5 Good Questions with Norm: Mitch Canham

Mitch Canham was a #1 draft pick by the San Diego Padres in the 2007 MLB June amateur draft. 

Thanks for taking some time Mitch. Please tell us more about yourself.

You won two NCAA National Championships while playing at Oregon State. What was playing in Omaha like?

mitch canhamIt would take days to write about the full experience of Omaha and the changing of a team into a family. What I can tell you, is that Omaha was my greatest baseball experience to date. So many things have to go right to get there, and even more things have to fall in line to win the Championship.

I got to play on the greatest stage in baseball with the guys I respect and love as family. Over 30,000 people in the stadium watching us play the game we are passionate about, but far more at home watching us on television. When you are a team coming out of the Northwest that has had little exposure, and then you are able to ignore all the distractions like police escorts, screaming fans, ESPN cameras, etc, and win it all two years in a row against the other top teams in the country…. it is a dream come true.

Every time guys from our old team get together, it is like we are right where we left off. Memories that last a lifetime from when we worked all those extra hours, went through ups and downs together, sat in class, battled on the filed, and grew up to be men, all make it the most amazing experience one can imagine.

You played with the “Garfoose” Dirk Hayhurst. What was Dirk like and have you read his books?

Dirk was in the Padres organization with me, but we really did not know one another. I have heard many things about his book, but I have not read it.

Who were your influences growing up and who were your favorite players?

I have always been influenced and given thanks to my family, friends, and coaches. They have pushed me more than I could ever ask for. I know that I wouldn’t be in the same place I am now if it wasn’t for my football, baseball, and wrestling through high school, college, and various leagues growing up. I owe endless amounts of thanks to my wife because of her constant love and concern for me to be the best man I can be.

One of the biggest influences in my life has been my ability to learn from others and my own successes and mistakes. I have always tried hard to pay close attention to others and be a good listener. This has been something my dad was always good at teaching me. Just when you think you have it all figured out, my dad would say, “there is always someone out there that is trying to get a step ahead of you.” Therefore, I want to keep moving forward and prepare for my next move with the most informed decisions possible.

My favorite players are anyone from the 1995 Seattle Mariners team. We would listen to the game every night that year, and they became not only my heroes, but were heroes to everyone in the Northwest. But I will say I love watching Edgar Martinez and Jason Kendall play. Currently, former teammates and constant friends Logan Forsythe, Darwin Barney, and Beemer Weems are 3 great players who have joined my all time favorites to watch play.

Who is the toughest pitcher you have faced?

Depends on the day. Some days all pitchers are tough to face, and other days it feels like they are throwing basketball sized baseballs and I have one of those huge wiffle ball sized bats.

Tim Lincecum was a guy that I respected out on the mound. His pitches are electric and he is going to try and come right at you. Each at bat was going to be interesting to say the least. It was so tough because even if he was walking a handful guys on that day, he could still suddenly flip the switch and throw 3 of the most disgusting curveballs right down the middle and a hitter wouldn’t have a chance.

Let’s talk about Base By Pros. What is it and who are some of the pros you have working with you?

BASE by Pros is a company I started over a year ago with the dreams of helping young athletes stay in baseball and learn the game from Professional Athletes.  We currently have over 40 Professionals (Big Leaguers and Minor Leaguers) that give their time to help young athletes, parents, coaches, and other baseball enthusiasts learn the game the right way.

Those who sign up with our site are able to watch hundreds of instructional videos we created, read over 60 articles written by Pros, college coaches, scouts, strength coaches, athletic trainers, and upload videos directly to our Professionals for a personalized review. For example, instead of getting Gold Glover Darwin Barney’s autograph, you can potentially get Darwin to write you back a analysis of your swing or how you are fielding ground balls! Another great thing we give to our subscribers is access to our recruiting tool. A chance for young student athletes to get seen by all 1619 college baseball programs.

Not to mention, we have been partnering with a handful of companies like BWP bats and Pro Player Supply to get large discounts of baseball equipment for our subscribers. Our partners and us believe in making the game more affordable so that every baseball lover can afford the game. We have also started a Gearing Up Athletes program that collects donated gear and puts it in the hands of those who are in need.

Overall, it is an extremely exciting company. I am finding Professions all over the game that want to give back and help others. We have world series winners like Shane Spencer and Kyle Kendrick, All Starts from a handful of different organizations, and many former Oregon State Beavers like Cole Gillespie, Darwin Barney, and Tyler Graham involved.

Thanks for taking time Mitch.  Please check out Base By Pros. www.basebypros.com