Blue Jays pitcher's dad a nervous wreck ahead of Friday's game
Marcus Stroman will take the hill for his first post-season start Friday afternoon.
Most parents have probably experienced some anxiety because of their kids, but right now Earl Stroman's nerves are in a whole other ballpark.
The Long Island, N.Y. police officer is Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman's father, and ahead of the young pitcher's start tomorrow he's a nervous wreck.
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"I'm always nervous," Stroman told Metro Morning host Matt Galloway today. "You know people were comparing me to Derek Jeter's dad but Jeter was at it 20 years … I don't know how to relax yet."
Stroman will take the hill in Game 2 of the Jays American League Division Series against the Texas Rangers tomorrow afternoon. A reality that six months ago seemed impossible to almost everyone. Stroman wasn't expected to be back this year after tearing up his knee in spring training. The Jays pitcher had ripped his anterior cruciate ligament - an injury that can take up to a year or more to recover from.
But Earl wasn't surprised by his son's efforts.
"I think with the Jays having the season they had, that this gave him a little extra incentive," said Stroman. "So I kind of knew he was going to do everything in his power to get back this year."
Stroman said his son was devastated when he got hurt in the spring, but it only took the pitcher five minutes to come up with a plan — he'd spend his time recovering and going back to school to get his degree. A goal that was very important to his parents.
"When we went to schools the first thing we looked at was academics, schools like Duke and Stanford where once he graduated, a degree was going to mean something," said Stroman.
The Jays pitcher graduated from Duke University last month and more than anything else, that's what Stroman said he's most proud of.
"Baseball is just icing on the cake. I love the fact that he's doing this, but you know you never know how long with injuries a baseball career will last. A degree will last him a lifetime."
Be multi-dimensional. Can't explain how proud I am to have my degree from <a href="https://twitter.com/DukeU">@DukeU</a>. Best accomplishment thus far. On to the next! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ringchasing?src=hash">#ringchasing</a>—@MStrooo6
For his part, the young Stroman told CBC News yesterday that he couldn't have done any of this without his dad.
"The work ethic that he instilled in me from a young age. He was the guy taking me from Puerto Rico to the Dominican, Florida, Arizona, flying here and there, getting me this trainer, so I wouldn't be here without him," said the Jays pitcher.
His father is working back home in Long Island today, but he'll be in Toronto tomorrow afternoon for his son's first post-season start at Rogers Centre.