Ryan Shopshire introduction: TTFB exclusive with Jays minor-league pitcher

Hey All,

My name is Ryan Shopshire and I will begin writing my blog exclusively at Through The Fence Baseball. This is my first time writing a blog so the more input that you readers give me the better.  First I want to tell everybody a little about my baseball background. I am a so-cal boy born and raised in the most beautiful place in the states, Orange County California. I played my high school years at Orange Lutheran High School, a premier power house. After high school I accepted a scholarship at Long Beach State to play for the Dirtbags. My freshmen year there I experienced my first injury playing baseball (a stress fracture in my throwing elbow) and made me miss my entire season. At the end of the season exit meetings the coaches decided that Long Beach would not be my home the following season. This was a big blow to me because this was my first choice school out of high school.

My path was altered but I believe it made me stronger and more knowledgeable. My next two years I played at Orange Coast Community College in beautiful Newport Beach, California. At Coast I played at one of the most prestige community college baseball leagues in California and the nation. We made the playoffs both years there and it is always fun playing for a winning program. After my time at Coast I accepted a scholarship to play at San Jose State University. I did not know much about the program before I was contacted by the University but, I was informed that it was a winning program. I played there for two years and my team had a combined record of 72-45.

My second year as a Spartan our team had a lot of success. It had been nine years in the waiting but the Western Athletic Conference crown was held by the Spartans once again. My college experiences were one that I will never forget. I was at three different schools in five years and had a different pitching coach every year. I believe that it is blessing to obtain the amounts of knowledge that each coach installed in me. After my senior season at San Jose I was drafted in the 32 round of the MLB draft to continue my career for the Toronto Blue Jays. This was a dream come true and something that I have dreamed about since a little boy. I have played two seasons with the Blue Jays and I have adjusted to the way of life as a minor league ball player. Now you know a little about my baseball background and how I got to where I am today.

Okay so about this blog, aka Talking Shop. I am going to be writing about the many experiences that come about while playing the American pastime. In my previous two years I have learned how to adapt to the 152 game seasons in approximately 165 days. The long road trips in the Midwest league and the extremely hot and humid days in the Gulf Coast League (aka Gulf Roast League). It really is what many call “The Grind”. The time commitment and loneliness from being away from love ones is not made for everyone. There are many mental adjustments that need to be made along this voyage through the minor leagues and if not someone else will be placed in that can make the changes. The pay in the minor leagues is not something to brag about but hey you are getting paid to play a child’s game. There are temptations that come up throughout a season and the ways you go about these situations help shape you as a man and your career. This blog will talk about these many different occurrences and give you readers a little inside of how the minor leagues work.

I want to finish this background blog with informing you readers that I am a very blessed individual. I have a family that has supported my baseball career through all the ups and downs. It has not always been easy but I have worked extremely hard to get where I am today. I am blessed to have found my best friend and future wife. We have started a little family with our two dogs and they always keep us on our toes. I live a great life. God has truly blessed me.

Stay tuned, next stop spring training Dunedin, Florida.

Ryan Shopshire

1 Corinthians 10:31

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