Apr 30, 2019
Not all Moonlighters start out as underdogs. We have had a lot of athletes on the podcast who have stories about overcoming long odds or being part of a special team. This week’s guest was a star in high school and college and then had to find his way into a Major League lineup. Once Casey Blake took a hold of the hot corner in Cleveland, he was an everyday guy in the Majors for the next 9 seasons. Blake sits down with Tim this week to talk about his journey from being a 4-sport standout in Indianola to a successful college career before reaching his dream of becoming a big leaguer.
Casey Blake is known for baseball but he did it all in high school. As a couple of former 800 runners, Tim and Blake talk about the guts it takes to be successful in the 800. Really, what made helped him be successful on the track was the same thing that helped him find his stride when he got to Wichita State. Blake and the Shockers went all the way to the final game in Omaha in his first season. Even though he had been drafted out of high school, Blake attributes competing for playing time at the start of his freshman season to his improvement as a ball-player. That freshman season set him on a trajectory to become a 3-time All American and included two trips to the College World Series.
When Blake made it to professional baseball he had to grind his way through the minors with stops everywhere from Florida to Edmonton while playing for the Blue Jays, Twins, and Orioles organizations before getting his break for a consistent spot in the line up with the Indians. When Blake was given the shot to be the everyday third baseman in 2003, he didn’t give it up. He led the team in games played with 152 and often hit 2nd in the order. After a little over 5 quality years with the Tribe, Blake had to leave the midwest for LA. Blake had a few really good seasons with the Dodgers before retiring in 2012, ending his 13-year pro career.
Casey Blake came in at number 25 in the Moonlight Graham Top 100 athletes and this interview is a great reminder why. Blake takes Tim all the way through his resume and shares some really great stories about competing at all levels.