PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Getting the chance to play to professional baseball at any level is something few people are talented and lucky enough to get to do.
Getting the chance to play professional baseball as a part of the organization you grew up rooting for . . well, that’s a whole different category of special. And it’s life right now for Casey Brown, a left-handed pitcher in the bullpen of the Lakewood BlueClaws, a Single-A affiliate of the Phillies.
Brown is a Wenonah, New Jersey native who starred at Gloucester Catholic High School. He is also a lifelong Phillies fan and loving life in Lakewood.
“It’s great,” Brown tells KYW Newsradio. “I wake up every day just honored to be here. I look forward to coming to the clubhouse every day.”
Brown played his college baseball at Central Connecticut State and soon after graduation, he joined the Normal (Illinois) Cornbelters of the Independent Frontier League. It wasn’t long after that that the opportunity with the Phillies came along.
“I was finishing up (with) my independent team and I got a tryout, I think it was the beginning of October, did pretty well.” Brown says.
So well that the Phillies signed him.
The 24-year-old Brown has had a nice season so far in Lakewood. He is 1-1 in 10 appearances with a 2.77 ERA. He breaks down the repertoire allowing him to have success.
“Right now I throw a fastball and I’m getting pretty good command with it,” he says. “Every time I go out I’m really comfortable throwing it. My slider’s getting better, I’m trying to throw it a little harder, try to fool hitters a little more. Because before it was just kind of going in there and they could see if it was a strike or ball so I wasn’t really getting any swings and misses on it. So I’m getting that a little harder, getting more confident with that. Change-up’s been good, sits about the same speed as my slider, just moves the opposite way so hopefully it goes in and out with the hitters.”
You get the feeling that as much as Brown loves being a part of the Phillies organization, he loves sharing this ride with his family even more.
“Every time I’m pitching, I always see (my dad) in the stands and after the game I talk to him about everything,” Brown says. “I know that this means as much to him as it does to me. I can see it when I’m talking to him. My whole family as a whole, has gotten more into the baseball world. They know more than they had before and they’re really interested in learning it, too. So it’s a whole family thing now.”
Brown and the BlueClaws visit Delmarva on Wednesday night.