2 February 2013
Anything Can Happen Believe it or not, most people don’t know that I was sponsored by Under Armour to play baseball in Tucson, Arizona. It was 2009, and I was 17 years old and a senior at Sunnyside high school. I was going to try out at the local college (Fresno Pacific University) for a spot on the Under Armour team. When I got to the school, there were at lease a hundred kids trying out. When I went to the desk to sign up, the manager for the Under Armour program said, “We are only taking two kids from the entire central valley so, go out there and show us what you got, Good luck.” After I heard that, I actually relaxed because out of the thousands of kids trying out, there was no possible way I was going to make the team. After I tried out, my dad said, “You looked unbelievable out there”. He said I was diving and catching everything and hitting the ball in all parts of the field. The next day, we got a call from the manager saying that I had made the team. After everything, I couldn’t believe that I had actually gotten sponsored by Under Armour. The coaches that were mentoring us were actual coaches from the Colorado Rockies organization. So, the knowledge and experience that I gained from them was unimaginable. It was like if I was playing for the Boston Red Sox and being in my tenth year in the majors. The one thing that I will never forget was the opportunity that I got to actually play for Under Armour. The moment that my dad got the phone call was unreal. Then when he told me that I actually made the team, I couldn’t believe that all the hard work and practicing finally paid off. One of the best parts about the whole thing is that they treated you like an actual professional baseball player. They said dinner is at 6 and after that you can do whatever you want, but they said we had a 10 o` clock curfew. If we were out after curfew, we were off the team. I actually thought they were kidding but around 10:30. They came in our room and made sure we were all in bed. When we got to the fields the next morning (which by the way we were playing at the Arizona Diamondbacks training facility) they asked us what size bats we wanted, and they had brand new wooden bats that weren’t even on sale anywhere else yet. They also had jerseys with our name in the back of them and plus any Under Armour sleeves and socks we wanted. I felt like I was in baseball heaven. After I saw my name on the jersey is when it actually hit me. I guess it kind of felt like a dream, but when they said my name it turned from a dream to reality. Then we went to our assigned coaches, and I couldn’t believe who my coach was. My coaches were Mr. Riggzi who is the batting coach for the Colorado Rockies and his assistant T (which he never told us his name he just said “call me T”) which was the pitching coach for the Rockies. Both of these guys are legends in the making and to get the opportunity to be mentored by them is even better. The stories that they were telling us about the ball club and his players were unbelievable about all the pranks they pulled on each other, and he said they were always having a good time. He taught us so many tricks on how to fix our swing and how to break our bad habits.
Most of my bad habits had to deal with my batting stance. He taught us a trick to where we would stand in front of a gate like a bats length away and swing. If you hit the gate then you knew you were doing something wrong, and I actually fixed that now thanks to this trick. The cool part about it was they