As you may recall a few weeks back, Kansas City Native and a Member of the Reds Double-A club the Pensacola Blue Wahoo's Ray Chang, officially played all 9 positions in one minor league game.
The Wahoo's had clinched a playoff berth the night before, so the pressure was off the squad in their final game. So Ray got the chance to do something only Will Ferrell has gotten to do this season.
The 32 year old Chang is a career .271/.344/.370 hitter combined at all levels of the minor leagues. He has bounced around throughout a number of orginizations and has spent the last 7 years as a member of the Reds farm system. Chang has primarily been used as an infielder during most "normal" games, and has played mostly first and second base this season.
As some of you know I got to "play" next to Ray in College. He was the starting shortstop for 4 years at Rockhurst University. After his college career, he signed with the Padres as a non-drafted free agent in 2005 and has been playing professionally for the last ten seasons. He also was a member of the China national baseball team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
So when I heard the news he got to play all 9 positions in a game I thought I would ask Ray a few questions about his experience, and he agreed to share some things with the hometown fans. Ray found some time with the playoffs going on and all, to answer some questions last night.
So here is a little of what we talked about:
Me– "Alright Ray, how did this come about? Were you begging Coach Kelly to let you do this, or what?"
Ray– "No it's just something he mentioned to me when I walked into the clubhouse. He gave me the option of having the day off or playing all nine [positions]. To be honest, it was a pretty easy decision though."
Me– "So of all the positions you played, which one was the most fun?'
Ray-"Probably shortstop. Now that I'm a utility player, I don't get to play shortstop as often as I used to early in my career. Shortstop is what I grew up playing and it's still my favorite position. Kind of a bummer that I didn't get a groundball."
Me– "So if shortstop was your favorite, which one would you say was the most challenging?"
Ray- "Catcher was tough cause it was the scariest. Plus I had to catch our closer throwing 95mph and I haven't caught since middle school. It's definitely a whole new perspective from behind the plate. But I survived."
Me- "Alright, I know you can bring it from across the diamond, but how was your velo on the mound? And what exactly would you say your 'Out' Pitch is?"
Ray- "Well I was honestly trying to throw under the usual hitting speed to make it tougher on the hitters. Trust me, it's not easy facing a position player. You don't ever want the embarrassment of a position player getting you out. I mixed in a few knuckleballs in there. I had to."
Me- "Alright, last one, I gotta know, do you just show up to the park every day with any possible glove, and gear, or did you have to borrow some stuff?"
Ray- "The only thing I borrowed was the catching gear. Everything else was all mine."
Though he was moved all over the diamond, it did not seem to have an effect on his hitting as he managed to go 3 for 4 at the plate and score a run.
It was great catching up with Ray Chang, and we here at Royals Blue just want to say thanks, and wish him the best this year, and for many more!
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