By KEVIN OKLOBZIJA
You might think that after nine seasons in professional baseball, that after wearing the uniform of 11 different teams and being traded four times, Chris Bostick would a little ambivalent about his journey in the game.
That’s not Chris Bostick, however. That’s not his outlook on life.
Sure, he’d like to have spent more time in the majors than he has; he played 22 games with the Pittsburgh Pirates between 2017 and ’18, and 13 games last year with the Miami Marlins. In a perfect world, his Major League service time would be significantly higher.
But in reality, Bostick is quite content. A Rochester native and 2011 graduate of Aquinas Institute where he starred on the diamond and on the football field, he understands the world.
“I’m still not too young in baseball years (nine),” Bostick said, “but I’m still relatively young, 26 years old, and I’ve been all across America, got to see a ton of places that a lot of people don’t get to see, got to play in the big leagues. That’s a pretty cool thing.
“Obviously the goal when you get drafted is to play in the big leagues and make a bunch of money. Sometimes it’s hard to appreciate when you’re in the mid-levels; you have to kind of look back and think of all the cool things that you’ve gotten to do and all the places you’ve been.”
And so he does that reflection. Life is good. Really good for he and his wife, Lora. They welcomed their first child, Jay, into the world two weeks ago. What could be better?
“Best thing ever. Best thing ever,” he said. “A lot better than baseball.”
Bostick is back in Rochester for three days. His team this year, the Norfolk Tides, is playing the Rochester Red Wings at Frontier Field.
“It’s always nice to be in Rochester; go to my parents house and get some home cooking,” he said.
The go-to food?
“Anything that’s in the fridge,” he said with a big smile.
A career .270 hitter in the minors, Bostick is hitting .247 with 12 home runs, 43 RBI and 44 runs. The most recent of those homers came Tuesday, a majestic 433-foot, two-run blast to center. It mattered little in the outcome, though, since the Wings were already ahead 16-1.
“I don’t think I’ve been doing any better or any worse than other years, just sometimes balls fall and sometimes they don’t,” he said.
— Billy Heyen (@Wheyen3) July 23, 2019
What he’s not worried about is how the Baltimore Orioles are assessing his play. He did that enough in previous years, wondering where or if he fit into the plans of the parent team.
“In the past I’ve looked at the major league club a lot, trying to see what’s going on and what’s happening,” Bostick said. “But I think I’m kind of far enough in my career to know that whatever’s going to happen is going to happen. Sometimes it doesn’t really matter. You can be the best player ever and not get called up; you can be not so good and get called up. So I don’t really try to pay too much attention to what’s going on up there.
“You really don’t have control over anything that happens to you, I’ve kind of learned that. So I just kind of come out every day and try to enjoy it, try to have fun.”
Perspective is important. Bostick clearly has it. Ten years and one month ago, he was in Binghamton with the Aquinas high school team, winning a New York State championship.
It’s been quite a ride ever since.
“That was my sophomore year in high school,” he said. “At that point I probably still thought I was going to play football, before I recognized there’s not a lot of 5-10 football players in the NFL.
“I knew that I wanted to try to play sports. I didn’t really know how good or how bad I was. It’s hard to gauge around here, honestly. It’s pretty cool, though. I never could have imagined that baseball has taken me all the place I’ve been. I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, all the places that I’ve been, all the things that I’ve gotten to do.”
He’s pretty sure there’s much more to accomplish, too.