Here it is, the end of the season, a season that I'm going to remember as the most fun I have ever had playing baseball. It's amazing how time flies when you're doing something you love. Last year during Spring Training I forgot how much fun baseball was and this season with the Twins has reunited my passion for the sport I love. At the start of the year I was very sceptical on my position with the Minnesota Twins as they had not invested any money in me and were giving me a second chance so I had to show them quickly why they should keep me around. So I set a goal for myself , which was make the starting rotation for the GCL Twins. I exceeded my goal to my wildest expectations by making the Elizabethton Twins and being the youngest pitcher on the team, and then I was named the opening night starter against the Bluefield Blue Jays, which was an honour and something I will treasure forever. What made it even more special is that I had my mum in the crowd cheering for me that night, and I know my dad was there as well.
Making that first pitch of the season, a strike on the outside part of the plate, then getting that hitter to ground out to 2nd to record the 1st out of the season I thought this is going to be a good year, but then in the next 3 hitters, I gave up a solo home run, a walk and another home run. Those would be the only hits I allow all game as I threw 5 innings. At that point I knew I would have to overcome a lot to get through this season and I wasn't in for an easy ride. I had many ups and downs throughout the year, I enjoyed a 4 game stretch where I won 3 games, then went through a 3 game stretch where I allowed 16 runs in 12 innings. I had nearly lost my spot in the rotation after those few games, but an outing against the Johnson City Cardinals brought out the best in me as I threw 6 innings for 2 runs, and showed a lot of emotion out on the mound that people had probably never seen from me. It's moments like that, the adrenaline rush in a clutch moment that makes this game so great. No matter how good or bad the situation was, I always went out the next day and did my best, worked as hard as I could and had as much fun because unlike a lot of people in the world, I am blessed to be able to wake up every day and say "I love going to work".
For a lot of the year we were in a tight race for a playoff spot, either it going back and forth between 1st and 2nd place, or trying to keep our distance from the team in 3rd place. Not only was it nerve wracking during our games trying to pull out a victory, but we always had to see if Kingsport had won or lost to see if we have pulled away from them and given ourselves some breathing room. With 11 games to go in the season we were tied in 2nd place with
, with 7 games to go we had a 2 game lead. We clinched our playoff spot with 4 games to go in the season with a sweep of the Bluefield Blue Jays, which is the team we ended up playing in the first round of the playoffs. After losing the 1st game at home, we travelled to Kingsport and won game 2, then went down to them in game 3. It's always hard falling 1 win short of going to the Championship Series, but it gives me and I'm sure it gives the team more drive to get ready for next year and go one step further. Bluefield
This season I also made a lot of great new friends who have brought me a ton of fun memories filled with laughter. I will never forget the day we went out on the boat and pulled a terribly organised prank on team mate that almost had catastrophic consequences, but we can laugh about it now. The day we spent at the waterhole and a team mate did a leisure dive and a plank, then later that night he completed a great day by coneing at a McDonalds in
. The day I spent at another team mates apartment and he began to serenade me with Taylor Swift songs which I thought was very flattering seeing as he went online to learn how to play the song on his guitar. The night a few team mates etched their names into the history books by throwing a combined no-hitter against the Greeneville Astros. All these memories are things that I will never forget. Johnson City
So its been 184 days, there have been long days and short days, rainy days and hot days, easy days and tough days, fun days and not so fun days, there have been long bus rides and short bus rides and a broken down bus ride, there have been many new friends and many new memories, whatever kind of day it was, I was living my dream, 1 day at a time.