Cooper Hummel's lifelong dreams are coming full circle
When Cooper Hummel runs on the field at T-Mobile Park tonight, an entire lifetime full of dreams will come full circle.
In early November Cooper Hummel was spending some time in a well-deserved offseason with his wife Ashley when the phone rang. General Manager, Mike Hazen, of the Arizona Diamondbacks was on the other end, delivering a short and succinct message to Hummel.
“He just wanted to let me know I had been dealt to Seattle and wished me luck. It was very ‘Moneyball’ like,” Hummel said with a grin.
He turned to his wife after the short conversation to let her know they would be heading to Seattle, then called his parents and friends before even receiving a call from the Mariners.
Thirty minutes later he got a call from the Mariners, finding out he was traded for former American League Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis.
This deal was just another wrench in a long journey since growing up just a few hours South in Portland, Oregon.
In fact, his journey of twists and turns goes back even further than this. When Cooper Hummel was a freshman in high school he was told his baseball career would never amount to anything, and that he should give up catching and switch hitting.
This turned into fuel for the 28 year old utility player, earning a scholarship to play for the University of Portland Pilots, a Division I baseball program. Eventually, the catcher who was “too small” and “wouldn’t amount to anything” turned into an 18th-round draft pick under head coach, Geoff Loomis.
Hummel was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers, and his first season in pro ball was quite a shock. Coming from a college atmosphere that was focused on a team-first mentality, professional ball can be ruthless and cutthroat.
“You don’t have a lot of control over your career at first. It is somebody in an office making the decisions and watching you play.”
Hummel went through a variety of difficult obstacles in each professional season, all of them shaping his abilities as a player. The Lakeridge High School alum has spent parts of six seasons in the minor leagues, each of them with its own particular challenges.