Mathis “Massive” Huff
- What is your complete name (first, middle, last)
Mathis Martin Huff
- Please explain your Samoan heritage.
Grand Father is Joseph Pritchard of Leone Married Grand Mother is Mary Jewett
Mother is Ruth Adeline Pritchard Married Buck Mathis Huff of Little Rock, AK. They moved to American Samoa in 1952 and had 8 children (7 girls and 1 boy) the 6 younger children were all born and raised in American Samoa, before leaving the Island to live in the Southern California area in 1968. I am very proud to be from American Samoa and continue to research my family tree which I currently have traced back to England in the early 1400’s. My family still has a beautiful home in town not far Sadie’s right across from the harbor waterfront. I was just on island in July 2008 to take both my mother and father and bury them on our property as their last wish. I have attended the South Pacific Games as a player in 1999 in Guam, 2003 in Fiji as a baseball player and 2007 in Samoa as a player/coach member of the American Samoa Baseball Team and Men’s Fast Pitch Softball Team.
- How did you start playing baseball?
I started playing organized baseball at age 10 through the Robin Wood Little League program in Huntington Beach, California. Baseball was a sport my dad played in both high school and in the US Navy. My dad taught me how to play the game as a kid growing up. I had good success in baseball even though I did play other sports through the Park & Recreation Department.
- What high school did you play baseball at?
I attended Mira Mesa HS in San Diego, CA were I played 4 years Varsity Baseball. Was voted to 2nd team ALL –CIF as a Soph. and 1st team ALL-CIF as a Jr. and Sr.
- Have your ever been drafted by a MLB team?
1982 Mira Mesa HS – California Angles
1984 San Diego Mesa College – Milwaukie Brewers
1985 Lamar University (Beaumont, TX) – California Angels
- What college did you attend, during what years and what position did you play?
1983-84 San Diego Mesa College, San Diego, CA – OF/DH
1985-86 Lamar University, Beaumont, TX – OF/1B/DH
- What is your most memorable college baseball experience?
I obtained a Full Baseball Scholarship to continue my higher education at Lamar University.
Winning the Southland Conference Championship and being named to the ALL-Conference team, Then Playing in the Finals of the Central Regional in 1985 vs. University of Texas and being named to the ALL- Regional Team as a Jr.
- Could you tell us who was influential in your baseball career?
My Dad started me into sports, but my High School Coach Larry Elliot had a huge impact on my baseball career. Larry Elliot was a 2 sport athlete that attended USC to play both baseball and basketball, and then continued to play 13 years at the Major League level for the Pittsburg Pirates.
Coach Jim Gilligan (Lamar University and 2nd most winning coach in NCAA D1 history with more than 1000 wins) has been a great person in my life for more then 25 years. His ability to motivate and mentor me throughout my career has had a major impact on my life.
- Did you have a sports agent? Could you have used one to help in your professional career?
YES, but not till after my senior year of College.
- How did you end up playing professional baseball? What position did you play and with which teams?
1986- After College I was not drafted but was given a free agent tryout and I was able to play for the Salt Lake City TRAPPERS (independent) as a 1B/DH. My contract was sold to the Montreal Expos.
1987- Spring Training in Melbourne, FL with the Montreal Expos. I Made the 24 man Roster for the Burlington Expos (Mid-West League). Opening day I start in LF and go 3 for 4 then after the game I get released by my manager “Felipe Alou” due to personnel changes in the organization. My agent gets me a job back with the Salt Lake City TRAPPERS as a 1B/DH. My contract was sold to the Los Angeles Dodgers. At the end of my season with the SLC TRAPPERS I was given the opportunity to attend winter ball in Mesa, AZ with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
1988- Spring Training in Vero Beach, FL I make the 24 man roster for the Vero Beach Dodgers but was sent to play for the Miami Marlins in Miami, FL as a 1B/DH. I was released from my contract in Dec. 1988.
1990-1992 My agent got me a job to play for the Wei-Chuan Dragons in Chinese Professional League in Taipei, Taiwan.
1994- California Angel (SCRUB) during the baseball strike. I suited up for 10 games for the big league club.
- What is your most memorable professional baseball experience?
- 4 championship rings in 6 seasons (1986, 1987, 1988, 1990)
- 1987 my team was inducted into the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame for setting a new record for professional baseball consecutive game wins (29) that beat a mark that stood at (26) set in 1906.
- 1987 Pioneer League Batting Champ. I lead all of professional baseball in Batting Avg. (.417) and was named as Louisville Sluggers Hitter of the Year.
- 1990 Triple Crown Winner as a member of the Wei-Chuan Dragons (.336AVG / 17HR / 85RBI).
- What encouragement do you have for young baseball players?
Never give up on your dreams. Talent and Ability will only get you so far. Coach ability and Desire will take your further.
- In a few sentences, how would you describe your journey in baseball?
I have played baseball on 4 of the 7 continents. I have traveled the world because of baseball, My life was touched by many great people in baseball and through their teachings, I still continue to mentor others through baseball. Baseball is not a game to me but a passion that continues to burn within my heart. I have a desire to coach and teach the game to the youth, I currently coach High School level baseball player, and will continue to make myself available to help take the American Samoa Baseball Association to another level in International Play. I do hope someday to move back home to American Samoa someday to live and help curve lives the way my coaches did to me.
- Do you have a favorite baseball team and player?
I follow the Houston Astros and Lance Burkman
- Why did you choose baseball instead of other options?
I was a 4 sport letterman in High School (football, basketball, baseball, volleyball) and was given over 200+ football scholarship offers to play football but my passion and drive was baseball. I truly love the game. My dream has always been to play professional baseball and through gods given physical Ability, Talent, Desire, and Coach Ability I have lived my dream.
We are SBC are grateful to Massive Huff for this incredible interview. Thanks for your commitment to the Samoan people and your zeal for baseball!