This year is going to be different. I don’t mean different in a bad sense, more in a unique sense. This season, Washington Husky Baseball has another great opportunity to clobber expectations to underachieve with the hope of reaching every team’s goal: Omaha.
Omaha, Nebraska. TD Ameritrade Park. Literally the sole reason why any college baseball player lives. The idea of getting to Omaha is the reason for everything we do in Seattle. Setting three alarms to make sure you wake up for an early morning workout. Being fifteen minutes early to everything you do so you’re not “that guy” who arrives just on time. Competing with your teammates to be the first player to the field and the last to leave it. “Omaha!” is what we break to before and after practice. Omaha is the one collective goal that trumps individual, personal goals. You can’t go anywhere throughout the baseball facilities without being exposed to two things: Omaha, and purple.
Purple. To be a Dawg you have no choice but to embrace Purple. Not just because it is the school color we wear on our backs, but because Purple is the defining characteristic of being a student-athlete at U-Dub. We wear Purple proudly, we bleed Purple, and we follow a code of conduct that we call “being Purple”. Being Purple is going the extra mile, doing the extra work on and off the field, and being the best teammate possible. Being recognized as Purple means you’re doing things right, so carry on accordingly. Everything you do is with your team in mind.
The Team. Phase One of Husky Baseball begins with meeting the new faces around the facilities. Coach Jason Kelly is our new pitching coach who will continue to drive us in the right direction as he replaces the legendary, Dave Dangler. The handful of freshman and JUCO transfers will be a great addition to the core that is returning from last year’s team. While I’m on the subject, I cannot speak highly enough of the team we had for the 2012 season. Picture this: 21 fresh faces, a stir fry of freshman, junior college guys (myself included), big, small, fast, slow, smart, and eager players ready to be fed to the Pac-12, the Conference of Champions. Picked to finish last in the standings, we overcame obstacles as a team with an unbreakable bond of brotherhood and came dang close to making a regional playoff. I know last season is done, but it was an honor playing alongside those guys everyday. Oh, and the majority of us are back this year. With a great summer under our belts, I know this team is extremely excited to go to work this year.
Ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction. What a mouthful. Thank goodness for its more commonly known name, Tommy John surgery. This is the procedure that I underwent a little over a week ago, in which a tendon from my wrist was removed and transplanted into my elbow. Can’t forget to mention the screw that was put in place to fuse a fractured bone in my elbow. The injury is baseball-related and happened on the ball field during a game. So given the circumstances, I’m at least happy that it happened playing the game we all love.
In terms of future entries, my goal is to give the inside scoop on what life is like being a part of the Washington Husky Baseball team and what it’s like recovering from a major injury. I will be collaborating with my teammates in an effort to spice up each entry for the ultimate blogging experience. I’ve never done anything like this before, but when the opportunity presented itself I jumped at it. I’ll do my best to keep it interesting.
School starts at the end of the month and we report for ball in a little over a week. Most of us are heading up to Seattle in the next couple of days to settle in and get acclimated. There should be plenty to share about as everyone gets back on the grind. I couldn’t be more excited to begin the journey of a new season with y’all and my teammates.
Until next time, folks.