Rick Short (Baseball): Short was a three-year member of the Leatherneck Baseball program from 1992-94. As a freshman, Short started in 39 of his 41 games played batting .322 with four doubles, 30 runs scored and more walks (14) than strikeouts (10) in 143 at-bats.
During the 1993 season he was named First Team All-Mid Continent Conference batting a team-leading .333 with 28 runs scored, 17 RBI, 14 doubles, three stolen bases and a .418 on-base percentage.
Selected a team captain in 1994, he set a then-season record with 60 hits in addition to his team-leading .373 batting average, 45 runs scored, 34 RBI, .439 on-base percentage and 15 stolen bases in 18 attempts.
His 156 career hits currently stands one shy of appearing the Western Illinois career 'Top 10' list. Short posted a career .344 batting average, also at the time among the career leaders but currently just shy of the 'Top 10'.
After his junior year, Short was a 33rd-round draft pick by the Baltimore Orioles. He would capture the 1997 Carolina League batting title with a .319 average. Short hit .356 during the 2002 season to win the Triple-A PCL batting title.
In 2005 while playing in New Orleans (Triple-A) he was a Midseason and Postseason All-Star in the Pacific Coast League, and named MLB.com Triple-A Offensive Player of the Year posting a league-leading .383 batting average. He also played professionally with Rakuten in Japan, winning the league's 2008 batting title at a .332 clip.
One of six Leathernecks all-time to play in the majors, Short made his Major League Baseball debut with the Washington Nationals on June 10, 2005. In 11 games he batted .400 (6-of-14) with two doubles, two home runs, four runs scored and four RBI.
Following his 15-year professional baseball playing career, Short has worked the past two years as a scout with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He has been involved in coaching his children, serving as a Junior Football League coach at Peoria Notre Dame and helping fundraise for St. Thomas school.
A 1998 graduate of Western with a bachelor's degree in Law Enforcement Justice Administration, Short and his wife Karyn (1996 WIU graduate in recreation, parks and tourism administration) have three children: Annabelle, Alan and Holly. They reside in Peoria.