A Conversation with Orioles Cedric Mullins ‘14
Marketing and Communications Manager Makayla Williams recently spoke with Cedric Mullins '14, about his experiences during his time at Louisburg College and beyond.
Cedric Mullins, '14, was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 2015. In 2021, he became the first Oriole player to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in the same season and the 43rd player in MLB history. This March, he will compete with and against some of the best baseball players in the World Baseball Classic.
We were grateful to have the opportunity to speak with Mullins about his collegiate experience, being drafted by the Orioles, playing for Team USA, and his hopes for the future.
M: How did you find out about Louisburg College? What about the College made you want to attend here?
C: I found out about Louisburg College through a baseball tournament. The team I played on was competing at Cary High School and the coach from Louisburg came to watch and got in contact with my coach about wanting me to play there.
It was a good thing because I was looking for a school where I could go and play and be an active member of the roster. And Louisburg was one of the first places that reached out to me during and after that tournament, so that process really led to me choosing there. Once I committed to going, everything sort of flowed after that.
M: Of course, Louisburg wasn’t the only school to contact you, but since it was the first, how did that affect your decision to come here?
C: I have a lot of family in North Carolina in general, so I think the comfort level was increased when choosing Louisburg as a school. And, before I showed up, the athletic program, including the baseball program, was among the top teams in the JuCo [Junior College] rankings. They were one of the top teams.
The competitive aspect there is also what drew me in. I wanted to play against the best of the best - it wasn’t a huge D-1 school like UNC Chapel Hill but there was still that major competitive side to it.
M: What was the competitive nature of the team like once you arrived?
C: It was the exact same. We had a pretty good squad the two years I was there. Being able to travel around and play with teams that are at the top of their game was really fun. I had a great time facing those teams back then.
M: What are some of your favorite memories from your time at Louisburg College?
C: Academics-wise, my favorite teacher coming out of Louisburg was Dr. Spragley. He was a history teacher there. I wasn’t a big fan of history coming out of high school, but he made it really fun. He was a really cool dude who was able to share some of his life experiences with me, and he was a big fan of baseball so we were able to connect through that.
The people that I met there, and the relationships I made at that school [Louisburg], I still have to this day. I really surround myself with really good people at Louisburg. Some of those guys [on the team] were actually a part of my wedding. So just over a two-year period, just being able to share those experiences, I was able to meet people and build connections.
M: What about Campbell University? What was your experience like there?
C: Getting introduced to Campbell was kind of the same thing as when I was introduced to Louisburg - Louisburg was playing a tournament on Campbell’s campus and they came out to watch us play and called the coach to get in touch with me.
Campbell was a really great school as well. I was able to create those connections like when I was at Louisburg. I was only there for a year, but some of the people I met, I’m still really close to.
M: What advice would you give students that go to Louisburg College or are looking to come here?
C: I’d say enjoy the process. You can easily have a social life outside of academics, but still, be sure to focus on your main goal. Whether you’re there to receive your Associate's or if it's a stepping stone to get to the potential school of your dreams or study of your dreams, you have to keep that balance.
M: Since you were a student-athlete, what’s your advice to our student-athletes about trying to find that balance between academics, social life, and sports?
C: I think if you find yourself struggling with it [finding balance], just surround yourself with people who have similar goals, similar drives as you, and people who aren’t going to bash any of your dreams or hopes.
M: How did it feel when you were drafted? What were your thoughts when you got the call?
C: We’re going back to June 10, 2015. This is the third day of the draft. I felt pretty confident that I would be selected since I had put up a pretty good season at Campbell, so I had my fingers crossed that I would get selected. I had an advisor who was helping me get in contact with teams, and when the draft came, he was in charge of helping me with offers.
So, after days of different phone calls and trying to figure everything out, on that third day, we got the call and I let out a sigh of relief. I was full of excitement and I couldn’t wait to tell my parents about me being drafted. It was just a day full of excitement.
M: You had an amazing season in 2021. How does it feel to go from playing baseball at Louisburg College to being in the Major League?
C: It’s been a crazy ride. I guess I’m a testament to there being many ways to reach the main goal - becoming a Major League Baseball player [in this case]. And from playing JuCo - I tell people my story because at the time of me living through it, it seemed so normal, but I can see now how much of a feat it was. And it was such an amazing part of my life.
M: How has it felt to be able to play in packed stadiums? And your career taking off?
C: It just feels amazing to be able to reflect back on where my career started and the different adversities that I have faced before and say that I am in a really good spot. But I know the job isn’t done in terms of the career that I want to have.
M: What was your reaction to being selected for Team USA? What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
C: My initial reaction was I was more or less shocked to even be a part of the discussion. I know some of the best of the best players in this game are going to be there and, at the time, I didn’t quite know if I was at that level yet. But when I got that call to join the team, it gave me the thought that maybe I’m closer than I think.
My hopes for Team USA is that we bring the championship back home to the U.S. and just enjoy the experience. There are going to be a lot of cool people out there. In terms of goals for the season with the team [Orioles], we had a pretty strong season last year, so I hope we can build off of that and make our way to the playoffs.
*Photo Credits to the Baltimore Orioles