Legends On Deck

Exclusive LOD Interview: Mets Sam Haggerty Shares His Journey To The Big Leagues

In 2015, the Cleveland Indians drafted Sam Haggerty out of the University of New Mexico in the MLB June Amateur Draft. He went on to play in six minor league seasons within the Indians farm system, moving up as high as AAA in 2018.

A highlight of his minor league career came in 2017 with the Lynchburg Hillcats where he showcased his speed, stealing 49 bases, while legging out 27 doubles and 13 triples.

On January 6, 2019, the Indians traded Haggerty to the New York Mets, and little did he know that when September rolled around, his dreams would be a reality as he made his Major League debut on September 4th as a pinch runner. He also recorded his first official at bat on September 11th against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

I chatted with Sam and discussed his career and the past 2019 season.

He may be considered to have been overlooked in the early stages of his career, but that is a time of the past. With many more great games to come, Haggerty is there to impress all of his well-earned fans. “I don’t spend much time reflecting on what I could have done better, I try to learn from the past and view it as a positive that I made that mistake and I am better for it.”

While earning the moment to shine with his call up, Haggerty always wanted this. As a kid, he grew up with his mind set on playing baseball for his future. He looked up to his family from both sides that played baseball either in college, or professionally. Always hoping to make a memorable play or hit in the World Series, he always dream big and believed in himself.

“I feel I had a normal childhood for an athlete, I played all sports growing up. I loved to compete and always wanted to be outside or in the gym playing something. I was introduced to baseball at a very young age, I had family members on both sides that played professionally or in college and it is a huge part of our family history. I always wanted to play baseball, from the time I was young I envisioned myself playing at the highest level.”

I asked Haggerty what truly helped him the most and he shared with me that even through the tough times that he often experienced he knew he had to keep grinding. He knew that at some point his day would come and he would get to accomplish everything he has, and more. “Baseball is a very challenging game, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I had a great support system to help me through the difficult times of the grind. That support system helped keep me focused and pushing in the right direction. This game will discourage you, but you need to maintain focus and perseverance in order to get where you want to go.”

Haggerty continued, “It has taught me how to expect more of myself, and to push myself to being the best I can be. Baseball will challenge your belief in yourself and force you to look in the mirror and commit to be the person you want to be regardless of outcome.” The game has done more than grant him the joy of stepping on the field. More than the feeling of making an amazing play that no one expected anyone to ever make, it has changed him as a person. Baseball has truly showed him the consequences of being a true baseball player. The baseball player he has become.

When asked about the feelings of getting the call up to the majors, Haggerty can only express his thoughts with, “Words can’t describe the emotions and feelings of that moment, all I can say is it was the fulfillment of a life journey and goal, only to open up new goals and continue to learn and push to be better.” A true moment of excitement for the player, and joy.

Sam is an exceptional player that knows the joy and feeling of his dreams coming true even though he has also experienced the failures. Growing up with his mind already set on baseball, he continued to pursue his dream and will never stop. Baseball is not the easiest sport there is, but it can be one of the most fun, you just need to believe. After all, it is a game that mostly happens in your head.

 

Myleigh Carper

The 12 year old, Myleigh Carper, grew up with a love of baseball. Her father has always enjoyed taking her to baseball games causing Myleigh, to develop her desire to play the sport. Her father, Mathew Carper, quickly became a well known photographer for his favorite minor league team. Because of this, Myleigh was given the opportunity to meet the players and learn what it took to be at the point in their careers they are at today.
Myleigh Carper
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