This past weekend I made a trip up to central Florida to visit some friends and old teammates. I knew the Tigers had a camp day which usually entails an early morning workout (ie: PFP, BP, infield/outfield) and then an afternoon game. I found out at the last moment that they were just going to go straight into an inter-squad at 10am, so I shot up there real early. How early? I woke up at 4am and was out the door by 4:30.
Once arriving in Lakeland, I was a little skeptical to walk into the locker room. It wasn’t because I didn’t feel welcomed. I just didn’t want to bother the guys while they were at work. Luckily I got their early enough before their day started and ran into all my old teammates and coaches. Of course the first thing half of them say to me is “Hey Druck, what are you selling? Can you get me an Ipad?”. Most of my teammates remember me for being the wheeling and dealing guy. It was a treat to catch up with them, see how their off season went, and how camp is going for them now.
While at Tigers camp I got to see an Independent traveling all star team play against the Connecticut Tigers. The indy ball team included ex-Tigers Cesar Nicolas and David Espinosa. They also had Jon Hunton who lead the Venezuelan league in saves this past winter.
As I walked around the quad-plex of fields, I saw the young Venezuelan fireballer Bruce Rondon throw. Every reading on my radar gun kept going higher and higher with each pitch. 98, 99, 100, 101. This kid had some plus stuff which was very effortless.
I really want to thanks the entire Detroit Tigers staff for being so welcoming and allowing me to come back to and catch up with everyone. I had a great time and watched some good baseball. This is a very tough part of camp with coaches and coordinators having to make roster cuts. Best of luck to all my old teammates. One more week of Spring Training left. Stay healthy and make a team.
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As many of you know by now I have hung up my cleats. This has been one of the hardest decisions of my life, but I am very proud of what I have accomplished and I have no regrets.
I first let my immediate family and agent know about my decision, and then of course I announced it to the social media world. I really want to thank my family, teammates, friends, coaches, and of course fans for all of your support throughout my career. You all have had a special meaning in my heart and have helped me play this wonderful game with respect and admiration.
This game has allowed me to travel to all over the world and meet wonderful people and witness different languages, cultures, and food. The pictures and memories I have will last a lifetime. I have had so many fond memories on and off the field.
I went farther in this game than I could have ever imagined. When I played in high school I would have never envisioned playing in college or even further than that. All my teammates throughout the years have a special meaning to me. I have learned so much from them. We had some of the best moments all over the world. We have laughed, cried, and celebrated championships in beer and cheap champagne soaked locker rooms. I wish nothing but the best to you all and please continue playing this great game as long as you can.
My travels has also allowed me to interact with fans, local communities, and give back to wonderful charities. I am very appreciative of the connections and friends I have made through those outlets. I always knew there was a bigger picture than the actual game being played. I always tried to give back and make people smile at community events or at the ballpark before a game.
I am working out the details of my next business venture which will be within the sporting world and I plan to continue to blog and tweet. Please feel free to leave any comments and questions.