Brian Sweeney '07

Brian Sweeney accomplished what few college athletes can claim by translating a successful college athletic career into a successful professional career. Sweeney, a Yonkers native, played baseball at Mercy College from 1993-1996, as a pitcher, infielder and outfielder appearing at every field position except catcher and second base. 

Sweeney established himself in Mercy’s record books, named All-State and the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year in 1995, becoming Mercy’s all-time leader in complete games and strikeouts. His stellar athletic record attracted the independent Heartland Baseball League, where he began his first break into a professional baseball career. In September 1996 he was signed by Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners. 

In 2003 his place in Major League Baseball was cemented when he tossed 9.1 innings with a 1.93 ERA and seven strikeouts. Traded to the San Diego Padres the next year, he earned the win in his first major league start, squaring off against legendary hurler Randy Johnson. He spent a three-year stint in Japan’s Pacific League, returning to the majors in 2010. 

Since his last appearance playing in Major League Baseball, Sweeney spent time in the Diamondbacks’ and New York Mets’ minor league systems and ended his career in the Seattle Mariners organization with the Triple AAA Tacoma Rainiers. Over 18 seasons playing  professional baseball, Sweeney amassed 128 victories. 

With inspiration from former Mercy athletic director Neil Judge and fellow alumnus Jim McVeigh ‘95 Sweeney returned to Mercy for some unfinished business and completed his degree in 2007. Sweeney’s example of perseverance on and off the field serves as an example for any student athlete of the vital role of higher education even amongst a world of high-profile athletes.

At the conclusion of his playing career, Sweeney was called to coaching professional baseball.  

His climb through the coaching ranks began in 2015 with the Philadelphia Phillies as the pitching coach for their rookie Gulf Coast Phillies. He later served as the pitching coach for the Single-A Lakewood BlueClaws, and later joined the Cleveland Guardians organization, working on their MLB staff before being named their bullpen coach. Sweeney also served as pitching coach for Team Italy in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. This past December, the Kansas City Royals hired Sweeney as their pitching coach. 
With all the merits of his athletic career, serving the community as volunteer is something that Sweeney holds dear to his heart. Honoring his father’s legacy and 35-year-career with the Yonkers Fire Department, he serves as a volunteer firefighter in the offseason. He and his wife Connie have two children, Ava and Mia.