Chris Colton: Gearing to Go intern Brad Hartmann talked to Wisconsin right fielder Chris Colton recently, asking him about the season ahead. Don't miss out on what the third-year pro had to say in his first interview with us.

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers got off to a slow start this past weekend as they were outscored 18-6 in the three-game sweep by the Clinton LumberKings.  Entering the 2004 baseball season, the Timber Rattlers are a brand new looking team as they have added 20 new faces on the 25-man roster from a year ago.  One of those is right fielder Chris Colton.

Colton bats and throws right handed, stands in at 6-foot-1, 195-pounds and has a lot of confidence not only in himself but in his teammates.

Why his love of baseball?

"Man I love it, ever since I was a little boy at five years old I have loved it," said Colton.  "I don't know how I got into it, but I am glad my mother put me into it.  "Since I was five years old I was doing things that other kids couldn't do and as I got older I have seen players drop off throughout high school and into college.  I am the only one in my hometown that has made it and got drafted.""

Colton played high school baseball in his hometown of Newnan, GA.  In 2001, he recieved an oppurtunity of lifetime as he was drafted by Seattle, but he turned the Mariners down to play for Middle Georgia College in Cochran, GA.

   "I didn't want to go to Seattle because I wanted to play one year in college," said Colton.

Middle Georgia College was a perfect fit for Colton.  MGC has produced 14 All-Americans, 16 former Major League players - two of which are currently playing in the big leagues - but the school's biggest accomplishment was winning the 2001 and 2002 NJCAA World Series.  In the 2002 draft, Seattle again drafted Colton and this time he accepted and began his minor league career with the Everett AquaSox.

When taking a look at today's major league players, Colton says he looks up to many, but his favorite player is New York Yankee's right fielder Gary Sheffield.

"I really like his style and the way he plays the game," he said.  "He plays right field, I play right field. He bats right, I bat right. He's black and I am black." Colton's main goals for 2004 are "to win the championship, make the All-Star team, possibly be named MVP, battle to hit .300 and basically be a team player." Colton is off to a slow start, with only a double and a home run to show for his 12 at bats, but he feels confident that his fortunes will change soon.

Even when struggling like he is now, the love of the game gets him through the tough times.

"If I didn't play baseball I don't know what I would be doing," he said.

The Timber Rattlers next series will be at the Burlington Bees (0-3) from April 12-15. They will then return home to face the Peoria Chiefs (1-2) and Burlington Bees again from April 16-23.

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