A sense of comfort comes over Michigan State baseball’s senior outfielder Casey Mayes when he walks through Jenison Field House every week.
Mayes is a legacy Spartan. His mom, Tracy, competed for the track & field team when she was at MSU. His dad, Craig, was a member of the MSU baseball team from 1989-92, earning All Big-Ten honors as a catcher in his senior year.
“Sometimes my mom being an athlete here gets overlooked because of baseball and my dad, but she was a very good athlete. Everyone in our family thinks that she is probably the best athlete of the three of us, which I agree with. It is unbelievable to go into Jenison everyday and know that is where my mom competed,” Mayes said.
Mayes went to high school in Wichita, Kansas, where his parents still live. When he made his college decision, it came down to two choices: either staying home to play for Wichita State or continue the family tradition and play for Michigan State.
“The legacy part of it with my parents coming here and both being athletes, obviously, was a part of it. But outside of that I am in love with Spartan football and basketball and I fell in love with the campus. The atmosphere outside of athletics and great education, there is really nothing to not like,” Mayes said.
Mayes’ understanding of how special MSU is as a university in athletics and academics because of him and his parents’ relationship with the school has been something that the baseball program and head coach Jake Boss Jr. have always liked about him.
“We want guys that want to come to Michigan State, first and foremost. He was one of those, I think it is really important that guys are passionate about Michigan State and about putting the green and white jersey on. It means a little bit more to a guy like that, especially early in his career because he has been raised that way and he understands how special it is to be at a place like this,” Boss said.
Now in his fifth season at MSU, due to the NCAA’s COVID-19 extension, Mayes is one of the oldest players on the team. Ultimately, it means his leadership role on the team has increased but inherently, he has always seen things in the same way.
“I think when you are in a leadership role there is more expected of you, staying even-keeled is expected. Getting younger and…