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10 Questions with Stan Jorgensen


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Stan Jorgensen is the father of Ryan Jorgensen and he took time out to answer questions for us all here at MarlinsBaseball.com.

 

10 Questions with Stan Jorgensen

 

MarlinsBaseball.com: What made you interested in Baseball?

 

Stan Jorgensen: When I was in school (seems like yesterday), the teacher would bring a radio and we would listen to the World Series in class. When television came of age, baseball was one of the first sports to be broadcast. Football and basketball took a back seat to "America's Sport" in those days. Some of that environmental exposure piqued my interest in the game at very young age. I grew up in a small farming community. We had 4 sports in high school: football, basketball, track, and baseball. I never played baseball with snow on the ground, maybe that's why I liked it most.

 

MB.com: Did you ever play baseball either while enrolled in school or professionally?

 

SJ: Yes, I played in high school and college. When I was 16, I started playing town team ball, which used to be big in the Midwest. We would travel around NW Iowa and surrounding states playing ball on the weekends. I was the youngest person on the team amongst mostly adults. Two of our guys used to play for the Cardinals. Our uniforms were 100 % wool and the bats were 100 % wood.

 

MB.com: Does being the father of a professional baseball player change the game for you at all? If so, how?

 

SJ: Every parent wants their child to succeed, whatever the endeavor. Unfortunately, baseball is a game of failures, percentage wise, i.e., a .300 hitter fails 7 times out of 10. My ability to control my inside emotions has gotten better over the years, because I realize there is nothing I can do to control the outcome of an at bat, defensive play, or the game. However far my son gets in this game, he can say he has ventured where many have only dreamed. I am extremely proud of that fact.

 

MB.com: Looking at the Florida Marlins roster this season, how do you feel the team will fare?

 

SJ: Pitching is the biggest question mark for me. If the rotation and the bull pen stay healthy, the team will be fine. The Marlins have the best double play combo (IMO) in the majors. The team will score runs, even though spring training didn't seem to indicate that facet.

 

MB.com: If Ryan were traded, would you remain a Florida Marlins fan or would you not?

 

SJ: Being from the Midwest, I grew up a Cleveland Indians, Milwaukee Braves, and Cardinals fan. (The Twins and Royals weren't around then) When the Dodgers played the Yankees in the World Series, I was a Dodger fan. When I spent the greater part of a year in Chicago, I was a Cubs fan. Living in the Houston metropolitan area, I became an Astros fan. I am now a Marlins fan, and ironically, am a fan of the other previous clubs as well. I simply enjoy the game and the strategies it employs. Many of the players move around each year for one reason or another, and part of my fan loyalty goes with them. When I saw Tony Taylor in a Marlins uniform last year during spring training, I remember when I used to watch him play for the Cubs. Ted Williams was my all time hero and I can still cite his BA for every year he played. He is probably the reason I became a Marine Corps pilot for several years. Ryan's idol used to be Mickey Mantle.

 

MB.com: What other teams do you follow?

 

SJ: I follow the Eastern and Central divisions of the NL most closely for obvious reasons. Now that Phil Garner is managing the Stros, I keep close tabs on them. He lives in our community and has a son who used to play ball with Ryan. I thoroughly enjoy high school and college baseball and try to see as many games as time will allow. I actually enjoy watching college and high school basketball more than baseball. The action is continuous.

 

MB.com: Becoming a professional athlete is not an easily obtainable career. Did you ever try to convince Ryan to choose a career that’s more steady and reliable?

 

SJ: Ryan has made all of his own decisions. His mother's and my parental job was to provide guidance along the way. I told him he has to keep his options open and always have a plan "B." His mother told him to get an education. The window of opportunity for all professional athletes is so short. Most players who reach the big leagues are around for 3 years or less so you need something else to have a full and productive life. Ironically, Ryan told me when he was 12 years old that he wanted to be a professional baseball player while we were driving to a ball game. Who am I to mess with that vision!

 

MB.com: What advice do you have for other parents who have children who’d like to become professional baseball players?

 

SJ: My wife and I encouraged both Ryan and his sister to participate in sports. His sis graduated from Texas A&M and participated in track. However, you can never get enough formal education. If you are selecting a school for your child based on its athletic program, you are doing it for the wrong reason. Athletic prowess will help you obtain a good education. The odds are unbelievable. Every June, 30 teams draft up to 50 players (1500). They may sign 600 of them. That means that 600 players already in the system have to leave or be replaced to make room for the new influx of talent. Baseball America had the odds in one of their publications several years ago.

 

MB.com: Ryan has made a lot of fans through his journal and playing. What’s something you’d like to tell the fans about your son?

 

SJ: Jorgy loves computers and excels in math. He enjoys tearing things apart to see how they work. He is meticulous about what he puts in his body, and he works out religiously. He is his own worst critic. No one needs to tell him when he has had a less than stellar game. He believes he is a good poker player, but in fact, he is simply just plain lucky. He loves to laugh and play practical jokes. In college, he used to carry his own brush for cleaning off home plate. Some umpires would laugh about it, and some did not.

 

MB.com (User Question by Accord): How old was Ryan when you first realized that he could seriously make a career out of baseball and play it professionally?

 

SJ: He started drawing attention during his senior year in high school and the Devil Rays (Dan Jennings/Stan Meeks) drafted him in the 29th round I believe. He was fortunate to have caught several first round draft picks while in high school. He played against Josh Beckett in high school, but never caught him until he joined the Marlins. I always knew he had good hands, quick feet, and athleticism, but I saw him make a play at LSU one time that blew my mind. The throw from the right fielder was high and he had to leap in the air to make a one-handed catch. He then proceeded to do a cartwheel in mid air and touch the sliding baserunner with his glove for the out. I saw the replay later in the year which confirmed what I had witnessed, and it was still awesome. His glove was on the ground and the rest of his body was sticking up in the air. As to how old he was when I realized his potential for professional baseball, wow, you're asking a dad who still remembers hitting his son in the face with a baseball when teaching him how to catch a ball in front of his eyes. I'm riding the same wave he is and enjoying it just as much.

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Thank you for taking the time to give us a peek into the Jorgensens' lives.

 

You are an obvious fan (and student) of the game. Hopefully it will only be a short period of time until you can start visiting Ryan in some Major League parks.

 

Thank you.

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