For Greg Modica ’04, baseball is not a pastime. It is a career and a way of life. Modica’s time at Culver-Stockton was spent focused on baseball, both playing and coaching, and he has continued his involvement with the sport well past graduation.
During his freshman year, Culver-Stockton went to the NAIA World Series finishing third in the nation. During his appearance at the series, Modica pitched a complete game getting a win for the College. Modica was also on the team the year Nichols Baseball Field was dedicated. “One of my fondest memories of Culver-Stockton is throwing a no-hitter in the first ever game at Nichols Field,” said Modica.
Modica spent his college years not only playing for C-SC; he also spent his summers playing with various leagues around the nation, including the summers of 2000 and 2001, when he pitched in the Central Illinois Collegiate League with the Quincy Gems, earning all-star honors both seasons. In fact, Modica still holds the single season ERA record (0.99) for the Gems, which is a team that has produced several Major League Pitchers.
In addition to his playing experiences, Modica got his start coaching at Culver-Stockton, as pitching coach in the fall of 2001. He remained pitching coach until he departed for Spring Training in March, 2002. He again joined the coaching staff in 2002 and remained with the school for the 2003 season.
After his junior year of college, Modica was offered a contract by the San Diego Padres, where he spent two years. Modica played two seasons in the Frontier League (Independent) and was an all-star both seasons. He went to Spring Training with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2004 and he finished his career in the Atlantic League (Independent). In 2005 he won an Atlantic League championship with former New York Yankee Sparkey Lyle's Somerset Patriots. Modica was the starting and winning pitcher in Game 1 of the Championship Series. He concluded his 6 year professional playing career with the Long Island Ducks in 2006.
Modica is still involved with the sport as a private baseball instructor, as well as the Varsity baseball coach for Christ the King High School in Middle Village, N.Y. “I like my job because it allows me to work in baseball, which has been my lifelong passion,” said Modica. “I also like it because I never have to sit in an office.” He hopes to one day send some of his ballplayers to the Major Leagues.
Modica also remains involved with Culver-Stockton. One way he does so is by encouraging his players to check out the College. He has been successful with his encouragement; one of his former players, Michael Guglielmi, is currently a baseball player at Culver-Stockton. To Modica, helping the school that helped him is important. “Culver-Stockton taught me to adapt to the small town environment and how to take care of myself,” said Modica.