A Clubhouse From Within: Part 1 of an Interview with Tulsa Drillers Trainer Austin O’Shea
Here is Part 1 of my question and answer session with Tulsa Drillers trainer, Austin O’Shea. Austin is entering in his 3rd season with the Drillers in 2011. Austin graduated from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado and is originally from Montana. The trainer is often the person who the players confide throughout the season, and whom most are the closest too. His background within the Rockies system and experience working with the players made him one of the better people in the organization to interview. Please enjoy!
1 So how did you end up in Minor League Baseball, being from Montana?
Growing up I was always more of a football guy than a baseball guy. After I graduated from Colorado State, I moved back to Montana and began working for an orthopedic surgeon. The Rockies happened to lose their minor league trainer in one of their Class A Affiliates. The Rockies had contacted the trainer at CSU to see if he happened to know anyone that might be interested in a minor league position; the trainer gave my number to Mark Gustafson thinking I would love the opportunity. Funny thing I had actually just purchased a house in Montana, but luckily was able to sell it and break even. Next thing you know, I moved up there and been in the Rockies organization ever since.
2 We all know about the long infamous bus rides on a MiLB bus, but what is your favorite thing about working in the minors?
My favorite thing has to be what every other person working in sports loves about their job. Being in the position I am in, I love being part of the wins and the good times, but then having to make it through the losing and the hard times, makes it worth while also. It’s also just the sense of being a part of something special sometimes that I love.
3 What is a typical game day for a trainer?
Usually it is about an 11 hour day, for home games that start at 7:05. I begin regularly around noon by starting the paper work and responding to any emails I might have. The guys usually start to arrive around 3 and I begin on those who need early treatment for injuries. Then on to batting practice, eat a light meal, and then take care of any treatment that happens before games. After the game I have to deal with record upkeep that is a huge part of minor league baseball, with the treatments I give and the injuries the players come to me with.
4 Do you have to have a ridiculous player injury story?
I have too many to name, but there are two that really come to mind. A couple years back we had a guy come to us with a broken hand, and said he broke it while carrying groceries up the stairs. Now how that happened is not for me to know. Thing is about a week later, another teammate comes to me with the same story. That’s all you’re getting out of me.
5 What minor league player made the biggest impression on you, whether it be as a person or ball player?
That’s a very tough question. But I have to go with Troy Tulowitzki. I had him immediately after he got drafted in Modesto for his first year of pro ball. Then I had him again the next year in Tulsa when I took the head trainers job here. He just had the competitiveness that you rarely see out of a baseball player, and had the drive to go with it. He is just a natural born leader.
6 What is your eventual goal being a trainer?
My goal is just like any other player, manager or hitting coach in the minors. I want to be a trainer in the Majors.