Baseball: Zach Morton talks being the other Morty, sneaking into Dillo Day


Daily file photo by Meghan White

Redshirt senior Zach Morton has a team-best 31 RBIs this season. The Evanston native said above all, he will miss being around his teammates when he graduates Northwestern.

Alex Putterman, Reporter

Zach Morton just can’t get away from Evanston.

The redshirt senior grew up two miles from Northwestern and is now finishing his fifth year on campus, studying sports administration as a graduate student.

Along the way, he was named first-team All-Big Ten at second base as a sophomore, missed a season to injury and anchored NU’s starting rotation this season, hitting in the middle of the order and playing the field on non-pitching days. This season, Morton has batted .288 with a team-best 31 RBIs and has posted a 3.12 ERA in 78 innings pitched.

The senior also boasts a Steve Nash-like hoops game, is distantly related to a Hall of Fame baseball player and crushes on Jessica Biel. He spoke on all that and more in his conversation with The Daily this week.

The Daily Northwestern: How did you choose your walk-up music (“Harder Than You Think” by Public Enemy)?

Zach Morton: It’s always kind of a big thing picking walk-up music, and I like Public Enemy, I like the passage that I selected and it just seemed to get me going for my at-bat.

The Daily: You’re a Cubs fan, right?

Morton: I am a White Sox fan. Had to keep it on the DL for Wrigley.

The Daily: Who was your favorite player growing up?

Morton: Paul Konerko has been my favorite player for a long time, being a White Sox fan — ’05 World Series and everything. He’s the man.

The Daily: Why do you wear number 14?

Morton: My favorite number is four, but my uncle — my mom’s brother — married (Hall of Fame center fielder) Duke Snider’s daughter, and he wore number 14. So that’s kind of cool that it worked out that way. Didn’t know that. I wanted a four in there, but it worked out that way too. Stick to that. It sounds better.

The Daily: Who would play you in a Zach Morton biopic?

Morton: Matt Damon. I don’t know why. I’m not going low-key right here.

The Daily: Who would play your love interest in that biopic?

Morton: Anyone? I like Jessica Biel.

The Daily: I’ve heard you were quite the high school basketball player. Which pro player did your game resemble?

Morton: I would kind of like to think I’m a Steve Nash kind of guy. I kind of distribute and am not the most athletic.

The Daily: If there could only be one Morty at NU, why should it be you and not University President Morton Schapiro?

Morton: Dang it. If there’s anything — which there’s not, he should be the one Morty that’s recognized — it’s because I’m born and raised in Evanston. But don’t tell him that.

The Daily: What’s your favorite memory of NU?

Morton: Probably my sophomore year. Paul Snieder hit a walk-off home run against Michigan State, and that sent us to the Big Ten Tournament.

The Daily: We’re coming up on your last Dillo Day. What’s your favorite Dillo memory?

Morton: Honestly it’s not even from when I was here. I was a senior in high school, and I saw Common perform, which was pretty cool.

The Daily: If you could give your freshman self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Morton: Work harder in school your first year. Don’t worry so much about baseball and the pressures of trying to adjust to college athletics as much as to college education.

The Daily: What will you miss most about NU?

Morton: Definitely just being around the team, being around the team every day. Just jokes, laughing, the bus trips. I really like the bus trips and traveling. But overall, just being around the team all the time.