Thornton enjoying family time, golf after retirement from pro baseball
THREE RIVERS — Matt Thornton enjoys helping others, especially when it benefits people in the area he grew up in.
Thornton, a Centreville native who was born in Three Rivers, was in attendance as the celebrity headliner for Friday’s annual golf outing and fundraiser for Three Rivers Health held at Pine View Golf Course.
The 1995 Centreville High School graduate originally drafted in the 27th round by the Detroit Tigers, attended Grand Valley State University on a basketball scholarship, but was taken as the 22nd overall pick in the 1998 Major League Baseball draft by the Seattle Mariners.
It only seemed fitting that Thornton would participate in such an event considering his time these days are spent with his family and playing golf since his retirement from professional baseball on Nov. 8, 2016.
“Pro baseball was a dream come true. It’s hard to believe it’s over, but I enjoyed my time in the game. There was a big learning curve for someone who grew up with basketball as the number one sport and baseball was always secondary,” Thornton said.
“There was a big learning curve for me when I got into the professional game, but they broke me down and built me back up to what I became. I had some injuries along the way, but was able to enjoy a career that lasted over 12 years. Now I’m entering the next phase of my life to hopefully be a pretty good dad and husband and being home with them is good right now.”
Almost exactly on the day Thornton was released and announced his retirement, David Casterline, executive director of Three Rivers Health Foundation, asked Thorton to be the headliner for this year’s golf event.
“Dave reached out to me and began telling me about the wonderful things going on at the same hospital I was born at, the wonderful doctors and other people there. I immediately told him I would love to attend and help in any way I could,” Thornton said.
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