By Steve Svetovich
Vince Rebar knows he has baseball in his blood, and he shows it through his work ethic and consistent production on the field.
The former Holy Cross All Regional baseball player has been one of Marywood University’s leading hitters in each of the past four seasons.
He has a robust team leading .469 batting average after the first 30 games this season. That includes a team leading 53 hits, six doubles, five triples and four homers. He leads the team in homers, runs with 33, RBIs with 34 and stolen bases with 20. His 20 stolen bases in 23 attempts broke the school record previously held by his current third base coach JoJo Diskin.
“That’s pretty cool,” he said after he was told about the stolen base record. “I didn’t even know. Awesome.”
Son of Vince and Maureen Rebar, the 2012 Holy Cross graduate hit .377, .317 and .374 in his first three seasons at Marywood. He spent his freshman season at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, but was red shirted after just two at bats and a season ending injury. He transferred to Marywood in 2014 and quickly made an impact.
He played four years of baseball at Holy Cross where he batted.471 in his senior season. He played third base, but made the All Regional team as a DH.
The scholar-athlete received a B.S. in business from Marywood in 2016. He finished with a 3.4 grade point average. The stalwart infielder decided to play as a graduate student for Marywood this season after he learned he had one year of eligibility left. “It was an easy decision,” he said. “I applied for the waiver this past summer when I decided to go to graduate school at Marywood. I went for the red shirt and was declared eligible.”
A marketing major as a graduate student, Rebar talked about his approach at the plate. “My approach is to get a fastball and try to get out in front of it. I like to go after the first fastball I see as the number three hitter on the team. I don’t want to miss it.”
And the clutch hitting senior does not miss many. He has a .500 on base percentage this season and has two or more hits in most of the first 30 games he played in this season.
Rebar was the starting second baseman for Marywood last season. This year most of his starts are at shortstop, but with a few games at second base.
He looks at the ending of his Marywood baseball career with mixed emotions. “I don’t want to stop playing,” he said. “There are definitely mixed emotions.
“There are a lot of young guys on the team this season. I wasn’t sure how it would all work out. But the chemistry on this team is very close. We all hang out. It’s been a lot better than expected. I know the seniors on this team play the game with all their hearts.”
And while he strokes line drives all over the diamond, Rebar ponders his future. “Well, I have another year of graduate school. Then I want to keep playing baseball as long as I can. I want to be a coach on this team next year. I am hoping that can be worked out. I would like to stay in baseball as a coach.
“I know there is a baseball scouting school in a Florida. I would love to do that. I want to stay in the game.”
He talked about what it takes to be a solid hitter on the collegiate level. “Well, just to be here playing college ball you already have to be a good hitter. But you have to stay within yourself and don’t get out of your zone. Don’t jump out of your shoes.”
And it’s that mental approach that helped him earn two MVP awards in the Hudson Valley League. He helped the Hudson Valley Pirates win two league titles in his three seasons playing in the summer collegiate league.
Well spoken and confident, Rebar said he learned a lot from Sandy Menichetti, his high school coach at Holy Cross. “He is a great guy. I will never forget the first day I showed up at practice. He told me to break down my swing in three sections – stride, hitch and swing. I remember laughing a little about it at first, but then it all came together. It sure makes a lot of sense now. I learned a lot from him. It took me some time to figure it out, but I did.”
The modest, but talented hitter said he likes listening to European dance music in his spare time. He has eclectic taste and would like to see Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike in concert.
His dad is present at every Marywood baseball game. “I have learned a lot from my parents,” he said. “They always tell me to never give up and always support me. I do a lot of extreme sports, but they are always behind me. They always encourage me to play baseball. They are my biggest supporters.”
And if you want to see a live hitting machine, go to a Marywood University baseball game.
Just watch Vince Rebar.