Juanita High junior Matthew McKeag has played baseball all over the world. Andy Nystrom / staff photo

Juanita High junior Matthew McKeag has played baseball all over the world. Andy Nystrom / staff photo

McKeag has covered the world’s bases

Juanita junior has called Kirkland, Germany and other places home.

A few years ago, Matthew McKeag was playing baseball in Germany. He’s also given his glove and bat a serious workout in South Korea and stateside in St. Louis and San Diego.

McKeag’s dad is in the Navy, so his family has moved around some and lived on air bases, including one in Okinawa, Japan, where Matthew was born.

It’s in Kirkland, however, where the family has spent the most time and Matthew is glad to be back and playing for Juanita High the last two years.

“I just wanted to get back here and play some ball with my guys,” said the Rebel junior first and third baseman, who knocked two hits for one RBI in a 6-4 win over Liberty on March 27 to even his team’s 3A KingCo record at 1-1 (3-6 overall) at press time.

McKeag enjoys being a part of the Juanita program and experiencing the camaraderie with his longtime friends from Kirkland National Little League, where they began playing together at age 9.

“It’s just the friendships that I’ve built with all these guys and I think it’s something just about baseball that I just love — I can’t stop playing it,” said McKeag, who moved to Kirkland from Japan in first grade and relocated to Germany after sixth grade.

The crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd — especially under the lights at Lee Johnson Field — are what drives him on the diamond.

Aside from playing ball in Kirkland, McKeag said that the games in southwestern Germany (on the Ramstein Air Base) and around Europe with players from different backgrounds were his favorite experiences.

The Reporter asked McKeag a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into this life:

What’s your favorite movie of all time?

“Remember the Titans.”

What’s your favorite kind of music?

Rap, hip-hop.

If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?

Ethan Happ who plays basketball for the Wisconsin Badgers. They’re my favorite team and I’d just love to talk to him.

What makes a good baseball player?

You definitely need to be able to stick with the sport. You make an error, you gotta stick with it. Just to persevere when things get tough, you just gotta fight through it.

What special skill would you like to learn?

I used to play the trumpet when I was in middle school, but I stopped playing it once I got to high school. Maybe try to re-learn that because I thought it was fun.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

All my coaches tell me this, just never give up. It applies with life, not just sports.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I’m gonna try to get into the University of Wisconsin, that’s been my dream school ever since I’ve been little (his dad grew up in Wisconsin and went to college there and they visit there in the winter). From then on, wherever life takes me.

More in Sports

LW’s Wilson and Bumiller team up for no-hitter

Jane Wilson and Tess Bumiller joined forces to notch a no-hitter in… Continue reading

‘There is no time to waste time’

Kirkland resident, O’Dea student keeps busy on and off the soccer field.

Islanders register comeback victory against Rebels

Mercer Island prevails in overtime against Juanita.

Attain Housing presents the 7 Hills of Kirkland

Annual event is set for May 27.

Inspiration abounds while interviewing high school athletes / Sports Notes

There’s nothing like picking someone’s brain and gaining a shot of inspiration… Continue reading

Bumiller notches perfect game for Lake Washington softball / Roundup

Lake Washington softball pitcher Tess Bumiller fired a perfect game in the… Continue reading

McKeag has covered the world’s bases

Juanita junior has called Kirkland, Germany and other places home.

Dancing to first place at state

Lake Washington High placed first in military and second in pom at… Continue reading

Taking center stage before big game

Kirkland Little Leaguer Brayden Greenberg, 9, throws out one of the first… Continue reading

Lake Washington downs Juanita in rivalry matchup

Kangs notch 11-4 victory in 3A KingCo action.

Lake Washington softball senior moments

Returning starters lead Kangs’ quest for KingCo throne.