Soletron MLB Next Generation: Ryan Flaherty

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ryan flaherty feature Soletron MLB Next Generation: Ryan Flaherty

Ryan Flaherty was drafted by the Chicago Cubs, but made his Major League debut with the Baltimore Orioles. He’s a bright young star on a club full of youth. Flaherty hit a homerun in his first postseason appearance in 2012 to end a solid rookie season. Ryan looks to build on last year and get deeper into the playoffs with the young team. It should be an interesting battle to watch in the AL East this year, as the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox look to improve drastically. Should be a great race and Flaherty will be fun to watch!

STATS

DOB: July 27,1986
From: Portland, ME
College: Vanderbilt University
Team: Baltimore Orioles
Years in the League: 1 year
Position: Infielder
Batting Avg:.216
RBIs: 19
HRs: 6
Favorite Ball Player: Derek Jeter
Favorite Stadium to Play in: Camden Yards

Interview

Who got you involved with baseball? What made you choose baseball over other
sports?

My father was the first person who introduced me to baseball. As a kid my parents
exposed me my sister, and my brother to all of the sports and let us decide which ever
one we liked the best. I played football and basketball all the way through high school
and actually liked football the most. However I definitely made the right decision
choosing to stick with baseball.

When you first got drafted, what did you do to celebrate? Take us to that day.

It was a really cool experience. It was 2008 and I had all my closest friends and family
over at my house to celebrate being drafted. The day of the draft I was actually pretty
nervous but after I heard my named called it was one of the best feelings and
something I always dreamed about.

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Baseball is such a beautiful historic game. What is your favorite aspect of it?

The history of this game is so great and to be able to see it first hand is something I will
never take for granted. To be able to play in all the stadiums that i used to dream about
as a kid is really cool. My favorite part of being able to play baseball is that it is something that I loved as a little kid, and to be able to do that for a living is what I am
grateful for the most.

Conversely, what about your biggest onfield fear?

I guess just to be able to play this game as long as I possibly can without injuries.
Injuries are something that aren’t always controlled and something that comes along
with sports in general but also an athletes worst nightmare.

You had a great rookie season. What’s your mindset in trying to pick up where you left off?

My rookie year was a great experience and something I learned a lot from. To be able
to play in the postseason and contribute to my team in October was definitely a
confidence builder. Being able to concentrate on the things that went well and try to
improve on areas that I could have done better was a goal of mine this past offseason.

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I’m sure you have some pretty crazy stories. What do you think takes the cake?

Haha, yes there are always crazy stories that come along with the profession. Im not
sure I have one that sticks out particularly but being proposed to on Twitter is up there.

Some people melt down under pressure, and others thrive in it. What do you think your biggest pressure-cooker moment was?

The most pressure was during the playoffs last season. Even though there is a lot of
pressure, being in the postseason that was a childhood dream and to be able to play in it was an adrenaline rush.

How do you handle pressure and what gets you through it?

Pressure is a good thing. To be nervous is a good thing. If there wasn’t either of those
two things then nothing would be fun. To have the ability to be able to control those two
things is the biggest thing. It isn’t always the easiest thing but pressure is the reason
most people enjoy playing this game.

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How do you train yourself to tune out all of the distractions when you are on the road? Is it an innate quality or does it come with experience?

Being on the road is actually pretty cool. It is like 25 guys versus 40,000 people and
they all want to see you lose. They are all booing you and calling you names and when
you get to silence the crowd with a big play it is a great feeling.

A lot of baseball players are superstitious. Do you have a set regiment you do before each game?

I am not a superstitious person at all however everyone has a set routine that they like
to do. I feel like a routine can help you be consistent in life. I usually show up to the
field around the same time, eat the same food before the game, and listen to the same
music before each game.

Closest buddy in the league? Have you had to compete against him? How does that go down?

My closest buddy in the league is actually my college roommate Pedro Alvarez from the
Pittsburgh Pirates. I actually got to play against him last year during the regular season
and quite a bit during spring training here in Florida. It’s always a good time getting to
play against one of the your buddies and to get some bragging rights off the field!

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Top moment since being in the MLB?

My top moment from my rookie year was definitely being able to play in the postseason
and winning the Wild Card game versus Texas.

Where do you think the MLB is going?

I think it is heading in the right direction. With what it has been able to accomplish
internationally and here in the United States is really impressive and baseball is as
popular now as it has ever been. Even though it is America’s pastime it is also an
international sport that is played all over. There is some great leaders of the game now
that kids can really look up to and be inspired by the way they play the game.

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What are your career goals and when you walk off the field for the last time, how do you want to be remembered?

I guess just to be able to play the game for as long as I possibly can and when its all
said and done people say that you played the game the right way. To be able to have a little kid look up to you and use you as a role model is one of the most rewarding things
of this profession because I used to do that when i was a child.

What advice do you have for someone just aspiring to be a pro ball player?

You have got to love the game, and have to work hard! There are very few players who
play in the major leagues just strictly on God-given talent. I am a very firm believer
though that you can accomplish anything you want to do if you put your mind to it.
There are times you have to make sacrifices if you want to be the best at something.

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @RFlaherty3
Follow me on Twitter: @colie_erin
Follow Soletron on Twitter: @soletron

Image Sources: bleacherreport, flickr, bangordailynews, wikipedia, pressherald, zimbio

Soletron MLB Next Generation: Ryan Flaherty