In July of 2002, the Milwaukee Brewers were the host for the 73rd playing of the midsummer classic. That particular MLB All-Star game was infamous for the tie it ended in and the amendment of the rules putting more importance on the actual game itself.
Before the game, during the home run derby, an 11-year-old kid from Texas got a chance to shag balls in the outfield. It was a great memory for this young man as he had relatives in the Milwaukee area. That kid was Trevor Seidenberger, who ironically was drafted by the Brewers 11 years later in the 2013 draft.
I always say baseball mirrors life and life goes in circles. The game of baseball has a funny way about it. There are tons of stories like this with ironic twists and this is just another example of it. On Thursday afternoon the left-handed reliever, with a self-described herky-jerky motion, was dealt to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Rymer Liriano.
The native Texan took some time out of his hectic schedule to sit down and talk to me about his baseball life and the whirlwind that the last 24 hours has been for him. When we spoke, Seidenberger had just learned of his trade and was shocked, yet excited for the future.
He has never been to San Diego, though he has spent some time in California as a child and teenager. He is extremely motivated to be the best pitcher he can be and with his deceptive motion, he could be a key part of the Padres relief plans for the future.
Seidenberger has a three-quarters to side-arm delivery and has carried a high strikeout percentage throughout his 129 minor-league innings. He can be a little erratic from time to time, but with his complex motion that is understandable. Once he’s able to continually repeat his motion, and remain consistent, he should have a successful career.
Trevor is a great young man and is very gracious to the Brewers’ organization for his beginning, but can’t wait to get going as a San Diego Padre. Enclosed is some video on how nasty he is from the left side of the mound. Take a look for yourself.
Being a native Texan and an athlete in the state, did you ever play any football in high school?
No, not really. I starting playing my freshman year but then quit playing football. My passion has always been baseball and I had to make a choice early in my high school career. I just did not want to injure myself and risk playing baseball.
You threw a no-hitter your senior year in high school. Did you enjoy starting or have you embraced your role as a reliever now?
I had always been a starter throughout my whole childhood and leading into my high school career. It is always fun to start out a game and set a good pace in the game for the players behind you. Recently I have enjoyed coming out of the pen. I can’t really make a decision on which I like more. I just love having the ball in my hand and being in control of the ballgame. In relieving you have to always be prepared to get the ball and I enjoy that aspect of the game.
Speak to me about Blinn Junior College (In Texas) and how they helped you take your game to a whole new level.
All the coaching staff there really helped me. They all helped me prepare myself for the next level stuff. Our head coach is still there. Coach Harvey McEntire who was also the pitching coach was great. They really helped me out. It was a spectacular college and had a great tradition.
How was your time at TCU and was there anyone in particular that helped you with your growth as a pitcher?
TCU was great as well. The coaching staff there and in particular coach Kirk Saarloos really helped me with the insight of the game. He played in the major leagues for the Oakland A’s. When draft day came around I was on the phone with him, talking to him. The reason I chose TCU was because of the tradition it has.
What was it like being drafted by the Brewers?
Leading up to the 2013 draft I was ready to start my professional career. Being selected in the 12th round was an eye-opener for me. The draft process is a roller coaster ride. The draft was actually my 21st birthday so it was a great present for me and my family.
Have you always had the 3/4 type delivery?
I’ve kind of always had that same motion. It has been pretty consistent throughout my career. I’m a herky-jerky lefty and I try to be a deceptive as I can be. The motion is just natural to me.
Describe yourself as a pitcher for Padres fans that aren’t sure what you bring to the table.
Honestly I’m just one of those guys who once they get the ball in their hands they are going to be aggressive. Either you are going to hit it or you are going to go sit back down on the bench. I’m just a real aggressive guy on the mound. I’m high energy and once the ball is my hands, I am ready to roll.
What kind of goals do you have within the Padres organization for the 2016 season?
To further my career and be a better player. Learn the game even more and learn my new teammates and coaches. The final goal is to make it to the big leagues and stay there. Just working hard and doing what I need to do to further my career.
Being that you will be a National League pitcher now, are you excited to swing the bat a little?
I know it will be nerve-wracking the first time I’m in the box. Hopefully I’ll get some instruction on what I need to do from the coaching staff, but that’s not really what I need to worry about as a pitcher. Its been at least four years since I have picked up a bat. I hit in high school but that was it.
What team did you grow up rooting for and any particular players you looked up to on the pro level?
Growing up in Texas I was right in the middle of the state, so you had a choice. I chose to be a Rangers fan and I have always watched them play. C.C. Sabathia was someone I looked up to. It was cool to watch him pitch.
Anything you would like to say to Padres fans?
I’m just excited to be a member and can’t wait to get going.
**A version of this article and interview first appeared on EastVillageTimes.com**