Westchester High School senior D’Arby Myers found his career ambition when he held a baseball bat for the first time at age three.
It was from there that he developed a love for baseball and began to dream about one day playing in the major leagues.
“Some people say they want to be a doctor, but I always wanted to be a big-leaguer,” said Myers, a six-foot-three, 185-pound center fielder for the Westchester Comets.
“In any career, if you can do it at a young age it’s great, because you have a jump on things.”
But while Myers, 17, dreams about playing professional baseball like so many other young athletes, he knows that it’s a lofty career goal and he is willing to put in the work to try to make it happen.
With the influence of his mother, Rita, he has also put in the work at school and it seems to have paid off. Myers — who has earned a 4.0 grade point average and scored a 1,300 on the SAT — has already signed to play for USC on a full baseball scholarship starting in the fall.
His impressive career at Westchester began in his junior year, when he finished with a .420 batting average, hit six home runs and was 25-25 in stolen bases.
He was named to the Los Angeles Times all-region team for the South Bay/Westside last season.
This season Myers continued to excel by finishing with a .490 batting average, hitting five home runs and 27 RBIs (runs batted in) and grabbing 18 steals.
He also helped lead the Comets to a second-place finish in the Western League behind Palisades High School.
Although Westchester fell short in its goal for a league title and lost 3-1 to Roosevelt High School in the first round of the playoffs Wednesday, May 17th, the season was a “learning experience for everyone,” he said.
“We were all one,” Myers said of the Comets. “This year we had more team success and were more team oriented, whereas it was more individual last year.
“If we would’ve stayed consistent we would’ve been the best team out there.”
But Myers said he has no regrets about his performance in his senior season.
He said he was able to improve himself as a player, but more importantly the Comets “had a lot of fun.”
“What I really love about baseball is winning, but if you don’t win you can learn something from that,” he said.
In his two seasons at Westchester, Myers was one of the core players on offense.
When he steps up to the plate, Myers said he is confident that he can get a pitch to hit, especially a curve ball.
“I’m looking for anything in my zone, anything I can put a good swing on,” he said.
Myers said he is always ready to knock a pitch out of the park, but his main focus is on trying to give his team a better chance at victory.
“I’m trying to get my team in a situation to win,” Myers said.
Among his Westchester career highlights are his game-winning hit against league champion Palisades last season and a home run in the first game against Palisades this season.
Westchester coach Ross Rosenfeld said any team would be fortunate to have a player like Myers.
“He’s a special talent,” Rosenfeld said. “He’s the kind of guy who comes along every once in a while.”
Myers stands out as a player because of his “unique combination of skills,” including running, hitting with power and playing defense, Rosenfeld said.
“He’s pretty much the fastest guy I’ve seen in high school baseball,” Rosenfeld said. “I think he’ll be the kind of guy who is really going to blossom and keep improving wherever he goes.”
Westchester is no stranger to star athletes, but the school is primarily known as being a basketball powerhouse.
“It’s weird at first because you come in where everyone is pretty big,” Myers said.
The attention paid to the nationally-ranked Westchester boys basketball team in recent years may take some glory away from the other sports, but Myers said the baseball players only use that as ammunition to work harder.
“You can take that away as motivation and try to compete with their sport,” he said. “It’s all about going out there and having fun.”
Myers has had plenty of fun playing the sport he loves. He was selected for the USA Junior National baseball team last year for players ages 16 to 18.
Playing on the junior national team gave him some good insight into what playing in the major leagues may be like because he was able to travel and compete against other top young players from countries like Mexico and Canada, he said.
The experience on the junior national team was “really fun,” but nothing would mean more to Myers than putting on a jersey of a major league team and getting to compete against some of his favorite players, like Ken Griffey, Jr.
After he graduates from Westchester, Myers said he will weigh his options about entering the Major League Baseball draft and will try to make the best decision with his family about his future.
“If I go out and play the best I can, everything will take care of itself,” he said.