TAMPA, Fla. — Chin music is baseball jargon for an intimidating fastball to brush back a hitter.
“I have four main pitches,” Jesuit High School pitcher Jackson Shembekar said. “I throw my fastball primarily. That’s followed by a curveball, cutter, and change-up. The fastball ended up topping out at 88 (miles per hour). The goal is to get to 90 this summer.”
For Shembekar, who most recently pitched during the fall season, chin music has a double meaning.
“I play violin and piano,” he said. “I’ve been playing piano since I was 5 years old and I picked up the violin in middle school.”
“He’s not only leading in parts that he is playing, but he also leads with his personality, with his character, but he also organizes students,” music teacher Nina Wegmann said.
He’s president of the Jesuit chamber orchestra and signed with the University of Tampa to play baseball.
“I think a lot of it too is confidence,” Jesuit baseball head coach Miguel Menendez said. “He’s a confident young man. When you succeed in so many things as he does it’s only natural that carries over to the mound.”
“Staying focused musically helps me a lot,” Shembekar said. “You take that on the mound pitching. When you have that mental clarity it helps to have the music background. They cross over very nicely.”
Jackson leads convocation, he’s president of Students Against Destructive Decisions, (SADD), founded the chess team, and has his pilot’s license. But that’s not all. He’s an entrepreneur investing in cryptocurrency.
“I am 17 now and I got involved when I was 14 years old in this (music) room,” Shembekar said. “I was a freshman and there was a senior (Nick Indelicato) right across, he introduced me to cryptocurrency.”
Shembekar immersed himself in cryptocurrency research and started with a $20 buy-in.
“There were two to three down years after that,” Shembekar said. “Instead of getting scared because I’ve done all that research, I continued to buy more. Now the portfolio has grown over 400 percent. Over the years, I am now sitting at just over a half of a million dollars.”
His goal is to make it to the Major League as a pitcher, but in the meantime, in addition to everything else he does, he has a book coming out this summer called Pitching Crypto.
“We have a couple of chapters written,” he said. “We’re moving forward very fast with that. It’s just the whole story of how this developed and how we were doing it all at the same time. (The book) is focusing on the baseball and cryptocurrency and everything that consumed my life and made me a decent player in all these aspects.”
When he’s not closing games on the mound, he closed his first real estate deal with the help of his mother in the Tampa Heights neighborhood.
“My phrase was if we don’t take this, we’ll let someone else take the money,” he said.
With so much early success, the question is who will play Jackson Shembekar in the movie?
“I don’t know that’s a good question,” he said.
My bet is that he will play himself.