But Swanson, a member of the Marietta High School Class of 2012, said Wednesday’s recognition was different for many reasons. It was given by the mayor of the town he grew up in, and it will last a lifetime.
Mayor Steve Tumlin presented Swanson with a key to the city in recognition of his achievements.
Tumlin also declared Aug. 13 to be “Dansby Swanson Day.”
“He is so amazing,” Tumlin said. “He’s just got too good a track record to not have (a key to the city).”
Wednesday, Swanson spoke to the crowd gathered at the City Council meeting, thanking the community for supporting his team.
“Thank you guys for the support and my family and the Lord because without that I wouldn’t be able to be here,” he said.
Swanson said he has always loved Marietta, and he wants to stay here for the rest of his life. The mayor’s welcome was unexpected but appreciated, he said.
“It’s obviously a huge blessing because I’ve lived here my whole life, and I love living here,” Swanson said.
After winning the College World Series with the Vanderbilt Commodores, he was named the Most Outstanding Player of the World Series this year.
Swanson recently returned home after playing with Team USA, a special travel baseball team that recruits college sophomores from across the nation, in the Netherlands and Cuba.
“It was very different, but it was great to visit in a baseball setting,” he said. “It was a good chance to get out of the country and be able to see other cultures.”
Swanson is a rising junior at Vanderbilt majoring in organizational behavior and business management, but that’s a backup plan.
“I want to play baseball professional. That’s plan A,” he said.
The attention that has come along with the win hasn’t changed him a bit, he said.
“I’m still the same kid that I’ve always been, and it’s just a surreal experience,” Swanson said.
Swanson’s father, Malcolm Swanson, who owns Sportsprint, a screen-printing business, and is on the Cobb Electric Membership Corporation’s board, also said his son hasn’t changed.
“It’s nice to have happen and all, but he’s still the same kid he was when he left (Marietta) to go to school,” Malcolm Swanson said.
Malcolm Swanson said his family, which includes his wife, Nancy, a paraprofessional teacher at Westside Elementary School, and three children: Dansby, Chase, a Marietta lawyer, and Lindsey, a doctorate student at the University of Memphis, has always been close.
“We all always talk, and it’s a very close-knit kind of thing,” Dansby Swanson said. “That’s how we’ve always been, and that’s how Marietta is.”
Malcolm Swanson said his family travels every weekend to see their baseball star, whether that means driving to Vanderbilt or flying to Omaha, Neb., where the College World Series game was held.
“You don’t get many opportunities to do things like this and if you do, you need to take advantage of them. That’s what we say,” Malcolm Swanson said.
Malcolm Swanson said his son is driven, smart and capable of anything, so he wasn’t surprised when he watched him play in the College World Series game, which ended in a 3-2 victory against the University of Virginia.
“It’s such a surreal feeling but it’s just an honor to be able to do it for the university and the community,” Dansby Swanson said. “We were finally able to do that with the win.”
Malcolm Swanson said baseball has helped his son grow.
“He likes being a leader on the team, and he likes the whole team concept of there’s a group of people here that can get together and do something special,” Malcolm Swanson said.
Dansby Swanson is also known for his academic achievements. He graduated from Marietta High School with a 4.2 GPA and graduated with high honors, said Sommer Delgado, spokeswoman for Marietta City Schools.
Malcolm Swanson said his son has made honor roll at Vanderbilt every year.
Dansby Swanson said the big win this summer was nice, but it’s not why he plays.
“I’ve grown up playing ever since I was born pretty much,” he said. “I grew up at the ballpark, and it’s defined my whole life.”
Dansby Swanson said he can’t wait to start the new season at Vanderbilt as a short stop.
“It’s a lifestyle. It’s more than just a game for me,” he said.