(Jupiter, FL) Last season 180 alumni of USA Baseball were on Opening Day rosters in the big leagues and today representatives from the organization were in the St. Louis Cardinals clubhouse to visit with former players like Marco Gonzales, Randal Grichuk, Lance Lynn, and Michael Wacha.
“I actually had the luxury of playing with Joe Kelly on Team USA, that’s when we first ever met,” shared Lynn. “Playing with a guy on Team USA and then playing with that guy in the big leagues, that was probably the coolest thing about all of it. Still playing against some of those guys in the big leagues is cool too. At the time, you don’t really pay attention to what’s going on–you’re just playing. Then you look back on it and realize how much of a special moment it was and how fortunate we were to even have that opportunity. You’re just having fun with guys you just met and don’t even realize exactly the magnitude of being on that team and being able to wear a jersey with USA on the front of it.”
Lynn was 19 years old when played for the red, white, and blue and besides pitching in a couple of more World Series, he has a goal of pitching in a World Baseball Classic.
“Whenever you have the opportunity to represent your country or if you ever get that opportunity, it’s something you definitely need to take advantage of it,” said the right-hander. “That’s my opinion. Some guys see it differently but I would definitely welcome that opportunity if it came.”
Marco Gonzales pitched for Team USA in 2012.
“I love being an alumni,” stated Gonzales. “Just the places we traveled–when I was on the collegiate national team we went to Cuba and the Netherlands. Just playing in those environments and the tournament we played in the Netherlands was awesome. The competition was cool…awesome experience.”
–Grichuk is set to return to full workouts today. As a precaution, he was kept out of workouts the last couple of days to receive treatment on his back.
–Lynn, Gonzales, John Lackey, Carlos Martinez, Trevor Rosenthal, Jordan Walden, Sam Freeman, Carlos Villanueva, Tyler Lyons, Sam Tuivailala, Mitch Harris, Marcus Hatley, and Dean Kiekhefer are scheduled to throw pitching practice to hitters today.