Retro Raines

One of the beautiful things about getting to cover two separate baseball beats is getting to interact with two different sets of players…I’ve got tons of  interviews with guys I’ve covered in the Atlantic League, and tons of interviews with guys I’ve covered in the Eastern League.  Sometimes, our paths cross again.

I got to interview then Harrisburg Senator, now Somerset Patriots outfielder Tim Raines, Jr. when Harrisburg came into Trenton in 2006.  As it turns out, the day before spring training won’t be the first time he’s had his bags packed and ready to go to Somerset…

“I was actually going to be going there a day or two before I signed with the Nationals.  Basically, the deal was done,” Raines told me.

“I was actually packing my stuff, ready to go there and I got a call from my agent.  My agent was like, ‘Hold off on that, we might have a deal going with the Nationals.’  It ended up working out.”

Now, if you’ve been following my work long enough, you know that I kind of made a name for myself in the Atlantic League doing “Ten Questions” interviews.  What I chose to do with Raines that day in July was similar to those pieces…except, given that I had to wait for him to finish up with another reporter, my time with him wasn’t as long as I’d hoped.

But here’s how the interview went…

Best Moment In Baseball: “Probably playing with my dad, playing together with him in Baltimore.”

Worst Moment In Baseball: “This year, actually.  Being released by the Twins to start spring training was the low point for me.”

Most Talented Player He’s Played With: “Wow.  It has to be Cal Ripken, Jr.”

You were picked in the 6th round in 1998…take me back to draft day, what was that like: “It was a dream come true.  It was something that I wanted to do ever since I started playing baseball, to play professionally.  To get that opportunity to go to Baltimore, it was, like I said, a dream come true.”

You got called up in October of 2001, how did you find out you were going up: “I was actually sleeping.  My roommate came in and got me.  I was in the Arizona Fall League, we had gotten started over there, and my roommate had to come in and get me because I guess my phone wasn’t working or something and he ended up telling me to call our farm director and they told me that night.”

You made your big league debut on October 1, 2001 at Camden Yards as a defensive replacement…did coming in that way take any of the pressure off of you: “It did, it did.  It made it a little easier for me.  At that age, though, it was all weird to me at that time…it helped me get acclimated a lot easier.”

The very next day, you got your first big league hit, a double off of Matt DeWitt…what are your memories of that: “Just finally actually doing something to help the team.  I got rewarded to get to come up there, so it was good to be able to help.”

You talked about getting to play with your dad, and I’m sure this isn’t an original question by any means, but what was that experience like for you: “It was a dream come true.  It was something that we planned it if he could hold out long enough and to see if I could get there quick enough.  It was weird.  It seemed like back when I was a little kid, just running out in the field with him then, just that now, there were 40,000 fans looking.  It was awesome.”

You mentioned Cal Ripken, Jr. before…and I know you guys play two different positions, but were you able to learn anything by playing with him: “It all happened so quick, it was only for a week…but with it being his last week of playing, it was kind of tough to get the opportunity to sit down and talk to him and chat.  Just having his presence around was unbelievable.”

You had eight years in the Orioles organization before coming to the Nationals…is it kind of weird for you to be in another organization after so much time in another one: “Yeah, it is different.  I’m used to going in and seeing the same faces, same players…to actually get out and wear a different uniform, it’s a little weird, but I’m beginning to get used to it.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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One Response to “Retro Raines”

  1. trent Says:

    i hope Tim plays well for somerset so that he can get back to affiliated ball. I still think he has major league potential, the numbers he put up in 2007 and 2008 were outstanding. I just hope he gets his lucky break.

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