Our final interview of February (aka interview month) comes from Craig Breslow. I saved Breslow for last because it is probably my favorite interview to date (tied with Colt Cabana). Besides being one of the most productive relievers in baseball last year, Breslow is doing amazing things off the field. I think Jewish sports fans everywhere should really rally around this guy. I wish him good luck. Thanks to Craig Breslow. Enjoy the interview.
1) Last year I saw you pitch at U.S. Cellular (you were awesome). I was wondering which is your favorite stadium to pitch in?
Is there one player you would love to pitch against (former or current)? I really enjoy the older ballparks, for a number of reasons, but primarily because of the rich history that they hold. For that reason, I like pitching at Fenway, the old Yankee Stadium, Dodger Stadium. I have not been to Wrigley, but we go there this year for interleague, so I’m sure I’ll add that to my favorites.
2) Last year you had really a breakout year and became one of the top relievers in baseball. You were second in the AL in appearances. To date, what has been your biggest accomplishment as a baseball player?
I think the thing that I am most proud of is that I have persevered despite being released 5 times, always being told that I’m undersized, doubted, etc. I believe that I have entrenched myself in the Major Leagues through hard work and determination, and I take great pride in overcoming some physical shortcomings.
3) As you know we are a Jewish sports blog. What does your Jewish connection mean to you? What was your Jewish life like growing up? Has the Jewish community supported you through your career?
Being Jewish is something that I am very proud of. However, I believe that when I enter the clubhouse I am a teammate and a baseball player just like everyone else around me. I believe that a lot is made of ethnicity, religion, color, and how certain athletes are expected to champion causes on behalf of these traits, and perhaps this is true to a degree, but I also believe that it is an individual’s right, or even obligation, to fight for the causes he chooses, not those that are expected of him.
4) What are some of you personal goals on the field? How are the A’s looking this season?
I am hoping to continue to build upon the success of 2008 and 2009 and continue to establish my role as a top left handed reliever.
5) Was there a special connection when you played for the Red Sox in 2006 with 3 other Jewish players Kevin Youkilis, Gabe Kapler, and Adam Stern?
There was a connection among us for a number of reasons. Judaism gave us an instant commonality, however, so too did playing for the Red Sox, being teammates, and sharing a common goal.
6) What has been your favorite moment as a player? Any words of advice for young players who are trying to make it to the big leagues?
I grew up a Mets fans, so along with that came an appreciation for Doc Gooden, Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez, to name a few.
7) Which baseball movie do you prefer Major League, Major League 2, Little Big League, Bull Durham, or Field of Dreams? And why?
Field of Dreams is one of my favorites, mostly because I read the book before viewing the movie, and it has stuck with me. Baseball is definitely the sport about which the best movies have been made.
8) Can you tell us about 3 Strike Foundation and why it was started?
The Strike 3 Foundation started a little over 2 years ago, and mobilizes support, heightens awareness, and raises funding for pediatric cancer research, in honor of my sister Lesley, a 15 year thyroid cancer survivor. In its short existence, the Strike 3 Foundation has raised over $200,000 for leading pediatric cancer research centers in Connecticut.
For more information on the 3 Strike Foundation click HERE.
And Let Us Say…Amen.