Where Are They Now? - Jeff Mutis '89

Go Leopards!

March 31, 2014



Name: Jeff Mutis 
Major:
Economics & Business
Graduating Class: 1989
Position: Left-Handed Pitcher
Hometown: Allentown, Pa.
Current Residence: Brights Grove, Ontario, Canada
Current Occupation: Precision Computer Solutions - DBA / Software Engineer /System Analyst

Family Information: Wife - Kelly, Daughters - Carolyn, Julie

Lafayette Career Stats:

  • Career Wins - 18, 4th All-Time                         
  • Career Innings - 218 5th All-Time
  • Career ERA - 2.89 7th All-Time
  • Career Strikeouts - 167 3rd All-Time
  • First Round Draft Pick - 27th pick of the 1988 amateur draft by Cleveland Indians
  • Four-year MLB career – (1991-1994)
  • All-East Coast Conference – LHP – 1988, 1987, 1986
  • 1987 Pan American Team
  • 1986 USA National Baseball Team – Alternate

What attracted you to attend Lafayette College?
From a baseball standpoint, I was looking to head south for sure because of the warm weather.  I was getting recruited from some big schools down south, not just in terms of baseball, but their shear size – Clemson, Arkansas, Rollins.

Since I was a local guy growing up in Allentown, it was easy for me to check out Lafayette because academics were a major part of my decision. As soon as I took my recruiting trip to Lafayette and stepped foot on campus, it just felt right. I enjoyed the small college atmosphere, the gated world of Lafayette’s campus, and the family atmosphere of the baseball team that Coach Joe Hindelang created. I can’t explain it; it was the feel of being in your own little place. It just felt like a “college.”

I stayed with Dan Maynard on my recruiting trip. He took me everywhere and introduced me to everyone. George Yolich and Dan showed me around campus, introduced me to the baseball guys and made it a great recruiting trip.

What do you miss most about Lafayette?
It has to be the people, the teammates, and the campus life. Just going to class and playing baseball was great because it was the care free life of being in college.

Between your former teammates and coaches, who has made the most impact on your career
Learning the game of baseball it started with my dad. He was always involved coaching me in American Legion baseball. 

Once I got to Lafayette, it was Joe Hindelang. Coach Hindelang was the first coach that really “knew” baseball. What made him special though was that he took a lot of interest in your college life off the filed as well. He was that “father figure per se” because he cared about you on and off the field. Just like any father, he had his rules though – you couldn’t miss more than 2 classes, and you had to go to study hall your freshman year.

When I go to pro baseball, it was Will George. He taught me how to go about my business and enjoy the experiences while working hard. He was able to have fun, relate to people, and just calm you down and get you back to normal. It wasn’t all about technical pitching stuff with him.

What collegiate baseball experiences have been invaluable to your successful career?
While playing baseball at Lafayette I learned the ability to keep things in perspective. I learned to not get to high and not to low. You learn how to handle pressure.

When I was playing Major League Baseball, the diversity of the Major League locker room and the experiences that it allowed me to have was invaluable. My teammates all came from different backgrounds, had different personalities, and spoke different languages. Being in this environment day in and day out, you learn how to handle people because you have to be around them all the time.

Looking back, what do those seasons mean to you now?
I wouldn’t give it up for anything. I made the right choice by going to the right school after being drafted out of high school. Lafayette College molded me into the person I am today. It taught me the ability to set a goal on or off the field and achieve those goals. My great memories also have a lot to do with the coaches and teammates.

What was your most memorable moment playing Lafayette baseball?
The first weekend series of my freshman year in East Coast Conference (ECC) play. I was just there mentally, trying to be in the moment because I was nervous about how I was going to perform.  I was thinking “If I do get in, will I get hit around?”

Well, I got thrown right into the fire of ECC play by coming in to save the first game. Since I was already warm and ready to go, I then started the second game and got the win throwing a complete game. I left that weekend series with a huge boost mentally because I now had confidence in myself. I knew I could succeed at this level.

What do you feel are some of your greatest accomplishments?

1. First and foremost, my wife and kids are my greatest accomplishment.

2. Making the major leagues was something I am very proud of because it took a lot of hard work. I was lucky to play Division I college baseball because there are a small percentage of baseball players that reach that level. The percentage is even smaller when you look at reaching the Major League level. I had a good time and made a lot of good friends.

3. Finishing up my college degree after I was done playing professional. It was something that I always wanted to do. Even when I was playing in the Major Leagues for those four years, I knew the value of my Lafayette education. Just to stay mentally sharp, I was taking courses online. When I was finally done playing professional baseball in 1997, I was able to finish up my last semester at Lafayette obtaining my Economics & Business degree. I even made Dean’s List my final semester!

Is there one teammate you would love to hear from?
There are a bunch of them I would like to hear from. I would have to say Bruce Blank. Bruce was my little brother in FIJI.  A lot of good times and great stories, it would be great to catch up sometime at Lafayette for a game.

What advice do you have for Lafayette athletes?
I never went to Lafayette thinking I am going “to just play baseball.” I went to Lafayette to get an education, make some friends, and play baseball. It all just worked out for me. In my opinion, It doesn’t work that well just going to college to just play baseball.

My advice for the current Lafayette Baseball Players:

1. Have fun, that’s what you are there for.
2. After you are having fun, give it your all on the field, in the classroom, and socially. Make a lot of friends, learn in the classroom and on the field, have fun, and play baseball. Make the most of it all.


 

 

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