Mac's Pro Baseball History

A Stockton, California high school standout, Jon Macalutas is a student of the game of baseball. His excellence on the field was reflected in the classroom as well. "Mac" graduated from Lincoln High School in Stockton with a 4.2 GPA in 1992 which earned him recognition from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo both on the field and academically.

During his tenure at Cal Poly SLO, Mac once again excelled right from the start. On the field his skills earned him the rarely seen playing time as a true freshman. By the time he graduated in 1996 with a degree in Industrial Engineering, Mac had put up record breaking statistics for the Mustangs which put him among the Cal Poly all time leaders in many categories. To this day his records stand strong among the likes of Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith and Former Major League All Star Mike Krukow. His record for Most Career Hits still stands today at 246 and has lasted for 18 years. In 1996 Mac earned recognition from the city of Stockton Athletic Hall of Fame.

Although Mac was again a standout, he had to earn his way to his dream of playing professional baseball. After going undrafted out of college, Mac signed his first professional contract in June of 1996 with the Salinas Peppers of the then newly formed independent professional Western Baseball League. His stint with Salinas lasted just four games before the Milwaukee Brewers purchased his contract and assigned him to rookie ball in Ogden, Utah. Mac's statistics continued to impress the organization and eventually he elevated to the Double A level. After five impressive seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers organization, the Brewers and Mac parted ways in 2001.

A "blessing in disguise" is the term often used when fate materializes in a player's career. In the summer of 2001 Mac's "blessing in disguise" materialized when former Major League pitcher Charlie Kerfeld was appointed manager of the Chico Heat. After noticing Mac at a major league tryout, Kerfeld wasted little time in persuading him to sign a contract to play in Chico. Mac was an immediate fan favorite, team leader, and All Star. After two seasons in Chico, he hit for a combined average of .318, stole 50 bases and helped lead Chico to the Western League title in 2002. His play once again grabbed the attention of major league scouts as the Florida Marlins picked him up in 2003. Mac survived spring training but as fate would have it he decided to hang up his spikes, retire from the game as a player and return to Chico to be with his soon to be born daughter Kendal. He finished seven pro seasons with a career batting average of .290 and 777 hits.

In 2003 professional baseball was absent from Chico with the Heat and the entire Western League now defunct. Jon decided to bring the game back to the community that gave so much to him for two seasons and founded Mac's Professional Baseball School. With the intent to give young players within the community an opportunity to receive professional instruction, Mac was once again received with open arms. From its humble beginnings in a 3000 square foot warehouse, Mac worked tirelessly over the next couple of years providing thousands of local players from little league through college levels with countless hours of professional baseball instruction.

Then fate called again for Mac in 2005 when the newly established Golden Baseball League brought professional baseball back to Chico in the form of the Chico Outlaws. Mac landed the hitting coach position that season with the Outlaws. For three seasons thereafter he expanded his knowledge of the game from the other side of the lines under the guidance of Outlaws manager and 12 year Major League veteran Mark Parent. Mark is currently the bench coach for the Chicago White Sox along side manager Robin Ventura. Coincidentally, Ventura used to give tips while taking ground balls and hitting along side Mac at Cal Poly when he was still a major league player getting ready for spring training. Mac honed his teaching skills by providing private instruction by day and being a professional hitting coach at night.

In 2007 Mac helped the Outlaws bring championship baseball back to Chico. This gave him the unique distinction of being the only person to play and coach for a professional championship baseball team in Chico. In November of that year Mac's Professional Baseball School expanded to a new 7000 square foot indoor facility. The new shop featured 5 pro style baseball and softball batting cages and a pro shop fully stocked with professional quality baseball equipment.

While Mac's business began to expand, his responsibilities with the Outlaws expanded too. In 2008 Mac took over the reins as manager for the Outlaws after Mark Parent announced his retirement. As a professional manager, Mac went head to head with former major league veterans such as Darrell Evans, Cory Snyder, Mike Marshall, Jeffrey Leonard, Steve Yeager and Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter. Although the team's record was below average, Mac's success could be measured in his ability to help his players move to the next level. Five of his Outlaw players, including Daniel Nava, were sent to Major League organizations that year, more than any other team in the league. His club also featured the best offensive statistics in the history of the organization.

Mac retired from professional baseball again in September 2008 in order to focus on his growing business and, even more importantly, his growing daughter. With his time free from extensive traveling, Mac once again entered the coaching world, this time as manager and coach of his daughter's little league softball teams the Diamond Dolls, Bumble Beez, Sandlot Chiks, Sluggers, and Mac Attack.

From 2010-2013 Mac switched his focus to manufacturing and become an owner of Sandlot Stiks, "The Mark of Excellence in Quality Wood Bats since 1996." He was now making the same quality wood baseball bats he swung as a player.

Since 2003, Mac has taught over 40,000 lessons and helped hundreds of young ball players make it to the college and professional levels. In 2014 Mac decided to give his experience as an instructor a much larger platform to reach even more people. He created Baseball Lessons Online where players, parents and coaches can see videos of his teachings for free.

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Jon Macalutas