. “Two of his big things are that you have to work hard and you have to be a good teammate because nobody wants to be around the guy that doesn’t work hard and isn’t a good teammate. … The guys who worked the hardest see the most benefit. The best teammates usually see success, whether it’s in baseball or in life.”

“I understood what was in his tank, and so I pushed him,” Rusty said reflecting on how he’s coached Mason throughout his life. “I made him do things that I deemed right and told him how to play the game in a certain manner. When he didn’t, he heard about it. I don’t think there’s room for playing the game halfway, so either you’re all in, or you’re not. 

It’s never been a fight with [Mason]. He listened his entire life, and he’s done things as he should. I always try to tell him, ‘I know I’m being hard on you, but I’m trying to shorten your learning curve because I had to learn it all on my own.’”

But when asked about the ups and downs that Mason’s baseball journey has brought his son, Rusty isn’t surprised that he has continued to push through.

“Whether something good or bad happens, [Mason] controls his emotions really well,” Rusty said. “I think he’s one of the hardest workers you’ll see, as far as trying to get better, whether that be on the field, in the batting cage or in the weight room – he’s not shy of hard work.”

And as a result of that hard work and dedication, Mason has landed in Waco for the second time in five years. But when looking back at the path it took to get here, Mason prefers the route that has included four different stops and many different memories and experiences along the way as opposed to being in one place for his entire collegiate career.

“Not many people can say they’ve gone as many places as I have,” Mason said. “I wouldn’t change it because I’ve met a lot of great people. I’ve gotten a lot better as a player going from place to place. Also having to learn about different parts of the country makes you become more mature. I definitely wouldn’t change it. … And I love baseball. It’s the only plan for my life that I’ve ever had.”

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Fifth-Year Journeyman Infielder Mason Greer Finally Feels “At Home” with Baylor Baseball

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