Hello, Cardinal baseball fans! Welcome to the first of many Redbird Rants interviews with the new draftees. Today I had the pleasure of speaking with “Opie” Andrew Brodbeck a 2B out of Flagler College. I recently did a recap on rounds 8-10 in which Brodbeck was drafted. Go ahead and check that out here after your done if you haven’t already.
Steven: Why baseball?
Opie: I was an athlete growing up so I played several sports growing up. Just before high school I decided to choose baseball because with my success, I decided it was my best chance of continuing on at the next level whether it be college or the professional level. I just loved the game and everything about it, I loved watching it and everything.
Steven:How long have you been playing?
Opie: I have been playing since I was four years old. Tee ball is where it all started.
Steven: Who was your favorite team growing up?
Opie: I grew up a Tampa Bay Rays fan, obviously living in Clearwater that was the team I chose.
Steven: What do you and your teammates do in your spare time?
Opie: Well, Flagler is very close to the beach so we were at the beach a lot. We would go fishing, I love fishing here. Really we just loved being outside, Florida weather is great obviously, except for when it storms but it’s really nice to be outside here.
Steven: What is your favorite thing to do on the road?
Opie: Besides winning our series and winning our games. We don’t have much off time in those weekend games. We liked messing around in the hotel and just hanging out together usually walking to restaurants after games (hopefully wins). Other than that we all enjoyed the bus rides and being together. When you are at a college for four years everyone kind of becomes a family so just being together was good.
Steven: Who do you model your game after?
Opie: Mentality wise I’d like to think it’s David Eckstein. Others come to mind, I love watching Dustin Pedroia play and the way he plays, Matt Carpenter whom I also love to watch play he’s a great story, same with Jason Kipinis. But, I really try to play like Pedroia or Carpenter.
Steven: Who is your favorite MLB player?
Opie: David Eckstein, the Rays were struggling when they first started so I didn’t have a favorite player. When I first started getting into baseball it was David Eckstein. He was my role model and someone I followed and loved the way he played the game. Loved the way he was doubted and yet he overcame those doubts and I really respected that.
Steven: What is the best piece of advice you have gotten about all of this draft craziness?
Opie: Have fun with it! It get’s stressful, but what one of my coaches says is you’d rather be stressed than not be in the middle of this at all. Then once your name is called it’s the greatest thing in the world.
Steven: Who or what has prepared you the most for this moment?
Opie: To answer the what, going through a four year program like Flagler really prepared me because you know a lot of guys choose to go to Juco for a couple years and then off to a bigger school or to a school for a few years. It is pretty rare nowadays for guys to go four years in one program or stick it out for four years especially at small schools. Being in a program like Flagler has prepared me for the Cardinals’ system because working your way up in college is similar to that. I actually didn’t have much playing time my freshman year and I had to work pretty hard to get that starting spot then my last two years I really did well.
Motor City Bengals
As far as who I’d say my whole coaching staff. Coach Barnett, Coach Jonathan Holten, Coach Dusty Rhodes. They had a huge influence on me on and off the field, just listening to the them, picking their brains, being a sponge and absorbing everything they had to say to me really prepared me for getting picked yesterday
Steven: What was it like finding out that you were drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals?
Opie: It was just surreal, one of the scouts of the Cardinals kept in touch with me since I had attended a regional workout for the Cardinals. He had kept in touch with me throughout the second day of the draft. Then I got a text that said “Hold your breath for another 17 more picks”, we were sitting outside actually watching it on tv. I was with my mom, dad, and girlfriend and after that text we were waiting and then seeing my name on the tv was amazing.
Steven:Have you ever been to Busch Stadium for a Cardinals game?
Opie: No I have not.
Steven: What are you excited about most in this process?
Opie: Getting a chance to professional baseball, I am not looking too far ahead right now. I am looking forward to reporting to wherever I’ve got to go. I am looking forward to stepping on that field; I haven’t played in over a month so I am just ready to get in there and start playing some games.
“He (Eckstein) was my role model and someone I followed and loved the way he played the game.”
Steven: Where did the name Opie come from?
Opie: Obviously you can see that I have red hair and the name comes from the Andy Griffith show. Opie Taylor was a character on that show and he was played by Ron Howard (who had red hair). When I was 5, my little league coach actually gave it to me. We had two Andrews on the team and he just started calling me Opie and it just stuck, to the point where during my recruitment I had letters coming to Opie Brodbeck same as newspaper clippings with the name.
Seems like we have someone to keep an eye for the next couple years. I know I will be.