The origin story of “Baseball Zack”

Senior and Varsity baseball player with Type 1 Diabetes swings his way into a Padres All-Star Match.


Photo taken by Danica Jordan

Ever since he was a child, senior and All-Star player Zachary Jordan has devoted his life to baseball, despite facing several obstacles. Before he began his baseball career, Jordan experimented with several different sports but had difficulty committing to any of them. “Ever since I was little, I never really got into playing other sports. I always had fun playing football with my friends [and] soccer … but baseball is kind of where I wanted to be,” Jordan said.

He realized that baseball was the sport for him “pretty much right from the get-go,” but one specific moment that influenced his passion for the sport originated when he watched a live baseball game for the first time. “We were watching a Padres game when [I was] very young. There was this video of me and I [was] very into it, with everything that is going on … I just kind of got it right off the bat,” Jordan said.

Now, after around 14 years of competitive baseball, overcoming several challenges and becoming a starting Varsity player at Classical Academy High School with a winning streak of 7, Jordan was selected to play in the 2019 Padres High School All-Stars Night. “It’s actually kind of funny because I heard about [the All-Stars Night] and I was like ‘Oh that would be so cool to come back,’” Jordan said. “Then after a game where Coach Sisler was talking to the parents … he was saying … ‘we have one player going to get selected and its Zack Jordan.”

The All-Star game, which takes place June 5, will be the second time Jordan plays at Petco Park. But for Jordan, being chosen for this game holds meaning. Only the top 40 baseball players from San Diego to Imperial Valley are invited to play. Jordan finds meaning in the nomination he received from his coach and the league representative. “I got selected to represent Classical as one of them. It’s the second year they’ve done that, but for a small school like Classical, it’s big to have recognition like that and I’m just honored to be that name of recognition,” Jordan said.

Jordan attributes his competitive success to his coaches, especially to his father, who  “has always been there for [him],” and Coach Ron Sisler, who mentored him throughout his high school competitive season, starting at his sophomore year. “He came in my sophomore year and he really worked with me going into my junior year with hitting and then I found a little spark, found some confidence and it just went off from there,” Jordan said.

Despite all the achievements Jordan has accomplished, he has faced and continues to face several trials throughout his life. On May 5, 2015, 14 year-old Zachary Jordan was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, a form of juvenile diabetes where the pancreas produces little to no insulin “[Diabetes] really kind of changed stuff because I was going from a normal teenage boy to now living with a permanent condition,” Jordan said. “The first day after getting diagnosed it was like ‘Oh shoot, what’s it going to be like for me?’ It took a couple of months …  to fully adjust… It’s a part of my life now.”

Although Jordan faces the challenges that Type 1 diabetes presents, he maintains an optimistic outlook on life and baseball. “I’m just trying to keep a positive attitude every time. It’s really hard sometimes when things aren’t going well, to just get pissed off and not want to do things even though you should be.” In fact, playing baseball has had a positive impact on how his condition affects him. “Playing sports actually helps manage it because [it] allows for my blood sugar, which is a huge part of diabetes, to not fluctuate. Playing baseball actually maintains a healthy lifestyle,” Jordan said.

In the next season of his baseball journey, Jordan is committed to playing for San Diego Mesa College and wants to continue pursuing the sport even further in his life. “I’d love to keep on playing after college, that’s always kind of been a dream of mine to play professional. It really just kind of depends on what happens. Right now I have no intention of stopping,” Jordan said.

As he leaves high school, Jordan carries on the things he learned from his coaches and fellow players, including a “baseball mentality.” “Giving up has never been [an option]. … I would just say keep pushing. Don’t ever stop. If you honestly have a genuine love for the game just keep playing … don’t let anyone say you can’t do anything.”