This is one of my favourite link-ups. It is hosted by Betsy at Heavens to Betsy and Laura at According to Laura Jean. It spotlights the amazing men in our lives by asking them a few light-hearted questions. I always love hearing from the guys!
Q: What sports did you participate in as a child? What sports did you watch growing up?
A: Growing up in Canada, one would expect that I was obsessed with hockey and played hockey as per the stereotype, but I am not even able to skate. I can recall my dad, who played hockey, taking me to skate and I was just having none of it. Too cold and too slippery for me. My brother and I both played baseball and basketball growing up. Not coincidentally, those were also the sports we watched. We watched a bit of football too, but baseball and basketball, particularly college basketball tended to occupy our television.
Because of a late growth spurt, I gave up playing basketball in high school. It didn't quite work playing a sport that required you to run fast and jump high when you were playing against people way bigger and stronger than I was. It was around this same time when I realized that I could throw a baseball fairly hard and pitching didn't really require me to be big and strong like basketball did, so I chose baseball. I took baseball very seriously and ended up playing collegiately and at the semi-professional level.
Mike, age 4 (1991)
Q: If you could line up your ideal Super Bowl, who would be facing off, where would they play and who would you pick to win?
UNC @ Pitt (October 2015) - read about it here!
Q: Do you prefer the summer or winter Olympics? If you could participate in one Olympic sport, what would it be?
A: I feel like the summer Olympics are the "real" Olympics. When I think of the Olympics, I think of track and field, and the decathalon and events like that. However, as Canadian, I prefer the winter Olympics. Why? Because we are really good at the winter Olympics, and if the Olympics are about anything, it's blind patriotism. While I don't play hockey, I really like hockey in the Olympics, and we always have one of the best teams. If I could participate in any Olympic sport, it'd be baseball. It was removed from the Olympics a couple of years ago, but it will apparently be reinstated in for one of the next games. True story - I've played on the same baseball team as a few guys who played in the Olympics.
A: My favourite food to eat at a sports party is definitely pizza. That's not really saying much since my favourite food to eat at any time is pizza, but I feel like it goes especially well with a big game.
Q: Who is your all time favorite athlete and why?
A: My favourite athlete is a topic that I could probably write a 10,000 word paper on. Even though my all-time favourite team is UNC's basketball team, baseball is my true love, and my hero is Pedro Martinez. When I was old enough to start really following sports and when I started to take pitching seriously, Pedro Martinez was at the top of the baseball world. I don't want to bore you with statistics, but one could make an objective case that from 1997-2003 Pedro Martinez was the best pitcher in the history of the game. That he was inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer pretty much adds credibility to that argument. But anyhow, Pedro was the best. Despite being thin and 5'10, he completely dominated a sport that was at the time dominated by hitters jacked up on steroids. And the best part was that I felt I could be like him. I was also small, I was also right handed. I learned how to throw the same pitches he did. My delivery and mannerisms ended up resembling his. I wore #45 just like he did. I wore the same Rawlings glove that he did. I travelled to Boston to watch him play many times, and flew to New York to watch him pitch in the World Series in 2009. In January of 2012 I flew to Boston to meet him at a charity event. I'm so sad that I can no longer watch him play since he retired in 2009, but there will never be another Pedro.
Mike flew to Boston just to meet Pedro! (January 2012)
Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!