I am super excited and proud to welcome Josh Edgin, left-handed relief pitcher for the New York Mets, to Wax Cracker. Josh’s career as a baseball player helped get me interested in following MLB prospects through the minor league system to their big league debuts. Just as Josh’s blossoming baseball career drew me to following prospects, I want to start out my MLB Features section with a story on Josh.
As I was going through a box of cards over the weekend I came upon Josh’s First Bowman Chrome Card seen below. I have been wanting to write an article on Josh’s journey to the Majors. Finding his card was the nudge that I needed to contact him and see if he would be willing to do an interview. You all are probably wondering how I have a relationship with Josh to be able to just write him out of the blue and get an interview. Josh is my cousin and is the grandson of one of my favorite great uncles, the late Harold Edgin. Josh was gracious enough to grant me an interview, and I wouldn’t have wanted to start out my interviews with any other player.
Over the last few seasons I have tried to catch up with Josh at the ballpark. However, it wasn’t meant to be for me to catch one of his games in the minors. I had a trip planned to Savannah, GA to catch up with a buddy from high school, and I wanted to squeeze in a Single A Savannah Sand Gnats game to see Josh while I was there. Shortly before my trip south, Josh was promoted to Advanced A St. Lucie. It seemed like Josh went on the fast track to the majors after that. So this will finally be the season I get to see Josh in uniform and on the field at a big league park. Petco Park is only a few minutes away from my apartment and I can’t wait for Josh to come on his west coast swing this year.
Josh’s season was unfortunately cut short last year after he injured his ribs. In 34 games last season before his injury, Josh posted a stat line of: 1-1 w/ 1 SV, 3.77, 20k, 12BB (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/9235/). He looks to build on those numbers this year, and all signs point to him having a very promising third year in the big show.
Below you will find my interview with Josh as he prepares to head off to camp with the Mets in Florida:
Casey: How have you trained in the offseason to overcome the rib injuries you had at the end of last season?
Josh: I have trained the same that I have in the previous seasons. I started out just a little more cautious because of the rib injury, but I have not had any problems with it at all since being cleared by the doctor.
Casey: What was it like to step on the mound for you major league debut? Did you have family in the stands waiting for you to get the call from the bullpen?
Josh: It was very surreal; honestly it was a dream come true for me but I can’t say I ever thought I would get to face Chipper Jones in my major league debut. (and yes he did take me deep) My fiance (now my wife) was in the stands. It was short notice and a long drive so my family wasn’t able to make it.
Casey: What players have you faced or have been teammates with that you watched when you were younger that you can’t believe you are sharing the field with now?
Josh: I had Latroy Hawkins rookie card when I was a kid so it was pretty cool to get to know him last year and learn from him.
Casey: What’s it like to prepare to head off for spring training? Have you ramped up your pitching regiment heading into leaving for Florida or do you do that in camp?
Josh: I have amped up the regiment a little bit, but I do not want to overdo it before heading to Spring Training. I want to save my bullets if you know what I mean.
Casey: How do you handle life on the road during the season when you are away from your family for long road trips? Do the Mets allow you to bring your wife and baby along on some trips during the season?
Josh: It’s pretty tough when you get about three quarters of the way through the season but the Mets do allow my wife and baby to be with me as much as they want. The hardest part is the West Coast trips when they don’t travel along because they are typically in bed when we are just starting the games.
Casey: What’s it like to go from growing up in a small town like Three Springs, PA to taking the mound in New York City?
Josh: It is very, very different. There are a whole lot more smart cars than pick up trucks and its rare you see any type of vegetation in the big city. But taking the subway takes me back to Three Springs because there is no cell service.
Casey: What do you guys do in the bullpen until you get the call to enter the game? Is there a prankster in the bullpen?
Josh: Classified. Just kidding, but we do pay pretty close attention to the game to know how the hitters are doing that game and to be prepared to face any we might face in the line up.
Casey: Outside of Citi Field, what is your favorite park to pitch in?
Two of my favorite are St. Louis and Pittsburgh. They are both somewhat small cities and they are as close as I get to Three Springs and New Zion, SC.
Casey: You were a really good wrestler when you were younger. When did you make the transition from wrestling to focusing on making it to the majors?
Josh: As soon as my senior wrestling season was over, I hung it up. I thought the ceiling was higher in baseball.
Casey: Did you collect baseball cards as a kid? If so, what was your favorite team, player, and/or favorite card? Did you have a favorite pitcher that you followed/modeled your pitches after?
Josh: I did collect baseball cards but I wasn’t as avid as some. I have a ton of Cal Ripken, Jr. cards. He was definitely my favorite player growing up but I wouldn’t call myself an Orioles fan, just a Cal fan. I didn’t really have a favorite pitcher, I just enjoyed watching the game.
What was it like to see yourself on a baseball card for the first time? Do you usually sign before/after the game for fans?
Josh: It was pretty crazy, definitely better than seeing myself in a mug shot. I usually sign autographs before. Afterward I am usually ready to get home and see my little man and my wife of course.
I am very appreciative that Josh was willing to answer some of my questions. I hope to catch up with him a couple times during the year to see how his season is going. I am also planning to keep Josh’s season stats on my main page so we can keep up with him once the season kicks off.
If you have a question for Josh please feel free to post it in the comment section below. When I catch up with him next I may use some of your questions.
Below you will find some of Josh’s baseball cards: