Sportress of Blogitude

Florida school massacre hits close to home for Mets’ Anthony Swarzak

New York Mets relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak is among the several individuals from the world of sports who have now come forward to reveal how the tragic school shooting in Florida on Wednesday hits close to home.

Swarzak, born in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., attended high school in Davie, Fla., which is about 25 miles away from Parkland, Fla., where suspect Nikolas Cruz, 19, opened fire on students. Seventeen have been confirmed dead and as of Thursday morning, per CNN, 14 additional wounded victims are being treated at area hospitals.

Swarzak told the New York Post Thursday morning that his older sister and two younger cousins graduated from Stoneman Douglas High School.

“I think that when stuff like this happens, you think it’s never going to happen here. Unfortunately, we’re in a day and age of a lot of conspiracy stuff and nobody knows what’s real or fake, or blah blah blah,” Swarzak said at First Data Field. “But when it happens so close to home and your phone is getting text messages and phone calls of people actually involved and affected by this, it’s a scary, scary thing.”

Swarzak is not aware of any personal connection to any of the 17 victims. However, Swarzak had heard of Aaron Feis, a football coach at the school who was killed while heroically shielding students from the murderous rampage.

“From what I heard, he was one of those coaches that really did everything he could for every person he came across,” Swarzak said. “Every student he tried to mentor and tried to help grow as an adult and as a man. It’s not a coincidence that that type of guy is the person that pays the ultimate sacrifice because clearly, they’ve been willing to sacrifice their time and their effort to try to make everybody better. When that type of situation happens, it’s those types of people that are running towards the action.

“I just want his family to know that we’re all thinking about them and if there’s anything that anybody needs to reach out, absolutely.”