Saturday, June 18, 2016

'If he ever made it happen, it would be a movie'

Not too often I get to write a story that combines my two favorite sports, baseball and college basketball. But Tyler Olander provided me with that opportunity.

As you may know by now, Olander signed a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays and has been at the team's spring training complex in Dunedin, Florida for extended spring training the past couple of months (save for a quick jaunt back to Mansfield last weekend).

Olander has largely been rehabbing since he re-aggravated the broken foot injury that caused him to leave his Spanish pro basketball team last October, come home for surgery and embark on his latent baseball career.

Other than playing catch with Shabazz Napier so Napier could practice for his Fenway Park first pitch in April, 2014, Olander never went back to baseball during his college career. But he would often tell his four-year roommate and teammate, Niels Giffey, that he intended on trying his hand at baseball again one day.

Giffey was one of the first to congratulate him after Olander signed with the Blue Jays back in April. DeAndre Daniels offered his congratulations, as well.

We certainly wish him congratulations and good luck, as well. Will he be the next Randy Johnson? Of course not. He won't even be the next Scott Burrell. But could Olander be the next Mark Hendrickson? Hey, you never know.

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