Chase De Jong, the 6’4”, 1993-born Baby Jay pitcher, has a deep love and appreciation for God, family, and baseball. Hailing from Long Beach, California, most would think that this SoCal boy was from the deep-South, thanks to his touch of Southern charm and class, which shines through when he talks about fishing, his taste in music, and his home-brewed sweet tea.
Chase signed with the Blue Jays Organization, when he was selected by Toronto in the second round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, straight out of WoodrowWilsonHigh School. Since singing with the Jays, Chase has pitched for the GCL Blue Jays, as well as the Bluefield Blue Jays, both Rookie teams, and had a stint with the Class A Lansing Lugnuts, and Short-Season A team, Vancouver Canadians (playing a part in their 2013 threepeat championship win). While wrapping up Fall Instructionals in Dunedin, Florida, Chase took some time to answer a few of our questions.
20 QUESTIONS WITH CHASE DE JONG
1. Do you remember when you were a kid, and adults would ask “what do you want to be when you grow up?”… how old were you when you started to answer with “A professional baseball player”?
I always enjoy meeting new people who don’t know me, and having them ask me this question, because the look I get after I say I want to be a pro ball player is the look that says “Really?! Haven’t given up on that childhood dream, huh?”
Every time it happens, I feel extremely blessed for the opportunity I have right now, to play a little kids game for a living!
To answer your question, I think I started saying it at 13.
2. It’s true – you really do get to play one of Amerca’s favorite pastimes for a living! Did you play any other sports, growing up?
I played basketball and baseball growing up, and I also played a little flag football in middle school. That didn’t last very long, although I could throw the ball a lot farther than most of the other 13 year-olds.
3. Pitcher’s Arm, even at 13! Which team/player did you look up to the most, growing up?
My favorite team to watch growing up would be the Yankees, but my favorite player to watch was my cousin, Jordan De Jong. He played for Cal State Fullerton, and then he was with the Blue Jays – I was his biggest fan as a kid!
4. So if you could nominate someone to be a Sports Babe of the Day on Babes Dig Balls or Babes Dig Style, would it be your cousin?
Yeah, that would be cool.
5. What has been your best baseball-related memory, to date?
Being a part of the 2011 USA 18u Gold Medal winning team in Cartagena, Columbia, during the Pan American Games. Representing your nation’s colors is one of the greatest feelings as a baseball player!
6. Are you superstitious when it comes to baseball? Do you have any special rituals you have to do before or after the game? Lucky charms?
I’m not superstitious about any rituals. I am a firm believer in having a routine that works for me before I get ready to pitch, such as stretching and carbo-loading before an outing, but other than that, no. I wash my socks and underwear regardless of if I have a good or bad outing.
7. What does a day of training look like for you, during the season, in terms of your nutrition, and workout schedule?
I’ll wake up around 10:30 or 11, get a bite to eat – sometimes it’s not the healthiest choices, but I try to eat as best as I can while on the road…easier said then done.
Once I get to the field I have some running and lifting to do, then I meet up with the pitchers for the pitcher stretch, play catch, and then shag batting practice. After that, you relax in the clubhouse until game time.
8. If you weren’t playing ball professionally, what would you be doing?
I was committed to USC (University of Southern California) to play baseball, and work on a Business Degree, so that’s what I would be doing if I hadn’t made the choice to sign with the Blue Jays out of high school.
9. Say you’re scouting for the next All Star Futures Game – who would you like to see make it for 2014?
I would like to see guys I know in that game, just because it’s always fun cheering on your teammates, past or present.
10. If you were going to the 2014 ESPYS, describe what your outfit of choice would be:
A nice Suit and tie, with a brand new pair of cowboy boots.
11. Players are getting more into fashion, with a number posting their OOTD (outfit of the day) on Twitter/Instagram, and stepping it up a notch with their post-game suits. How important is personal style to you?
I believe that it’s important to dress as a professional, and I’m a big fan of the suit-and-tie look. I’m not a fan of the crazy colors and way out-there clothing that some of these ball players wear out in public! I think players should dress classy, and like a man.
12. How would you describe your own personal style, in three words?
Simple, Manly, and Tasteful.
13. What do you feel the most sexy in?
Suit and Tie.
14. I like it – very Justin Timberlake of you, Chase! With that being said, what do you think a woman is the most sexy in?
Cowboy boots… hands down.
15. You’re a SoCal boy, with some Southern Charm. I love it! So for all of the boot-wearing ladies out there, are you Single, Dating, or Locked Down?
17. What is your favorite twitter account to follow?
Clayton Kershaw. He is an amazing athlete, and a strong Christian who does great work on, and off the field.
18. Because you travel a lot, what is one thing you can’t leave home without?
My Bible. If I left my bible at home, it would be like pitching without a glove.
19. If we were to look in your travel toiletries bag, what would be the most surprising product we would find?
A knife, because I can’t leave it in my pocket when I get on the plane.
20. I’m not even going to ask about the knife… so… QUICK – boxers or briefs?
Boxer Briefs – you get the best of both worlds!
Thanks so much for chatting with us, Chase! We can’t wait to see this Sports Babe pitch with The Toronto Blue Jays!