After making it to Double-A in 2005 and performing well for Chattanooga, he found himself looking for a team and signed with the Padres. He went to Double-A Mobile and pitched just nine innings before it was revealed that he would again need surgery and a year of rehabilitation.
Some would have called it quits – but Basham felt he still had a lot to give and the Padres were definitely willing to wait it out.
A year later, he is in Peoria, Arizona and pitching again.
Talk about how the preparation has changed for you over the years and what it is like now.
Bobby Basham: Early in my career, I didn't really know what to expect. Things came a little easier than they have in the past couple of years. I have been through two surgeries – coming in off my second. It was actually a lot easier. I have been through it before. I know my chances are running out and it is sort of giving me the mentality to do everything I can now because I don't want to have any regrets later. I worked as hard as I could to be able to go out there, be healthy, and play baseball again. We will see what happens from there.
I feel great – honestly, the best my arm has felt in years and years and years. I am obviously cautiously optimistic about it. I have seen guys go through it before and it is a tough road and you will have setbacks but I couldn't be more pleased with the way I feel.
Did you feel it early on in 2006 or was it something you thought you could just work through and how hard is it to continue to come back from injuries?
Bobby Basham: It sort of happened to me twice. I felt so good in spring training and things started to go downhill and I thought I was out of the woods because of the first surgery.
It hit me pretty hard just being a competitor. You want to be out there. It took me a while to regroup but once I did I dedicated myself back to baseball. I am very happy the Padres are giving me an opportunity to show what I can do.
Did you consider not coming back given the lengthy recovery time?
Bobby Basham: I was 26 and going into the surgery I was really positive about it – it is tough, mentally. Physically, this has been easy, but mentally was a lot tougher than the first one because it was unexpected.
I set some goals for myself about where I wanted to be at this stage of my career and obviously I haven't met them. If you would have told me at 21 that I would have two surgeries down I would still be trying to kick it around in Double-A, I probably wouldn't have believed you, but I am taking everything in the present and there is no place I would rather be than to give it another shot and see what happens.
Do you feel like you have lost something along the way in terms of command?
Bobby Basham: The arm feels awesome. I have been on the mound for the last month. They are going to take it slow because we don't want a third. Don't want a third. I couldn't be more pleased. I feel like I can come back strong, better than before. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
Did the rehabilitation process change at all for you?
Bobby Basham: I had my shoulder done first and the elbow was the second one. I have been around a lot of rehab guys and some pretty big name guys and see the guys who have had success coming back and seen guys who didn't. Tommy John rehab involves the shoulder so I have been down that road before and this is now my third clinic stint. I am blessed because I have always been able to heal quickly and have always had flexibility. Physically, it was a lot easier because I knew what to expect.