Marty Bechina heard his name called during the MLB Draft.
He would be a member of the Oakland Athletics.
A week later, he had taken his physical, gone through orientation, received his official team equipment and apparel, and signed his contract.
It had set in. Bechina was a professional baseball player.
And then it really set in.
“It really clicked as I walked into the A’s facility [in Arizona]. You see the A’s logo everywhere,” Bechina said. “I thought ‘This is real.’ They hand you an actual A’s hat. It’s legit.”
A Beverly native and 2015 St. Rita High School grad, Bechina was drafted in the 32nd round of the recent MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics after a standout four-year career at Michigan State University (MSU).
In 2015, Bechina was named the winner of the Lawless Award, given to the best senior in the Chicago Catholic League.
For Bechina, the three-day draft was a little hectic as he waited to hear his name called.
“I had talked to a good amount of teams, and I knew I had a really good shot,” Bechina said. “You’re watching for two days, though, round by round, and it’s going deeper and deeper. It’s stressful.”
Then on the draft’s third day, Bechina received a call from the A’s area scout for the Midwest, Rich Sparks.
“That’s something you dream about. It was a pretty cool moment,” Bechina said. “You think of the time you put in to get there and what you go through; it’s pretty amazing.”
Bechina reported to the A’s spring training facility on June 10 and went through a rookie mini-camp before he was assigned within the organization to a rookie-ball season.
Navigating his senior season at MSU, Bechina tried to stay steady after his father, Steven, died in September 2018.
Battling through many emotions, he concentrated his focus on baseball.
“At first, I wasn’t sure if I should be on the field,” Bechina said. “Then, I knew it was a chance to get away from thinking about it and all those thoughts. It sounds cheesy, but I know my dad was by my side when I was playing.”
Marty and the Bechina Family are thankful for all the support from their friends and the community during a trying time.
“It’s hard to be down when there are so many people around,” Bechina said with a laugh. “We felt so much support. For me, it was something to go off of, to really play with a passion, to really motivate me to play my best.”
In his senior season at MSU, Bechina (St. John Fisher) hit .260 with 5 home runs, a team-high 35 RBI, 25 runs, 17 doubles and 13 stolen bases.
In a four-year career with the Spartans, Bechina hit .251 with 20 homers, 103 RBI, 109 runs, 42 doubles and 33 stolen bases.
In the MLB, he’s open to playing anywhere. At MSU, Bechina played third base, shortstop and the three outfield positions.
“A huge part of my success and getting noticed as a player was that I can play all over,” Bechina said. “I’m a guy who’s going to play hard no matter what position I play. I’ll never quit and play hard. I never promise stats, but I’ll play the right way.”
For Bechina, the dream of being a professional baseball player has long been on his mind. After his stay with the Falmouth Commodores in the Cape Cod League in 2017, that dream became a reality.
“After my sophomore year playing in Cape Cod, I had played really well out there,” Bechina said. “You put your name out there; people are contacting you, and you realize it could happen.”