On Thursday, 2018 second-overall pick Joey Bart took a break from Spring Training to chop it up with Murph & Mac, talking about his relationships with some of his newfound teammates as well as how he came to love the game of baseball as a kid.
While Bart is only a few days into his first spring training with the major league club, he seems to have created great relationships with a bunch of the players, and even made a nickname for a certain Giants ace.
“…They’ve all been great,” Bart said of his new team. “(Madison Bumgarner). He’s the man. I call him ‘The Warden’. That just came to my mind the first couple days of interacting a little bit with him. He’s great. He messes with me a little bit, but I love it. If he messes with me, that’s awesome. Anything coming from him, I’ll take it.”
Bart is looking to just take everything in.
“I mean Bochy, just being around him and listening to him talk, I just think it’s the coolest thing. When he talks, everyone’s listening. And obviously Buster. Yeah he’s a great baseball player; he’s unbelievable, obviously, but just him as a professional is the most impressive thing. He’s a great guy and he’s told me some really nice things and great things that I think are going to help me as I move along.”
Bart went on to talk about how baseball wasn’t always his first love, and gave an unusual story as to how he moved from the outfield to catching as a kid.
“Well I always thought I was going to play football growing up,” Bart said. “I love football, but once I got to seventh or eighth grade, I kinda figured out that baseball might be it. It’s probably the hardest decision I ever made, quitting football. My brother played football at the University of North Carolina, my dad played baseball as well, but once my opportunities with baseball came, I knew I didn’t want to get greedy, so I stuck there with baseball.
“I was a centerfielder playing through little league, but one of my good friends when I was young was the catcher on my team, and he got diabetes. So, when he got diagnosed with that — with the summers in Georgia being hot and humid — his blood sugar would get low and he sometimes couldn’t even play, so I remember one day at practice I just slid the catchers gear on because no one else caught, and I had a great time with it.
“I think it’s the most important position on the field, and if I can be in that position to instruct people to be where they need to be or to get pitchers in line, winning games is what it’s all about.”
Bart went 2-for-3 with a home-run and a double on Wednesday against the Royals and hopes to keep his bat hot for the rest of the spring.
To hear Joey Bart talk about all this and more: listen to the Murph & Mac podcast here: