Q&A With Ian Bladergroen

Claire, who covers Capital City for NYfansonly.com, sits down for a Q&A session with Bombers' 1B Ian Bladergroen. Learn a little bit more about the "Blade" and his personal life, his aspirations as a ball player, and a little more insight into his game. NYF Club Members can find out right now!

NYF: You were born in Atlanta, GA, and reside in Albuquerque, NM. How did you get all the way out there out there?

Bladergroen: I was born in Atlanta, moved when I was real young to Florida. I lived there until I was about ten. My parents decided they wanted to move back to where they met, so they moved back when I was in fifth grade. I've been out there ever since. I love it out there.

NYF: Describe your typical day.

Bladergroen: Typical day? Wake up, either Dante (Brinkley) or myself makes some breakfast, and usually just try to get out the park early. Either take flips or hang out in the locker room. We come out, take BP, and try to win a ballgame.

NYF: What do you like to do on your days off?

Bladergroen: I like to play a little golf. Just chill out and relax, depending on how the week's been or whatnot. Get out there and play golf, but usually just try to relax by the pool some, just hangout.

NYF: I didn't really take you for a golf guy.

Bladergroen: Yeah? I love golf. My grandfather, an avid golfer, lives out in Arizona, he just moved to California, but he taught my brother and I when we were real young and I'm starting to get a little better. It's a lot of fun.

NYF: Giving your present batting and hitting performance, and your outstanding statistics, where do you think that you're going to be going this season?

Bladergroen: I don't really tend to worry about that too much. Guys'll get tied up trying to move up and whatnot, and putting more pressure on themselves. I'm happy where ever I'm playing as long as I'm in the lineup swinging. It's no big deal.

NYF: What do you think of all of the attention you've received so far this season?

Bladergroen: I enjoy it. I just hope people know that streaks end and new ones begin. As long as I can get out of a slump as soon as I hit one, and keep swinging. I love the attention. I've always gotten some sort of attention, at least from my last name, some way or the other. But it's fun.

NYF: Your last name, is that German?

Bladergroen: It's Dutch actually.

NYF: I have a hard time imagining how the teachers must've handled it.

Bladergroen: Yeah, the first day of school was a little traumatizing as a little kid. But as soon they just asked me how to say it, it's not a real tongue twister.

NYF: How does playing baseball here in Columbia compare with baseball in Brooklyn?

Bladergroen: You know baseball's baseball wherever you go. We got a few more people out to the games (in Brooklyn), but fans here in Columbia have been nothing but supportive. It's great to play in front of five people or fifty-five hundred people. As long as you're getting to play.

NYF: What do you consider to be the biggest sacrifice you've made for baseball?

Bladergroen: The biggest sacrifice for baseball? I had to break up with my girlfriend out of high school to play in Colorado. She went a different route. That's probably the biggest sacrifice. We're still friends, so I guess that's not too big of a sacrifice. Baseball's always number one in my book, so there's never really been anything else to sway my attention.

NYF: Who would you most like to play against? Team or individual. Any league, any time.

Bladergroen: I can't wait to make the big leagues and play against guys like Barry Bonds and Chipper Jones. He was my idol growing up; I always watched him. I just can't wait to step out on the field with those big time guys.

NYF: You mentioned that you went to community college. What did you study there?

Bladergroen: I got my Associates of Arts and I was going to major in business at the University of Nebraska. I've always been intrigued by the stock market and whatnot, making money I guess.

NYF: If you weren't on first base, which position would you most like to play?

Bladergroen: The outfield probably. I went to college as an outfielder and converted to first base.

NYF: Was that your decision to go to first or a coach's?

Bladergroen: It was actually a coaching decision. I played first in high school; in the summer I played the outfield. I went to college as a pitcher and an outfielder and ended up leaving as a first baseman. You never know what's going to happen.

NYF: Who do you think has influenced you the most in baseball?

Bladergroen: I grew up watching games every night on tv, wishing and hoping that one day I'd get the opportunity to play professional baseball. And so I'm just living my dream that I had as a kid-- just watching guys like Chipper Jones and those guys. I'd have to say my most influential person was my head coach in junior college. He taught me a lot about different aspects of the game that I never thought of, especially the mental part of baseball. He taught me lot about how I carry myself today.

NYF: And are there any dirty, little secrets that you'd like to reveal about the glamorous life of a minor league baseball player?

Bladergroen: Well they're dirty, little secrets for a reason. No, we have a good time. Some of the rumors are true about pro baseball players, but for the most part they're just rumors. We just like to go out and have a good time.

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