The start of training camp for the Winnipeg Goldeyes is only 22 days away; the Goldeyes offices are buzzing, manager Rick Forney is putting the final touches on his camp roster and fans are anxiously waiting for the season to start.
I thought I’d track down one of the returning players from the 2016 American Association championship team; our 3B, Wes Darvill, will be returning for a second season at the hot corner for the Fish. I connected with him while he was in Langley B.C.
Wes was drafted in the 5th round of the 2009 MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs; he’s seen lots of cities across North America, playing ball: Myrtle Beach, Tennessee, Daytona, Boise, Peoria and the 2016 season right here in Winnipeg.
I could hear the excitement in Wes’ voice as he thought back to the Goldeyes playoff run: “Lots of baseball, great fun, and lots of close games.” When I asked him about the night they won the Championship, Wes gave a wonderful quote: “That’s why you play baseball.
Your team realized a goal; we knew all season we were a good team, we believed in ourselves and it was just an awesome feeling winning the championship. It was a great feeling knowing we all had each other’s backs and were all happy for each other!!”
Wes took a week off after the season and then got right back into training, working out 5-6 days a week with a personal trainer who’s from Winnipeg. Wes has found that the specific training for baseball skills really pays dividends.
Wes said he learned a lot last season: how to deal with those times when he was having troubles with his swing, how pitchers were pitching him and how to make adjustments to the pitches that were getting him out. He said he knew the first month of the season that he wasn’t at his best and found his swing as the season went along.
When I asked why he’s returning to Winnipeg, he said that it’s a great city to play in, the players get treated so well by the team and it’s a great atmosphere at the ballpark. As fans we should be thrilled that yet another ballplayer loves playing in our city. Wes said that the guys loved having breakfast at the Stella’s on Portage avenue each morning…they enjoyed the atmosphere there!!
When I interview the players, I ask them if they’ve got any interesting baseball stories to share; Wes had a great one. One spring training he was playing in a major league exhibition game with the Cubs; it turned out it was also his dad’s birthday. Wes told me that his dad is one of those people who doesn’t like presents…so what did Wes do…on his dad’s birthday he hit a home run!! Seriously, how great a birthday present is that!! Like Wes said, you can’t put a dollar value on something like that; thanks for sharing that Wes.
He did comment on Reggie Abercrombie and the pranks they played on each other; he said that you couldn’t find a better leader than Reggie and that the speeches he gave before games really lit a fire under the team.
Wes wanted to thank all the Goldeyes fans for their great support and he’s excited to see the fans come out and support the team again!! We’re all looking forward to seeing you back in a Goldeyes uniform again Wes!!