Jackson Swiney wears No. 6 because his father, Shane, wore No. 6.
The elder Swiney wore the number because he was a huge fan of Hall of Famer Stan Musial, who had the number.
So it when Swiney won the Stan Musial Award for sportsmanship and doing things the right way in the St. Louis Metro Collegiate Baseball League it seemed only natural.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Swiney plays for the Kats again this summer. The Parkway West graduate and current starter at Western Kentucky, received a Musial pin that is just one of several dozen in the world, said Kats coach Bo Bunton.
Swiney earned the award at the league’s recent all-star game. He was not expecting to earn the honor.
“I was surprised,” said Swiney, who walked three times and grounded out twice in the game that ended in a 10-10 tie. “I was getting a drink of water. I didn’t even have my hat on. They said ‘Swiney get out there on the field.’ So I did. I shook hands with the commissioner (Bob Totterer) and they congratulated me. It definitely a surprise to me get it.”
In his second season in the league, Swiney said he knows it’s a huge honor.
“It means a lot to me,” Swiney said. “I wear No. 6 at Western Kentucky because my dad wore No. 6 when was in college (the University of Richmond and Rollins University). He wore 6 because Stan wore it.
“He was proud for me to get this. He was there and so were my grandparents (Ed and Donna Swiney). They were all surprised like me.”
Swiney said he believes helping the younger players on the Kats helped him get the nomination for the Musial award.
“Earlier in the season, Bo was just talking to me about how proud he was of me,” Swiney said. “We have a lot of young guys on the team who will be freshmen in college this year. He was glad I came back to be a role model since I have a year of college baseball under my belt. I think that’s why nominated me for the award.
“I can be that guy to help them get through a 0-for-4 day with two strikeouts. It’s a game of failure. It’s a lot is more mental than physical.”
The playoffs began this week for the summer league.
The Kats won the regular season title with an 18-5 record. Swiney helped the team be successful.
He hit .409 with seven doubles, two triples and three home runs with 11 RBI. Swiney drew 13 walks and he was hit by pitches four times.
Swiney is playing right field this summer for Buntin. He played center field in college as a freshman.
“It’s good to be home playing,” Swiney said. “I’m having fun. It’s been pretty good. We got first place. I played with them last season. I like playing for Bo. I decided to come back and I’m glad I did.
“He’s just a good guy to play for. He lets us go out and have fun. We take it serious, too. I like the atmosphere. We just go out and play. We just play baseball.”
Swiney had a solid freshman year at Western Kentucky. He hit .257 with 11 doubles, a triple and six homers with 35 RBI. He drew 11 walks. In a game against Belmont, Swiney drove in six runs.
“It was great. I got to play almost every single game,” Swiney said. It was a good experience.”
He overcome a strange injury during the season at Western Kentucky.
“I got hit in the face with a fly ball when I tried to rob a home run against Kentucky,” Swiney said. “I missed four games. I was going to rob a home run and the hit the top of the wall and it hit me in the eye. I had three broken bones under my eye socket.
“It could have been worse. It was scary. I stood up and looked around and my eye was black. I thought I was blind. It came back 30 seconds later so everything worked out.”
For his season, Swiney earned a spot on Conference USA’s all freshman team.
“I didn’t expect to get that,” Swiney said .”That was kind of cool.”
After spending his freshman year at De Smet, Swiney transferred to Parkway West. He thrived as a Longhorn.
At Parkway West, he earned three letters for baseball, two for soccer and two for basketball.
As a senior, he hit .487 with 14 doubles, two triples, five home runs and 30 RBI. Swiney was named the Suburban Central Conference Player of the Year and First Team All-State by the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association in 2018. As a junior, he earned second team all-state honors.
Swiney also was a good student. He won the Yale Book Award his junior year. He earned first honors with a GPA of 4.0 or higher all four years of high school.
Swiney enjoyed his time at Parkway West. He has several fond memories of his playing days with the Longhorns.
“Making it to the quarterfinals of my sophomore year in basketball was pretty cool,” Swiney said. “Our team was really good. We were like 23-5 and had a really good team under coach (John) Wright.
“In baseball, my senior year was a good one. That was one of the first years Parkway West had a winning record. Coach (Tony) McNabb did a lot for me. Soccer was my first experience at Parkway West. I transferred from De Smet and soccer was my first team at Parkway West. I didn’t know anybody. I met a lot of my close friends to this day on that team. I really liked playing coach (Michael) Skordos.”