Without baseball on the horizon, I’m using this time to connect with former Senators (all of them can be found here).
We will relive some of their fondest memories and find out what they’re up to now. This week we’re signaling for the southpaw for Danny Rosenbaum.
The Nationals selected Rosenbaum in the 2009 22nd round out of Xavier University. The left-hander made 35 starts over the 2011 and 2012 seasons with Harrisburg pitching to a 3.61 ERA.
Mayflies: What are you currently doing?
Danny Rosenbaum: My wife Alexis and I bought a house in West Orange, New Jersey. We moved to NJ about three years ago for a new career opportunity. I am a sales engineer for a great company called Ketchum and Walton Company, focusing on selling noise control products. I also do some pitching lessons and clinics during the offseason.
Before I moved to NJ, I co-owned a baseball facility in Cincinnati all the years while I was playing and for a year after I retired. I really love passing the knowledge I gained throughout my baseball career to young athletes to help them both on and off the field. I miss being around the game sometimes, and teaching kids helps me cope with that.
MF: What is your fondest memory of playing in Harrisburg?
DR: This is a tough question. I really enjoyed every moment of it. I love my teammates, my coaches, and the fans. The stadium was awesome. So many great things happened there. I met so many great people and formed so many relationships that I still talk to today, like the two of the previous interviewees, Sean Nicol and Neil Holland. Sean was my roommate in 2012. Yes, I LOVE competing and 100% miss competing at that level, but being with my teammates is probably the #1 thing I miss most.
Playing moments – One of the first games I pitched the game against Trenton in 2011 when Harper hit a walk-off 2-run home run over the batter’s eye for the 3-2 win…WOW. 2011 we made the playoffs, and the island flooded, which forced us to play all our games in Richmond. I also had my first professional hit playing with the Senators.
MF: Going back to the beginning…why baseball?
DR: It definitely came from my dad and his side of the family. My dad, my uncle, and my grandpa all grew up playing baseball. I loved the game ever since I could remember, and I was always good at it. I was always practicing with my dad. Whether it was going down to the basement to hit off the tee or going to a park and work on fielding. If I wasn’t with my dad, I was always outside competing with friends or teammates, imitating some of my favorite players like Ken Griffey, Jr. I couldn’t get enough of it. And if I wasn’t playing or practicing, I was probably watching the Reds, or I would be studying my card collection. I love the competition. I played other sports like basketball and soccer, but baseball was my first true love.
Growing up, I was never a pitcher. I would only pitch if we were up or down a lot. I really didn’t start pitching until I was about 14 years old. All my friends hit their growth spurt early on, and I was a late bloomer. So my basketball career ended when I was a sophomore. At that point, I was really able to focus on baseball and especially pitching. My velocity started developing along with my off-speed stuff. At that point knew I had a chance to play at least at the next level (college). By the time my senior year rolled around, I had started to have some pro scouts attend my games. I had realized my ultimate dream of playing at the professional level was absolutely obtainable, and I wanted it more than ever.
MF: What was your greatest or favorite day in baseball?
CB: There are too many moments to solidify just one. Draft day, my first professional game, my last…the list goes on and on. But there is always one that sticks out. In 2014 in big league camp with the Nationals, we went on the road in Tampa to play the Yankees. I was supposed to pitch towards the end of the game after the bigger name guys got their work in. Ross Detwiler started and ran into the trouble in the first and then again in the second. They told me to get going and warm up quickly. The next guy got a hit, and I was told that I had the next hitter. It was 1st and 3rd with one out, and I jogged in from the bullpen.
I did not know who I was facing until I started warming up on the game mound. Keep in mind this is also my first hitter of the spring. I see out of the corner of my eye someone swinging, and I knew I had seen that swing hundred of times. It was “The Captain” Derek Jeter, and it was his retirement year. I was told probably about five times that there was one out. I usually never get nervous, but come on.
Well, I threw a sinker…ball one. Next pitch…4 seamer in…strike one. Next pitch…curveball…ground ball double play. I started walking around the mound like there were two outs, while everyone else was running off the field. It was so great because my work was done for the day!
MF: What factors went into your decision to stop playing?
DR: In 2014, I had Tommy John surgery. I was traded to the Red Sox before spring training started in 2015. I spent most of the year rehabbing and then was sent on my assignment after the all-star break. My arm just never felt right again. I tried everything, and it just continued to hurt. I then went out to the Arizona Fall League that year and pitched really well. I got an invite to big league camp with the Red Sox in 2016.
Right at the beginning of camp during live BP, I got hurt again. I did not pitch the rest of the spring and ended up getting released. They thought it was just inflammation, but I ended up having a bone chip in my elbow. I had a couple of tryouts while I was home and unfortunately did not have any offers besides playing indy ball, and I promised myself if it came down to that, I would stop playing.
Being hurt was extremely difficult on me mentally because I had never been hurt, never went on the DL until I had surgery. I did not want to rehab again, and I felt like baseball was becoming more of a job than just going out and competing and having fun. So, a couple of days before I thought I was going to play indy ball, I woke up the next morning and told my wife I was done. That was a tough day, but I felt like it was the right thing to do, I do not regret anything during my playing career. I gave it all I had and then some.
Thanks to Danny for taking the time out of his schedule to answer our questions.