When Matt Reida reflects on his college baseball career, he is flooded with positive thoughts.
Reida played at Kentucky. The Western High School product was a four-year starter — the last three at shortstop.
“Going to Kentucky was a dream come true,” Reida said. “I got to play baseball in the [Southeastern Conference], which is the highest level collegiately that you can possibly play. I met teammates that became lifelong friends. I met coaches that I learned the game of baseball from, a higher level than I ever knew it. I had experiences that I couldn’t even dream up when I was younger.
“It all turned out to be a great experience for me. I couldn’t be more thankful. I couldn’t have been in a better spot.”
Reida said he grew both as a player and as a person during his four years in the Bluegrass State.
“I think by my senior year, I finally stopped swinging at curveballs in the dirt from left-handed pitchers, which was a great process for me,” he said with a laugh. “But you see stuff in college that you just haven’t seen before. It’s a progress and you can see yourself getting better every day. That’s the great thing. It’s that way with school, too. Your perspective on everything changes so much.”
Reida studied communications and graduated with a 3.75 GPA.
Kentucky coach Gary Henderson called Reida’s career at UK “solid.”
“He played four years. He did a really nice job,” Henderson said.
“Matt just did a really good job of defense, as soon as he got here, really liked to play. [He’s a] smart player, consistent, worked really hard.”
Kentucky posted a 37-25 overall record and 14-16 SEC record this year. Reida played in 56 games and batted .246 with 10 doubles, four home runs and 36 RBI. He offered his usual strong defense and determined play.