Q&A with Andrew Wilson

Bombers' utility player, Andrew Wilson, sat down with NYfansonly.com's Claire Spilde for a Q&A session prior to the Bombers' run in the South Atlantic Championship. Find out how Andrew got started in baseball, what he would do if he wasn't playing baseball, which team he was a fan of growing up, what he has had to work the hardest on, and a whole lot more. NYF Premium Subscribers can find out right now!

NYF: In the off-season, how do you prepare?

Wilson: I usually do a lot of weight training in the off-season, and running, practice a lot. My little brother plays pro ball too, so we workout a lot together. It's pretty convenient for us. That's pretty much it.

NYF: What team does he play for?

Wilson: He's with the Colorado Rockies. (affiliation)

NYF: How old is he?

Wilson: He's twenty.

NYF: What's his name?

Wilson: Neil.

NYF: Do you have any other brothers?

Wilson: Just have a sister. She's eighteen.

NYF: Is she back home?

Wilson: Yeah, she's back home right now. She'll be at the University of Florida in the fall, in college.

NYF: How'd you get started in baseball?

Wilson: My dad. My brother and I, when we were three or four years old, started playing around in the backyard. Then once he figured out that we really wanted to do it, he'd go practice with us all the time. So we just took it from there.

NYF: Is there a history of ball players in your family, or …

Wilson: Not really, I mean everybody's always liked baseball a lot, but there's not much of a history of baseball players.

NYF: So it's just you and your brother?

Wilson: Yeah, me and him.

NYF: What do you think the strongest part of your game is?

Wilson: Probably my ability to play a lot of different positions and just prepare well for the team that we're playing, the next pitcher that we face.

NYF: What do you think makes you such an effective hitter?

Wilson: I think I learn a lot from each at-bat, so if I go up and do something bad, you know if I make an out my first at-bat, I'll try to figure out how the pitcher got me out and try to take that to a later at-bat during the game. So usually I can put together a hit or two.

NYF: When did you know that you wanted to be a ball player?

Wilson: Probably when I was nine. Probably when I first started playing Little League. That was when, that was probably it. I went out there and watched a great deal, you know? And then watching them play big league games, spring training, stuff that I knew.

NYF: Did you go to pro ball games with your dad?

Wilson: Oh yeah. We went to Vero Beach, and that's where the Dodgers have their spring training, so he'd always get me out of school early, go watch the baseball games. That was a lot of fun, and I associate it with getting out of school early too, so that's a bonus.

NYF: No wonder you liked it. Were the Dodgers your favorite team or were they just closest?

Wilson: No, they were just close. I liked the Cincinnati Reds growing up, but they were close, so whoever they were playing, we'd go watch.

NYF: What do you appreciate the most about your present lifestyle?

Wilson: Just the fact that we're out here doing something we love every day. Just out here getting a chance to play ball every single day is a lot better than, it's a lot better than working a real job. It's a lot better than being out in the real world working a job and going through the 9 to 5 thing every day.

NYF: If you got injured in a week and you had to take a hiatus from baseball, what would you do?

Wilson: I'd just go back and finish my last semester of school. I have one more semester left before I graduate. Finish that up and take it from there I guess. Do what I have to.

NYF: What were you studying?

Wilson: I was studying sports' management.

NYF: What hobbies do you have?

Wilson: Surfing and fishing. Going to the beach pretty much. It's kind of bad karma. You're out there fishing, sharks are out there swimming around, catching sharks, and then you're out there paddling around with them.

NYF: What do you think the hardest part of your job is?

Wilson: Just the day in and day out, the day in and day out physical and mental demands that it takes to come out here in the heat. You know you're facing good competition every night and you just have to make sure that you get up and get ready to play. Sometimes play through a little bit of pain or you're not feeling well and that kind of thing.

NYF: You know, I'm starting to believe you guys because that's something everybody says. What's the worst pain you've ever played through?

Wilson: I got injured in college and I had something wrong with my back. I had like a ligament that was messed up in my back and that was pretty painful until they figured out what it was. That was really bad for a while. They finally figured out what it was and got it fixed. That was definitely the worst pain I've ever played in.

NYF: That's dedication.

Wilson: Yeah, I was a pretty bad player while it hurt.

NYF: What have you worked the hardest to improve on?

Wilson: Just, probably my foot speed most of all and a lot of variety, different positions. I'm kind of different because I play almost every position out there and I've got to be able to be good at every single one and be decent at every single one. So I've just worked hard on the variety, on all the different positions that I'm playing.

NYF: Which one do you feel you're the best at?

Wilson: Probably third, probably the best at third, but I probably worked the hardest at second base. And then outfield has some tough positions if you've ever played there before too, but probably third I guess.

NYF: So first is just there.

Wilson: Yeah, first is easy once you play all the other ones. First is probably easy after you've done that.

NYF: How do you handle the pressure?

Wilson: The pressure? I just take it easy. I try to be upbeat and stay positive, not put too much weight on any one at-bat or any one game. Blow off failure kind of easily and then look forward to the next time you get a chance.

NYF: What does your family think about your career choice?

Wilson: Oh they love it. My dad loves it. I don't think that they could imagine me or my brother doing anything else than playing baseball. I think they'd be disappointed if we tried a real job. But I think they're behind it 100%, so that's good. It's always good to know your family cares and to know your family's behind you.

NYF: Would you be interested in coaching?

Wilson: Definitely. I don't think that I'll be able to be away from baseball for any extended period of time. If it all came down to it, I think coaching's something I'd like to do in my future.

NYF: What do you think that you bring to the team?

Wilson: I think I bring an attitude to the team, just a more relaxed outlook. Keep everybody from getting a little too tense. Try to keep it loose in the clubhouse cause this game can get you pretty stressed out after a while. But it's just important to keep a sense of humor about things, take things easy. I think I bring that a little bit. Sometimes I'm in a bad mood just like everybody else, but I try to be funny.

NYF: How does your life now compare with what you thought it would be like as a kid?

Wilson: It's a lot different, a lot different. When you're growing up you think that it's just going to be glamorous, fun, and money, but it's not that at all. It's hard work and you definitely appreciate what the big leaguers have. They work hard to get to that point and they've earned a lot of the glamour and the glitz that they have now. It's just a lot of hard work and a lot more than what you think it's going to be. When you think pro baseball player you think it's all fun, but it's definitely some work.

NYF: Who's influenced you the most?

Wilson: Probably my dad, he's always telling me, "You don't want to work a real job. You want to have fun and play just as long as you can. This'll be the best part of your life." I think he's kept me going. When things have gotten bad, he's kept me going and when things have gone good, you know. He's definitely the one that's been with me the most.

NYF: Do you have any long term goals for your life?

Wilson: Well, long term baseball I want to make it to the big leagues, obviously. I'm sure you get that from everybody. I want to work hard and get there, and after that I'd like to get into coaching or get into scouting or something like that. Just be around the game.

NYF: Would you prefer scouting or coaching?

Wilson: Coaching because you get closer with the guys. You have more effect on people's lives that you coach. Scouting you go and you get the players, but when you coach you have more of a one-on-one with the guys that come play for you.

NYF: What's your happiest moment in the game?

Wilson: Happiest moment? That's a tough one. I think every day's a happy moment for me, just being out there playing every day. Once I got hurt, I think I don't take any day for granted now. I think every day I'm happy to be out there playing ball. There was a point where I thought I might not play anymore when I was hurt, and I don't think I take any day for granted now. I think every day that I'm out there, good games are better than bad, but I think every day's a happy moment for me.

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