Swanson Reflects: Academic Struggles in High School

Cubs' Swanson opens up about early career challenges.

by Nouman Rasool
Swanson Reflects: Academic Struggles in High School
© Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Dansby Swanson, the seasoned shortstop for the Chicago Cubs, recently opened up about his personal and professional journey, touching upon his initial struggles and his evolution into a key figure in the Cubs’ locker room.

Swanson, whose illustrious career includes a World Series championship with the Atlanta Braves in 2021, shared his insights during an engaging session on The Express Podcast, a platform he co-hosts alongside teammates Yan Gomes and Nick Madrigal.

Swanson's High School Insight

Reflecting on his high school years, Swanson candidly admitted to feeling unprepared for the leap directly to the major leagues—a path taken by many of his contemporaries. “I know everyone's got their own path; some people go out of high school, but I don't think I couldn't make it out of high school," Swanson disclosed.

His honesty sheds light on the pressures young athletes face when deciding between pursuing professional sports straight after high school or opting for college first. Echoing Swanson’s sentiments, Nick Madrigal shared his own experiences, underscoring the advantages of collegiate baseball in accelerating a player's journey through the minor leagues.

Madrigal’s insights further illuminate the varied routes athletes take towards their professional careers, highlighting the strategic considerations behind these pivotal decisions. As Swanson embarks on his ninth year in the majors, his role within the Cubs organization extends beyond the diamond.

His leadership and experience are invaluable assets, especially in a clubhouse brimming with young, dynamic talent. Swanson’s reflections on becoming one of the "old guys" in the team underscore his evolution from a rookie to a mentor figure, embodying the cycle of growth and transition inherent in professional sports.

Manager Craig Counsell’s confidence in Swanson is evident, as he views him as the cornerstone of the Cubs’ defense at shortstop. This trust is not misplaced, as Swanson’s early-season performance—boasting six hits, one home run, three RBIs, and a stolen base in just 20 at-bats—signals his continued impact on the field.

Swanson’s journey, marked by introspection and growth, mirrors the broader narrative of professional athletes who navigate the challenges and triumphs of a demanding career. As he takes the field, Swanson’s story serves as an inspiration and a testament to the resilience and determination required to excel at the highest levels of baseball.