Special Blog Interview Alert!
Below is my interview with Ryan Burr, reliever for the Chicago White Sox. It has great insight into Ryan’s journey to the MLB and some detail about his experiences. Enjoy!
D.J.: I know you were drafted by the Rangers and then the Diamondbacks, but what did it feel like getting that call that you would be a professional baseball player?
Ryan: Getting drafted was one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt. Knowing that you are one step closer to realizing a dream you have had your whole life is an amazing and humbling experience.
D.J.: Which MLB player was your idol growing up?
Ryan: My favorite player growing up was actually a position player. Growing up in Colorado, I rooted for the Rockies and was the biggest Troy Tulowitzki fan out there. I played shortstop until I got to high school when I realized I wasn’t that good.
D.J.: Who was your favorite MLB team growing up?
Ryan: The home town Rockies.
D.J.: Which MLB pitcher would you say is your closest comparison as far as mechanics/release?
Ryan: I don’t really know, I have heard a couple different comparisons. Greg Holland has come up a few times. That’s a career I would love to match.
D.J.: What’s your go to pitch?
Ryan: More than likely I am going to come at you with the pitch that got me to the big leagues which is my fastball.
D.J.: How was it playing in Kane County? I’m from about 30 minutes east of there, so I went to games as a kid.
Ryan: I played in Kane County for parts of three seasons, I would say that it was one of my favorite stops along the way. I loved the people at the ball park, great fans, great host families and I was surrounded by players that were drafted the same year as me. This all created an environment that made it fun to come to the field every day. However, spending parts of 3 seasons in low a can be very frustrating, and it was. But it made me the player I am today.
D.J.: What ran through your head in your first MLB appearance?
Ryan: I honestly just tried to be as calm as possible and tried to not over think the situation which was very difficult. You think about that moment your whole life up to that point. It exceeded any expectations I had by a long shot. I was given advice by some of my coaches and teammates which was to try and take it all in, because you only make your debut once. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience especially being able to share that moment with my parents and some of my best friends.
D.J.: How does it feel being a potential bullpen centerpiece of an MLB team’s future for the next 5-10 years?
Ryan: Potential doesn’t get you anywhere, I’m focused on trying to do what I can to help the team win this year. The rest will take care of itself.
D.J.: How exhausted are you of the Hamilton and Burr jokes? Man, I don’t have either last name but I couldn’t imagine, especially given the recent broadway play haha.
Ryan: To be honest, it doesn’t really bother me. If something brings attention to the game from people and places that aren’t traditionally baseball related, it can only be good for the game and for us.
D.J.: What’s your favorite MLB park? My buddies and I go to a different stadium each year. I know you’re from Colorado. Coors is up there for me. Love the background scenery with the mountains.
Ryan: Coors Field is definitely in my top 3. Kaufman stadium in Kansas City was actually my favorite stadium I played in, in my short time in the big leagues. Beautiful stadium, good fans, and really good food. A packed yankee stadium is like nothing else I’ve ever seen in baseball though.
D.J.: Is there a lot of positivity around the team knowing the White Sox will be adding some savvy veterans this offseason?
Ryan: I think there is a huge positivity around the organization. Everyone knows where we are headed with the amount of young talent we have. Adding some veteran leadership will definitely help us younger guys grow into our own and help push the Sox over the edge.
D.J.: How would you grade your 2018 season?
Ryan: 2018 had a lot of ups and Downs. I am proud that I was able to weather the storm of middle summer slumps, and see my goal of the big leagues come back to life. If you told me in the middle of May when my ERA was closer to my age then to zero, that I would be making my big league debut a few short months later, I would never believe you. But that’s the game of baseball. It was great for me to experience success, but the failure is what re lit the fire for me and helped to propel me forward.
D.J.: What’s your expectation for the 2019 season and the future?
Ryan: I expect myself to work as hard as I can and to put myself in the best position for success. Everything else is out of my hands and I won’t focus on it. I do expect the upward trajectory of our organization to continue on that path, and I am excited to be a part of it.
D.J.: Have you been to Little Miss BBQ? I know you went to ASU. This is without a doubt the best bbq place I’ve been to (went there while I was in the area for spring training)
Ryan: I’m a big fan of Little Miss BBQ! If you’re ever in Tempe, let me know, I will point you in the right direction when it comes to food!
Thank you, Ryan Burr, for your time, and we look forward to seeing you play this season.
P.S. If you make your way to the Phoenix area for spring training, definitely stop by Little Miss BBQ, but get there early because the line gets long and they might run out of meat! It’s worth the wait!
Photo courtesy of mlb.com