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Inside the Clubhouse with Aharon Eggleston

11/02/2007 10:24 AM -

T-Bones All-Star centerfielder Aharon Eggleston answers your questions about life in Vegas and compares playing in Kansas City and the U.S. to playing in Canada.

You seemed to be the most friendly and best personality on the club.  Tell us a little about your personal life (family, off-season work, education)?
 Doug – Kansas City, KS
Thank you. That is a nice compliment. I'm just grateful to be able to play this game that I love and get paid for it. When I take the field everyday I try to have as much fun as possible because I know there are thousands of people that wish they were in my shoes.
Both my parents played semi-pro softball in California so I get a lot of my athleticism from them.
In the off-season I work for Reddy Ice. Reddy Ice is the major ice distributor in Las Vegas. Basically I just drive around and deliver ice to Hotels and grocery stores. It’s a great job in the summer but it gets a little too cold during the winter.
After high school I attended Pima Community College in Tucson Arizona. I played there for two years before transferring to Southern Arkansas University.


What is the best thing about playing in KC?
 
The best thing about playing in KC would definitely have to be the fans! I played in Edmonton for two years and you could sit on deck and count how many fans there were. It was exciting going out to take the field knowing there were going to be 6-7 thousand fans there to watch you play.

What is the worst thing about playing in KC?
 
The worst thing about playing in KC... It’s a toss up. First, I’d have to say the humidity!! I'm not a big fan of the humidity!! I hate the fact that as soon as I walk outside I'm sweating. I enjoy the dry heat out here in Vegas. Second, would have to be the fear of tornados!! I'm not used to having to deal with that. My host family recently lost their house because of a tornado. One night this past summer I was sleeping and there was a big storm passing through when an alarm went off. I jumped up thinking it was a tornado siren and started freaking out. Once I was half way down the stairs I realized it was just the house alarm that went off.

I know you hear the fans during a game, but does it affect your play or your concentration?

Of course I hear the fans. A lot of guys will tell you they don't hear the fans. But the truth is if you acknowledge every fan that said something to you during the game you wouldn't have time to play the game. I like to feed off the fans, if I'm at home I want to get that big RBI or diving catch to save a game. The same goes for me on the road. There is nothing like making a diving catch late in the game and have the whole crowd sigh because you just stopped a big inning.

How did you end up in independent ball?

I ended up playing independent ball because after I finished school I realized I wanted to continue my baseball career. Unfortunately I didn't get drafted so I sent out a few emails to some independent teams. It just so happened that Edmonton's pitching coach, coached with my coach in Arkansas. So he called him to ask what kind of player I was. A couple days later I got a phone call, and I've been playing ever since.

What is your trick to stealing bases, is there anything special you do, to
increase your chances of stealing a base?

 Jessica – Las Vegas, NV
I don't do anything too special while stealing bases. The first thing I like to focus on is my lead. I try to get the biggest lead possible with out getting picked off. From there I watch the pitcher’s front foot. As soon as I see him lift it, I take off. From there it’s up to the catcher to make a good throw to either the second baseman or shortstop.

After being plagued by injuries last year, you were finally healthy all
season this year, what was it like being healthy all season?
Chad - Liberty, MO
I was very happy I was able to stay healthy this year. I know there out people out there doubting me saying I couldn't stay healthy for a full season. I'm just glad I proved them wrong. Before the season started I told my family that I wanted to stay healthy the whole season. I wanted to see how well I could play if I stayed healthy. I told them if I stayed healthy the whole year and didn't do well I would quit and move on with my life. I'm just glad Andy took a chance with me and let me prove to everyone that I can stay healthy through an entire season.

You played in the Gulf South Conference, one of the largest NCAA Division II conferences, how does the travel there compare to the travel in the Northern League?
 Matt – Olathe, KS
The travel in the GSC wasn't too bad. We didn't do much inter-league play so our trips weren't too long. I think the longest trip we took was to West Florida. But we had a bus that was older than our coach. There were springs popping out of the seats. The worst was the food. We would drive miles out of the way to eat at Ryan’s. I hated that place.
As far as the Northern League goes, I loved it my first two years. I played in Edmonton and we flew everywhere. The only bus trips we took were from Edmonton to Calgary and Fargo to Winnipeg. Both of them are no longer then 3 1/2 hours. Then I came to KC and realized how spoiled I was in Edmonton. But the trips weren't too bad. We watch movies or play cards to help pass the time.

Aharon, you live in Las Vegas.  Where's your favorite place to hang out
on the strip?  Ever been to a show?  Favorite Vegas buffet?

 Jacinta - Lawrence, KS
My favorite place on the strip? hmmm it all depends on what I plan on doing. If I want to go to a club I like Tryst and the Wynn or Jet at the Mirage. If I just want to hang out I like the piano bar at New York, New York.
I've been to a couple different shows. My first one I went to was Jubilee. That is a great show. They use over a 1,000 different costumes in that show. Another one I really like was KÀ CIRQUE DU SOLEIL.
My favorite buffet would definitely be the Rio. Although the prices have gone up the past five years, it is well worth it. They have every type of food you can think of there. Mexican, Italian, Japanese, and seafood.

Favorite restaurant at the Legends?
 Rachel - Basehor, KS
My favorite restaurant in the Legends would have to be Yard House. I had one of the best steaks I've ever had at that place.


What is your pre-game routine?
 Jeff - Lee's Summit, MO
I don't really have a pre-game routine. One thing I did and a lot of the guys gave me crap, was I would eat Dippin’ Dots after BP. I ate them one day before a game and played really well. So I gave all the credit to the Dippin’ Dots. So before every game I would try and get some banana split Dippin’ Dots.

What was your favorite part of the All-Star game and experience?
  Raul - Kansas City, KS
My favorite part of the all-star game was meeting all the other guys from the other teams. As an outfielder I don't get to talk to guys while they are on base. But it was good to hang out and get to know some of the guys. Just being nominated as an all star was exciting for me. I also enjoyed it because my high school baseball coach lives in Fargo and he was there to watch me play.

You came from Edmonton, how does playing in Canada compare to playing in the
states?

 Austin – Maryville, MO
Playing in Canada wasn't what I expected. It was hard to adjust to the day time there. The sun doesn't set until 10:30 pm. So we pretty much played all day games. Another thing I wasn't too fond of was all the change you have to carry around. We have dollar bills here in the states and they have dollar and 2 dollars coins.

How does playing centerfield in Kansas City differ from other cities or does
it?

 Justin – Leawood, KS
Playing center field in KC isn't much different from than other places. I mean each field has different dimensions but overall they are all pretty much the same. There were two places that are really tough for me to play and they are Schaumburg and Calgary. All of Schaumburg’s suites are white. So, when the ball was hit, it went straight into a white building making it hard for me to get good jumps. Calgary was just awful!! They had yellow seats. When the ball was hit I couldn't see it until it hit the grass. There was a time when the ball was hit and I ran the wrong way. Luckily the ball went foul!!!

Start submitting your questions now for T-Bones shortstop Geoff McCallum.  Ask about how life in Canada differs from the U.S., or about the challenges of growing up in an area where baseball isn’t a prominent sport for young kids.  Questions can be submitted to tthrall@tbonesbaseball.com.