Maddie Nossek excels in track and field, especially the heptathlon event, but there are those who wonder why she chose that sport over softball.
The questions are because of her lineage — Maddie comes from a long line of highly accomplished baseball players.
Her grandfather, Joe Nossek, played baseball at Ohio University and signed in 1961 with the Minnesota Twins and made his Major League debut in 1964 against the Washington Senators.
His claim to fame was he started in center field for most of the games of the 1965 World Series that Minnesota lost in seven games to Sandy Koufax and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He later played for the Kansas City Athletics and the St. Louis Cardinals.
At the end of his playing career he stayed on in Major League Baseball as a coach and scout.
Maddie’s father, Scott Nossek, owner of Payson Physical Therapy, formerly pitched for the University of Arizona Wildcats, and in 1984 was drafted by the Chicago White Sox.
So, with a father and grandfather who played both collegiate and professional baseball, why did Maddie pass on softball in favor of track and field?
“She had a passion for track at a young age and by the time she had to decide between spring sports in high school, it was a no-brainer for her,” said Scott. “She would have made an excellent softball player and did enjoy the game, just not as much as track.”
Scott says he and his wife Janet’s philosophy for all four of their children is: never push the “kids into any particular sport, (we) just required them to pick at least one to stay physically active.”
While Maddie’s choice of track over softball might seem a bit unusual, the pick was not that strange in the Nossek family.
“My oldest picked fencing, figure that out,” said Scott.