Along with grasping a new position, figuring out a greasy cheeseburger is sometimes better than no dinner at all and discovering that routines can be his friend, Chad Pinder has learned to discard the dreadful nights.
Fortunately for Pinder, games like Thursday night, where he felt helpless swinging the bat for Stockton in the high Class-A California League, have been few and far between in his brief professional career. At 22 years old, he's turning some heads in his second season in the minor leagues.
Bus rides, bumps and bruises and long days at the ballpark are all badges of honor at the baseball level at which he toils, but this is Pinder's version of livin' the dream.
"When you have a good night, it reminds you why you work so hard," said Pinder, an alum of Poquoson High and Virginia Tech. Despite going 0-for-5 with four strikeouts Thursday night in Stockton's 8-7 loss in 10 innings at High Desert, he still entered Friday night hitting .296 this season with 18 doubles, three triples, 11 home runs, 30 RBI and 130 total bases in 57 games.
"You never lose those chills and that passion. For all the work that you put in, those are the moments you need to cherish them."
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