Marek Chlup: Czech Republic Star Playing In Lake Country

Marek Chlup

Marek Chlup is a resilient winner. 

After a slow start to his 2024 DockHound campaign, Chlup pulled his hamstring running the bases. In what had the chance to be detrimental to the Czech Republic native, the injury and time away gave him a much-needed reset. 

“Initially, I was afraid it was going to be something serious,” Chlup said. “But when you play every day, sometimes things happen fast. So this break actually helped me a little bit to refocus on some things. Now I feel good, like how I was last year.” 

Last season, Chlup took the league by storm. He slashed an impressive .325 average and collected nine home runs and 25 RBIs. However, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise.

As a native of Cesky Dub, Czech Republic, Chlup grew up playing baseball at a competitive level. In his youth, he played for the Czech national team, a team that eventually granted him a spot on the Czech Republic World Baseball Classic roster. However, Chlup’s baseball aspirations rested on a different continent. 

“My dream was to play (baseball) in the U.S.,” Chlup said in a 2023 interview. “The best journey for me was to go to college. Which allowed my dream to come true.”

Coming from the Czech Republic, Marek Chlup was a highly touted prospect. As he eventually committed and played two seasons with the NC State Wolfpack, Chlup’s dedication to baseball was tested. 

“One of the best things that happened to me at NC State and a big school was I wasn’t good enough,” Chlup said. “I didn’t play much but it taught me how to accept it and just work hard.”

Entering college as a foreigner and no longer getting to play baseball every day, Chlup remained determined to play at a high level. 

“The first school was a learning experience,” Chlup said. “There was really good competition there but at the second school, I got reps and that’s where I got better.”

Following his transfer to North Greenville University, Chlup experienced incredible results. In his first season as a Trailblazer in 2022, Chlup hit .390 with 12 home runs and 75 RBIs. That season, North Greenville claimed the Division II national championship. Chlup was also named the Conference Carolinas Player of the Year. 

“I was lucky enough to win a national championship with North Greenville,” Chlup said. “So I experienced what it was like to win a whole season, and it’s been one of the coolest experiences of my life. Now I want to do it again this year. That’s my motivation, for sure.” 

Being one of the youngest players on the team, Chlup’s baseball experience is well beyond his years. After playing competitive baseball on multiple continents, the 25-year-old is ready to share his veteran-like mindset. 

“Playing all over the place, I had to overcome some challenges,” Chlup said. “Being the youngest player last year and as one of them this year, I certainly don’t feel like it. I have a lot of experience playing against the best players in the WBC and so it gives me confidence knowing that if I played against this person around the world, I have what it takes to play in this league.”

However, the biggest challenge for Chlup is missing home. 

“I definitely feel homesick,” Chlup said. “It’s one of the harder things about being a professional baseball player, you don’t see your family very often.” 

But what combats his distance from home, is his competitive spirit to win. 

“The goal is definitely to win a championship here with the DockHounds,” Chlup said. “It’s what I think about every day. I think if we do that, that will become the coolest experience of my life.”

Written by: Noah Douglas

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