It’s been quite the journey for Okotoks Dawgs’ outfielder Danny Donnelly.
Donnelly – who played 32 games for the Dawgs this season, recording two home runs, 11 RBI and 11 runs over 61 regular season at bats – grew up in Okotoks. He patrolled the berm in left field as a fan, along with his father Pat, while his mother Marlene served as the Dawgs’ academic advisor.
He would later hustle around the infield as a bat boy for his beloved hometown team and join the Dawgs Academy. In 2017, he won the Jimmy Henderson scholarship award as the junior Dawgs player of the year.
Now a member of the summer collegiate team, Donnelly has brought that bat-boy hustle to the big squad. He recently made time for our “1 Thru 9” series and here’s what the right-handed batter had to say:
1. What is your walk-up/warm-up tune?
My walk up song is “Trophies” by Drake.
2. What is the best pre-game meal?
I think that the best pre-game meal is and OPA! platter.
3. Your family sends you a care package. What’s in it?
If my family sends me a care package while I’m in the U.S. there are definitely some fuzzy peaches and Smarties in there.
4. What is your favourite stadium to watch or play baseball in?
My favourite stadium to watch games at or on TV from is Safeco Field in Seattle.
5. Who has had the biggest influence on you as a baseball player and why?
This is a tough question because there have been a lot of different people and coaches who have influenced me around baseball. But if I had to choose one I would say my dad because he introduced me to the game, and would hit and throw with me as a kid, which is obviously really important at that age because it grows a love for the game.
6. Who was the best teammate you’ve ever had and why?
This sounds super cliche but I don’t think I would be able to just pick one teammate as the best teammate I’ve ever had. I’ve had – and still do have – a lot of really good ones. In my mind all good teammates know how to be selfless and know when and how to be funny.
7. What is the best thing about playing baseball in the WMBL?
For me personally, the best part of playing in the WMBL is being able to live at home in the summer and see my family and friends while still playing summer ball.
8. What is your favourite baseball memory?
My favourite baseball memory, as of right now, would be winning the 2017 Buckeye Elite Tournament in Ohio, on Ohio State’s field. This is my favourite memory because it was the final tournament of my high school career and it was just really cool to end it on a high note.
9. What is the best piece of baseball advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of baseball advice I ever received was to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. This is kind of a reminder that whether your day at the field went great or horrible, you need to keep trying to move forward and get better, because if you don’t you’ll never reach your full potential. At the same time, this is also a reminder that there is only so much high-quality work that can be done in one day before the work becomes sloppy.