Trystan Magnuson is a relief pitcher in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. He is born on June 6, 1985 in Vancouver, Canada. He weighs 220 lbs and he is 6′ 7″. He was recently traded to the Jays last year from the Oakland Athletics. He made his major league debut last year for the Athletics and had a 6.14 ERA in a mere 14.2 innings pitched. Before getting called up, he played for the Sacramento River Cats in AAA and he was 4-2 with a 2.98 ERA in 45 innings pitched. He is rehabbing from an injury so he is in High-A this year with the Dunedin Blue Jays. He is 0-4 with a 5.25 ERA. He will keep going up the minor leagues once he is 100% healed from his injury. He took the time to do a Q and A for my blog. Here it is:
1. At what age did you get interested in baseball? At what age did it become serious for you?
I always enjoyed playing baseball. When I was young, my family lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba,Canada. We played hockey in the winter and baseball in the summer. My dad always loved baseball. We listened to the Blue Jays on the radio and really enjoyed watching them win the 1992-1993 World Series. When we moved to Louisville, I was in middle school. There is not much ice hockey in Louisville, but they did have fall baseball, which we thought was great.
2. Who had the biggest influence on you in baseball?
My dad has had the biggest influence on my baseball career. A close second is my brother. Even now we enjoy talking baseball and the things I am working on. Every once in a while, I talk to my dad on the phone and we talk about how to improve my pitches.
3. Who was your favorite player growing and why?
My favorite player growing up was John Olerud. That guy was an incredible hitter. He never got intimidated or influenced by what was going on around him. Steady as a rock. When I decided to really focus on pitching I really paid a lot of attention to Nolan Ryan, naturally.
4. You were drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1st round (56th pick) of the 2007 amateur draft. Where were you when you got drafted and what was the moment like when you heard you were drafted?
I knew from all of the scouts and the interest, that my advisor was saying that there were many teams really interested in drafting me. To get drafted by the Blue Jays was a dream. I grew up watching them in Winnipeg. To hear that they had drafted me with the 56th pick made me wonder if it could all be real. I was thrilled.
5. This is your 6th big league season. Do you have any goals by the end of the year?
I was injured at the end of the last year and I’m still coming back from that. I am really close. That is my goal, to be 100% healthy by the end of the year and make myself valuable to this organization whether it be in the big leagues or elsewhere this year. I want to do my job and do it well.
6. What is the feeling like getting promoted to the next minor league level?
I remember thinking, as I was struggling in Low-A my first year, it’s going to be tough to get promoted to High-A. I thought AA was out of the question. So, when I got promoted to AA at the end of 2009 I was thinking, “Yeah! I made it!”
7. What did it feel like when you got traded from the Oakland Athletics to the Toronto Blue Jays?
My experience with Oakland was a very positive one. I made some great adjustments that allowed me to have some good outings and experience in the big leagues. Getting traded back was nice because I know the Blue Jays know what they are getting and that they want me. It’s nice to know that they value me.
8. What is your favorite movie?
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.
9. What is your favorite TV show?
Star Trek, the Original Series.
10. What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career so far?
Some of the most memorable times for me have been conversations with fans who ask me for my autograph. I ask them how they are doing and if they are enjoying the day or ballpark. One of the most important times to me is when I have someone come up to me that I have signed for before and they tell me how much they appreciated the time I spent with them and the things I signed. Every year I sign a different verse of the bible with my autograph, that way anyone can tell what year I signed the card or ball. This year I am signing Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you, Never will I forsake you.'”
11. Finally, what advice would you give to kids that are just starting out the dream of playing professional baseball one day?
I would tell them to have fun, work hard, and enjoy every minute of it. It’s really important for every kid to know that baseball is about having fun. I would tell them that if they don’t make it to a certain level or on a certain team, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t any less valuable or important than anyone else. Talent doesn’t define significance. The important thing is to be significant wherever God has placed you. Even God himself took the role of a servant and washed his disciples feet.
Photo courtesy of the Canadian Baseball Network
Follow him on Twitter @TrystanMagnuson