P-T grad Common leaves Pitt-Greensburg as one of baseball program’s best
Thumb, or scroll, through the Pitt-Greensburg baseball program’s record book and one might notice something in common among the career statistical leaders: Chris Common.
The 2015 Penn-Trafford grad recently put the finishing touches on his standout career with the Bobcats as the owner of a half dozen school records.
“I knew that I had an opportunity to play right away,” Common said. “I just worked as hard as I could.”
The 6-foot-2, 218 pound left fielder, who recently earned first team Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference honors, holds UPG records in doubles (40), triples (10), home runs (30), RBIs (149), total bases (326) and hits (176).
“Its the hope you have for everybody, and unfortunately, not everyone reaches their potential, but he’s one guy that has reached his max potential,” Bobcats coach Scott Adams said. “Not everybody puts the work in to reach their max potential and not everybody has the same drive as he did.”
Common’s “drive” put his name in the Pitt Greensburg record book 14 times.
“I didn’t know that I would have all of accolades that I have now,” Common said. “I just played to play baseball and have fun.”
It was all fun and games this past April. The Bobcats faced AMCC foe D’Youville in a doubleheader.
It was senior day at the campus. With family and alumni in attendance, Common was on the precipice of breaking former Bobcat Greg Lynn’s three-year-old career record for hits.
Common dug his feet into in the batter’s box in the bottom of the fifth inning and worked D’Youville pitcher Dylan Haak to a 3-2 count before he drilled a line drive over the shortstop’s head for a single and hit No. 168.
“It definitely felt good,” Common said. “I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t excited about it. The guy whose record I broke was at the game. He probably knew.”
For Adams, the hit was validation. The player with the fantastic swing he spotted anout five years earlier playing a fall game at Southmoreland turned out to become the player he envisioned that autumn afternoon.
“You can just see the raw power when you watch him take his swings,” said Adams, who was an assistant coach with the Bobcats at the time. “You get to know him a little bit and you realize what kind of work ethic he has.
“Whether it’s in the classroom, weight room, or on the field, you knew what kind of player you were gonna get.”
Common’s swing opened eyes across the AMCC his freshman season. He finished that year ranked second on the team in home runs (five), third in doubles (five), fourth in hits (45) and RBI’s (28) and fifth in batting average (.357). The performance earned him AMCC Newcomer of the Year and second team all-conference honors.
“We knew part way through his freshman season that he was a guy that had the potential to do some special, special things here for us,” Adams said.
Common isn’t ready to stop playing just yet.
“I’m gonna try to keep playing and try to go to the Independent league,” Common said. “I think I have what it takes to play at the next level.”
William Whalen is a freelance writer.