Stephen Bruno was just a baby when he got his first look at baseball. His youngest memory is captured in a photo he has of himself hitting a ball off of a tee at the age of one. His father, Steve, played for a men’s league during Stephens’s childhood as well as his Uncle Jim. Stephen could always be found on the field or in the dugout, it was a family tradition.
Growing up he was greatly influenced by his parents and his uncle, he looked up to his dad and uncle on field while his mom, Maureen, was always the one keeping him active. His dad often jokes about how he must have got his athletic ability from his mother because she was always keeping him busy and was a very active athlete growing up.
Stephen knew he wanted to play ball professionally around the age of ten. He said he would watch the College World Series and say “I will be there one day.” When he got moved up to the “big field” where he played with kids older than him, he knew he could make it.
Stephen ended up at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia (which is actually my home town!). When asked “why UVA,” Stephen responded with “it’s a funny story.” He was just sixteen when a summer league coach called and asked where he wanted to go to college. Stephens’s response was “UVA.” Two weeks later he received an email and a questionnaire from the coach. It didn’t take long until UVA was out to see him play in the High School All-Stars Carpenter Cup; Two weeks after they saw him in action Stephen received a scholarship and committed to UVA in January of his junior year in high school.
Stephen said “the Charlottesville community was so nice and welcoming.” The thing he loved most was the culture and feeling like part of a family with his team and coaching staff. The thing he misses most about home is his family, friends and his mothers buffalo chicken cheese steak, “not a steak and cheese.”
Fun Fact: Stephen loves oldies music such as Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin and Elvis. “I am an old school guy.”