A Note on the Personal Side of Chuck Lofgren
I am a 22-year old professional baseball player who was drafted out of Junipero Serra High School in 2004. My main goal in life is to get to the major leagues where I would like to enjoy a long career as a pitcher. I am also attending the University of Phoenix where I have obtained my AA degree and I am currently working on my Bachelor’s degree. My second goal is to obtain a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice within the next two years.
I’ve always enjoyed playing baseball from the time I was seven years old. I played on several All-Star and travel teams when I was young and when I was 15 years old, I was chosen to play on the USA baseball team representing the United States in Vera Cruz, Mexico. We won the gold medal and many of the players who were on my team are now playing for various teams in the major leagues. I went on to play for the USA baseball team in Venezuela when I was 16 years old and in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles when I was 17 years old. I was a two-way player on each of these teams because in addition to pitching, I was also a good hitter.
When I was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 2004, my contract was expanded so that I was allowed to pitch and hit. Unfortunately a collision at home plate ended my hitting career abruptly because the Indians did not want me to get injured hitting if they ultimately see me as a pitcher.
I have spent four full seasons in the minor leagues working my way up from Rookie ball to Double/Triple A in 2007 and 2008. I attended major league Spring Training the last two years and became familiar with all the aspects and responsibilities of a professional baseball career. I am currently participating in the Arizona Fall league where I am playing for the Surprise Rafters. The Arizona Fall League is an exciting competitive program. I’m very happy that I was chosen to participate because, after struggling through the regular season in 2008, I believe I have begun to correct the mechanical and personal issues that have plagued me for the past year and a half. Although I have not produced a good statistical record in the fall league, I believe I have made great strides in commanding of my fastball and I’ve been able to get ahead of batters in the count in recent games. I’m working diligently to perfect my pitching skills and get back to where I was at the previous years.
I know I have the confidence and the ability to become a talented major league pitcher in the future. I have an extremely competitive spirit that burns inside of me and drives me to be a winner. Nothing can stop the hunger I have to reach my dream in being a major league ball player.
While in Arizona, I am living at my house with Neil Wagner and Erik Stiller who are also teammates with the Cleveland Indians. They are both very intelligent, talented ball players who have a bright future ahead of them. We have enjoyed our time together and getting to know each other on a personal basis. We spent time with my parents when we first arrived in September and we were spoiled by my mom’s home cooking for the first two weeks we were here. We’ve been attending our games every day and working out at the gym, running, playing video games and going to movies in our spare time. My parents will be returning next week for the balance of the fall league season and we are all looking forward to more of mom’s good home cooking.
The weather in Arizona at this time is terrific and quite conducive for playing games during the afternoon or in the evening. I’m looking forward to Spring Training at our new stadium in Goodyear, Arizona this spring. I feel very confident this upcoming year will be a good one for myself and let me achieve my goals I have worked towards my entire life.
Hey, back again for another installment. At the moment our record stands at 4-10 and this week hasn’t been real kind to us as we’ve gone 0-3 and gotten outscored 44-5 including a 28-1 loss on Monday. Let’s just say it’s been more Roy Munson than Thurman Munson so far this week, but I’m sure we’ll pull it together and start playing better soon.
Thus far the Fall League experience has been pretty good. I’m living with Erik Stiller and Chuck Lofgren at Chuck’s house in Mesa. Chuck’s place is really nice and living with Erik (who I lived with in Hawaii last year as well) and Chuck (one of the biggest goofballs in the business) has been great and rarely dull, but there is the significant drawback of being about an hour away from our home field in Surprise. In an attempt to be a bit more eco-friendly we’ve been carpooling with Wes Hodges and Stephen Head, and I imagine we look rather comical with Erik (6’5″), Chuck (6’3″), Wes (6’3″) and Stephen (6’3″) and myself packing into a rather small vehicle. By the way, with those four monsters in tow, who do you think gets stuck in the back middle seat most of the time? (I am officially required to complain but it isn’t that bad). We’ve had the good fortune to have Chuck’s parents in town so the three of us have been getting some good home cooked meals which is always nice, especially since they tend to be few and far between during the year.
The on-field experience has been good as well. Obviously we would all prefer to have a better record and be performing a bit more consistently, but playing against this level of competition has been great at forcing me to make adjustments and be on my game. We also have a good group of guys on this team, which helps to keep morale up in the face of the scorching afternoon sun. I’ll be back with more updates and what passes for insight in the upcoming weeks. Catch you later.