Feature: Mound Meeting, Chapter 2 – “Tough Break”

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Caption: Jesse FIshbaum begins his windup in his latest bullpen session

By: Adam Pasternak

“Mound Meeting” is a SportsNak feature-story, following freshman relief pitcher, Jesse Fishbaum, of the Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes. Throughout the year, we will follow Jesse’s story and track his progress as he tries to turn his childhood dream into a reality.

Last time we checked in with Jesse, he had successfully undergone a heart procedure and was already back with the team working out and throwing around the ball, but was awaiting the news on if he would be redshirted or not. Just a few weeks ago, the news came in and the coach told Jesse that he would be a medical redshirt and have to sit out the year. The coach does have the power to take away the redshirt, and Jesse has some time until the regular season begins to persuade him to do just that. Below you’ll see exclusive footage of Jesse’s most recent bullpen session, just a few days ago:

As you can see, Jesse looks to be back in fine form and throwing hard. If he continues to put in the work, he’ll make it tough for the coaches to leave him as a redshirt all year long. After his bullpen session the other day, I was fortunate enough to interview Jesse, via email. Below is what was discussed:

Adam: “So obviously the bad news about you redshirting your first year wasn’t what you wanted to hear. Do you look at it as an opportunity to put in work and improve, while keeping a year of eligibility, or as a setback on your college baseball career?”

Jesse: Yeah that’s it man. It sucks not being able to go out there with the boys, but at the same time I feel like the surgery set me back and I have a lot of ground to cover. So it’s good that I can work my a** off all year and come back next year stronger than ever.”

Adam: “Is playing college baseball, so far, what you expected it would be like?”

Jesse: “Yes. College baseball is a grind, but I expected that coming into the program. The Ontario Nationals’ (team I played for the last 2 years) coaches, and alumni really prepared me for what to expect.”

Adam: “Must be hard being a freshman and then having to have surgery almost right away. Tell me what is like to have to overcome something like this so early on in your collegiate baseball career and how do you keep focus?”

Jesse: “Coming in and immediately being told I couldn’t do anything was very difficult. I was able to overcome this by strongly believing in myself. In the grand scheme of things, I knew that this would mean nothing more than a slight delay in my career.”

Adam: “Describe a typical day in the life of Jesse Fishbaum.”

Jesse: “A typical day in the fall: wake up at 4:45 am, make my way to team workouts. This usually goes until around 7:30. After workouts I go back to my apartment and sleep until my 10:30 class. I have two back to back classes until 1:30. After this we have 2:00 practice at the fields. Practices usually go until 4/4:30. After practice my coach could arrange team study hall for an hour. After this I go home, do my homework, recover and fuel up for the next day. The days are long, but its all worth it in the end.”

Adam: “Thanks for doing this, Jesse.”

Jesse: “No problem.”

And so as you can see, Jesse hasn’t taken a step back but actually a step forward. He is working harder then ever to come back from his injury stronger then he ever was before. Check back soon for chapter 3, and be sure to keep an eye out for Jesse Fishbaum, because he’s a man on a mission and wont be stopped!

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You can also follow Jesse on twitter by clicking here

Click here to see Chapter 1

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