06/10/2014 1:29 PM
June 10th, 2014 Meet the Mustang is Jon Pomatto
Chris Roush: How did you get involved with baseball?
Jon Pomatto: I think it all dates back to when I was three or four years-old. My dad told me that all I wanted to do was throw a ball around, pretty much any athletic activity. The main one was playing catch. One day he said, that I hit a plastic ball, when I was four years-old, off a tee and broke one of the windows in the house. It still sits in my head a little bit; I can still kind of see it. I think from then on, I knew there was nothing else I wanted to do, but play baseball.
CR: You mentioned that your dad encouraged you to play baseball when you were younger. Do you think that’s why you still play today?
JP: Yeah definitely, he’s the main reason why I still play today. I mean, I play because I love the game but, he’s had a lot to do with it. He’s pushed me every step of the way. There’s not a doubt in my mind that I’m still playing for him.
CR: When did you decide baseball was the one?
JP: Well I played three sports in high school; I played football basketball, and baseball. I also played club soccer until I was 16. While growing up, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that the only thing I wanted to do was play baseball. Those other sports were there to have fun with, something to do in the offseason, so I didn’t get burned out from baseball.
CR: Did you ever worry about being burnt out from baseball?
JP: It did, I think it was after my junior year of college, I had a tough decision on whether or not to play summer ball going into my senior year. I decided to go for it, but my senior year I ended up having hip surgery and had to sit the next summer out. It was at that point I realized how much I truly missed the game. Now, I am thankful for the time I had to spend away from the game to really remember how much I missed it and loved it.
CR: When you suffered the hip injury, how important was the support of your family, coaches, and friends?
JP: Well, first, I have to thank not only my family, but the athletic training staff at Northwest. My mom is a physical therapist and my dad is an athletic trainer. They were calling me every hour of every day, when I wasn’t at home, asking if I had done my rehab and how it’s been going. They wanted to make sure that I was doing the right things to make sure I get back to where I am and it’s really helped out. This year, I started in right field every game, which I did not expect at all and not only that, but I was a key part to what I think helped us to a .500 record this year.
CR: Was knowing that you had worked so hard to become an every day starter, your biggest accomplishment?
JP: It was a huge one; I’ve been through a lot of tough struggles just on the diamond. My freshman year, I didn’t get to play much, physically I was there, but mentally I wasn’t ready. Sophomore year was a little better, but my junior year, I didn’t play very well, I didn’t get time in. I’ve always been one of those guys that work hard at everything I do and to get that time taken away from me, it was tough. Especially, with an injury that initially I thought this is it, I thought maybe this is God telling me that I’m not supposed to be doing this anymore, but I fought through it. I went back out there and I told myself if I had a bad season I would hanging it up. I had a good season and I’m trying to make it to the next level because that’s my ultimate goal.
CR: On opening night at Phil Welch, you guys played in front 3100 fans, what was that like?
JP: Before I got into pitch, I was nervous; I’ve never played in front of that many fans before. One of my favorite movies, For the Love of the Game, the main character played by Kevin Costner always said clear the mechanism, when he took the mound. That’s always been my approach since I was little. It doesn’t matter how many fans are out there, when I’m pitching all that matters is catcher, the batter, and myself. I just clear my head and go at it.
CR: What’s it been like playing with this group of guys?
JP: Usually at the start, it’s kind of unnerving. People are trying to figure out what other people are like and how they react to other people. Once you get a few weeks into in, everyone usually becomes pretty good friends. At the end of the summer, I guarantee it that every one of these guys will know not only who they are, but will learn things about each other people don’t know about them. It is a family and we come together as a family.
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