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Catching Up With Coach Andrew Ayers

Crabs Q & A
By Tracy Mac/Crabs Secretary
ARCATA 2014

#13 Andrew Ayers
Assistant Coach

What are you doing now career wise?
The past three months I have spent away from baseball and working. This will be the start to my coaching career and will be searching for college coaching jobs after this summer.

What are some of your fondest memories from your playing days? With the Sacramento State Hornets, with the Royals minor league team or about the draft?
The fondest memories I have of playing baseball are during my time at Sacramento State, my last two years especially. Going from worst to first in the WAC was the most satisfying accomplishment because it was a team effort and so much work was put in to get to that moment. I was lucky enough to play a summer for the Kansas City Royals and I will never forget that experience, but nothing will ever compare to the four years I spent as a Hornet. I am very grateful for the opportunity that Reggie Christiansen provided me with to earn a spot on the team as a Freshman.

You left the minor leagues fairly quick. What happened or what lessons did you learn about trying to go pro? I found your baseball card on eBay — is that surreal for you?
I was released in September following the summer I spent playing for the Burlington Royals. I did not perform very well and the Royals cut a farm team from their organization so that just meant less opportunity for me. I quickly learned in the minors majority of the time it is about individual performance and not about the team winning and losing games. That was the toughest thing for me to grasp. I think it is pretty crazy that I have a baseball card, but it can't be worth any money.

How has the support from your family and Sac State baseball friends helped you transition from player to coach?
The support I received from the Sac State family was truly humbling. I would have not been able to get to where I got as a player if it weren't were every coach, teammate, and fan I met up with as a Hornet. I have kept close contact with Reggie and he is helping me greatly with the transition from player to coach.

All the baseball folks in Humboldt have nothing but good things to say about you when we talked to Dale Del Grande and Buster Pigeon at the CR diamond? What did you take away from your local playing days to the college and minor league level?
Dale Del Grande and Buster have helped my career in many ways and it all started with them. Dale taught me the fundamentals and how to play the game the right way and Buster helped me a lot with the hitting aspect. Dale would be the one always throwing David Del Grande and I batting practice and Buster would be helping us with our timing and swings.

What MLB coach or player would you most like to personify?
The MLB payer I would replicate my game from would be Mike Trout. He respects the game night in and night out and knows how to carry himself off the field as well. I think every young player should try and model Mike Trout's game.

What are some of your hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?
Some of my hobbies are attempting to golf, spending time with friends and family, and looking forward to disc golfing more this summer. I have many friends who play all the time in Eureka.

If you could have lunch with any famous baseball player, who would it be and why?
I would have to say Mike Trout again because I believe he is the perfect baseball player and there is not a knock on him, on or off the field. I would just like to hear his story of how he came up to the big leagues and how he has always found a way not to let success get the best of him.

Have you ever coached before and if so, what are you planning on sharing with these young college kids that are playing for the Crabs for the first time?
I actually coached a little bit during the summer a couple years ago for the Sacramento Stingers. They were a high school travel ball team coached by Reggie. I helped with the infielders and hitters. It was a lot of fun and showed me a different aspect of the game. I know I will always be learning from this game and my goal is to offer as much advice to these young college baseball players as I can. I will point some things out when I see them, little things here and there, but ultimately it is their career and not mine. I am there to help them out and keep it fun for them. I am very excited for this opportunity and can't wait to get another successful Crabs season going.

You and David Flores from Chabot College have been tapped to run the Crabs Camps, what would you like to teach the kids about baseball?
I am excited to be running summer camps with David Flores. I would like to teach the young kids how to play the game the right away. One example would be running all the way through first base on a ground ball. The main thing is to make sure they are always having fun because this game is hard enough as it is.

What are some of the selling points that brought you back to the Crabs this summer?
I am very grateful that Tyson Fisher reached out and wanted me to coach with him this summer. That was the first of many selling points. It was the best opportunity for me to start my coaching career, I love coming home to visit and now I get to be here for a couple months with home cooked meals, and the mot fun I had in summer was playing for the Crabs so I know coaching for them is not going to be any different.