One-on-One with Brewers 2B Eric Sogard

The following appeared in the January/February 2018 edition of Junior Baseball.

Sitting down with Eric Sogard who finished the 2017 season with the Brewers was an amazing experience. He wears the number 18 and is a utility fielder. Sogard started his career at a young age and played in college for perennial powerhouse Arizona State. Over his professional career Sogard has played for a couple of teams including the Padres, Athletics, and Brewers. His career line includes 357 hits, 8 home runs, 123 RBI’s and a batting average of .245. Eric and I had the chance to chat and we talked about life off the diamond and of course a little bit about life on the diamond.

HALEY SMILOW: Do you have favorite ballpark and is there a place you feel you always play well in?
ERIC SOGARD: I like going to Fenway Park. I grew up as Red Sox’s fan when I was young, also there is a lot of history at that field. I think that it is one of my favorite places to go play.

HS: Have you ever hitten over the green monster?
ES: I have not ever hitten over the green monster, hopefully one day. That would be very exciting for me to do.

HS: Do you have any superstitions rituals or routines?
ES: I think if I get a good meal before the game, it is always something I tend to like. I usually go with a tuna sandwich and I always wear my socks up at the game.

HS: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
ES: I think just making it to the big leagues. It is a dream for me for my whole life, so to be able to live that out and play in the major leagues, think about the work I have done in the past to help get me here. I think that is one of the things I am the most proud of.

HS: What city needs a MLB team?
ES: Maybe, Las Vegas. I mean I feel like they would get some good crowds there. There are always people there and it’s an exciting city obviously.

HS: Would you want them to be in the NL or the AL?
ES: Either one, it wouldn’t really matter.

HS: Who would win a mascot royal rumble?
ES: I mean I think I have to go with Either Stomper or Bernie, Bernie has a whole crew that roles with him. I think he would put up a good fight. And just look at the name Stomper I don’t think I need to say anything else.

HS: What is your favorite position?
ES: My favorite position to play is second base. It’s a position I have probably played the most. It’s the position I am the most comfortable in. But I can play anywhere in the middle infield though. I enjoy being in the action.

HS: Do you like hitting or fielding better?
ES: I think I like hitting better. You know when you're hitting good, hitting’s better, but they're both fun.

HS: Would you rather be elected into the Hall of Fame or win a World Series?
ES: I would rather win the World Series, for sure. I’ve never been a champion yet so it’s one thing I strive for everyday and every year to accomplish and be a part of the team that wins the World Series.

HS: Who are some of the toughest pitchers?
ES: There’s quite a few of them now a days. Obviously, King Felix he’s one I used to face quite a bit and he’s pretty tough. Wade Davis from the Royals, he has some amazing stuff. Obviously, Aroldis Chapman now with the Yankees being left handed and throwing over one hundred will usually make it tough on us.

HS: How did it feel seeing yourself on a baseball card?
ES: It was neat, absolutely. growing up, collecting cards and looking at other players and to one day have your own and be able to share that with your friends and family is pretty neat for sure.

HS: Do you like the poses you have on the cards?
ES: Yeah, most of the time. There’s a few that are little different sometimes but you know I think it’s a good variety of cards, so it’s neat to have all the different kinds.

HS: Do you keep most of them?
ES: Yeah, I definitely try to keep them to have around. You never know one day when you look back on them.

HS: What rule would you change about baseball?
ES: I’d say put the DH in both leagues. You know pitchers now a days are so good at pitching and I think hitting makes it tough on them to have to do that too. I think to just allow them to focus on pitching would be better.

HS: If you could go back in time and play baseball with someone who would it be?
ES: I’d probably choose Mickey Mantle. You know from what I’ve heard of him he just seems like such a great player, a guy who went out every day playing hard and I think it would be fun to be aside him and watch him play.

HS: So you would want to play with him not against him?
ES: With him for sure, absolutely.

HS: What is your favorite quote?
ES: My favorite baseball quote I would say is, “scope it and rope it”. You know it just kind of keeps it simple like see it and hit it. So it’s something I grew up with.

HS: From your years in Oakland do you have a favorite restaurant?
ES: My favorite restaurant in Oakland is Ozumo, it’s a sushi place. I’m a big sushi fan so it’s the job done.

HS: What is your favorite holiday?
ES: I’d have to say Christmas. It’s a great time family comes together, everyone gets presents and it’s just a fun time to enjoy the cold weather and hopefully get some snow.

HS: Do you enjoy the dinner?
ES: Oh yes totally, I forgot about the dinner but it’s one of the best parts.

HS: What is the best baseball movie?
ES: I’m going to have to go with Sandlot. It’s one we all grew up watching and you know it brings back memories of just growing up and playing with friends in the neighborhood.

HS: Do you have a favorite character from Sandlot?
ES: I’m going to have to say Squints for this one because I wear glasses. He’s funny in that one and I’ll get a Squints reference every occasionally.

HS: Favorite ballpark food?
ES: I’m going to go with the good old fashion hotdog. You know, I don’t have hotdogs to often but i think every once in a while, having a hotdog when you're at the ballpark gives you that good feeling.

HS: Do you like anything on your hotdogs?
ES: I like it all. You know mustard, ketchup, relish.

HS: If the Brewers had to move out of Milwaukee where would you want to go?
ES: I’d probably want them to come to Arizona. I live out in Arizona, so to be able to play in my hometown would be fun. Obviously, they have the Diamondbacks but I think they have enough room for two teams so that’d be fun.

HS: Do you have any hidden talents?
ES: I’m a pretty good Ping-Pong player. I like to play that every once in a while and I’m not too bad

HS: Do you have any nicknames?
ES: I’ve got a few nicknames. Wearing glasses some people will call me Harry Potter, The Nerd Power, Sogey.

HS: What advice would you give to kids?
ES: If they are playing sports make sure they are having fun. Go out have fun. Don’t let pressure get to you obviously. I think just going out and doing your best is important and having some fun.

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