Jake: Hey I’m Jake of Body by Jake, welcome to our motivational minute with Willie Bloomquist! Man, and we’re here at Chase Field. Really great to see you man!
Willie: You as well!
Jake: 14 years in the bigs. Started with the Mariners, ended a terrific career here with the Arizona Diamondbacks. You’re a beloved guy and when you go to Seattle or here what’s the magic of that man?
Willie: I mean, you know, well I mean, it certainly wasn’t the performance on the field. As much as I think it was, you know, a lot of times the preparation and the effort that you can give.
Those are the things you can control as a player. You can’t always control the results.
People in Seattle and people here in Arizona I think recognized that and respected that about the way I played.
I was there, always that vision of I wanted to play major league baseball, you know. I’m a big Mariners fan and heard the voice of Dave Niehaus in my head, you know as I’m hitting wiffle balls or tennis balls over the fence, and, you know, dreaming about one day.
You know, playing for the Mariners and that obviously came true, which was magnificent.
But it ultimately, the whole ride, and the big leagues was phenomenal. Getting a chance to play it – both my hometown teams, in Seattle, here in Arizona, especially great times.
Best three years of my career here in Arizona. So all of it was awesome. I’ve always said life’s about moments and how you overcome challenging moments.
Jake: What was some of the early moments that you questioned those people who questioned you?
Willie: I was questioned my whole career. So for me, I was a type of guy who likes to prove people wrong and at the end of the day you have 14 years in and, you wake up and say “well, that was a pretty good career! And how do you like me now?” sort of thing. But you know, there were times along the way where, yeah you’d really, really struggle.
There was a time in triple-A that I would…first half of the year I was hitting about a buck forty.
At the all-star break I might go “there’s no way I’m gonna make it up” and ended up just kind of going back to the basics.
Going out to have fun and play and ironically had a great second half and got called up at the end of season. But that first half, horrible!
Jake: Was there somebody that inspired you?
Willie: You know, I would have to save my dad. He’s the man that introduced me to the game of baseball. He gave me the building blocks for my career, taught me how to do things the right way.
Not always the flashy way, but to go out and just play the game the right way. So for him, he introduced me to the game and kind of being the cornerstone as I was growing up – that was my inspiration.
Jake: What are some of the things that you might tell a young Willie coming up now?
Willie: Well, I mean you know, it’s all about setting yourself apart from the person next to you. And I don’t mean that in a dog-eat-dog world, but let’s be honest – we are in a tough tough industry.
Baseball, it’s your career. You want to go the extra mile or you just want to do the bare minimum.
Ultimately, what you get out of the game is what you put into the game. So if there’s a message I could pass on to younger guys, it’s even though it’s the new millennium and everything’s kind of given to you, you got to work for what you get in return.
Jake: Oh yeah! Beautiful! Well done man! Willie!