After trading southern California for southern Alberta this summer, outfielder Josh McIntyre has done everything he can to help the Brooks Bombers collect wins during the 2019 campaign.
McIntyre, who calls Huntington Beach home, has helped drive the offence for the Bombers. Through 38 games, he leads the team in batting average (.343), runs (32), walks (23) and the bruise-inducing statistical category of hit-by-pitch (6). He also sports a flawless fielding percentage.
Coming off his junior season with the Western Oregon University Wolves – where he batted .309 in 55 at bats – the 6-foot-1, right-handed hitter has put together an all-star calibre season for Brooks.
We tracked down McIntyre at the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL) All Star Game in Edmonton and asked him seven questions. His answers below form the basis of our latest edition of 7th Inning Stretch.
1. How did you get into baseball?
From an early age my parents encouraged me to play baseball over all the other sports. I liked basketball and soccer and stuff, but my mom was always a huge baseball fan. We’ve actually got some history in baseball, so that’s why I chose to play it.
My uncle is actually Frank Robinson … 500 home run club, Hall of Famer. He just passed away recently, which was tough, but I remember going to the games when he was managing the Expos. I remember meeting Vladimir Guerrero.
2. What words of wisdom did Frank Robinson have for you before he passed away?
He honestly just instilled in me the work ethic … working hard every day, being independent, and just sticking to it no matter what happens, because he dealt with some adversity in his career and he told me I’m going to deal with it, too, so he just kind of passed that on to me.
3. How did you end up coming from California to Brooks, Alberta?
I actually came up to Brooks two years ago. I ended up getting hurt within the first game. I blew out my hamstring and I ended up having to leave, but I wanted to make sure I came back before I finished my career, because I have a lot of respect for Brooks, the president, the GM, the coaches.
Coach (Kyle MacKinnon), his first year, he actually called me and was talking to me quite a bit. That meant a lot to me and that gave me a lot of respect for him, so I wanted to repay that and come back and try and win for the city.
4. What are your goals for this WCBL season?
When I came up here, I wanted to try and get Brooks to the playoffs. I know that’s big. Brooks hasn’t been in the playoffs in its history. That’s the most important thing.
This all star stuff is great, and it’s good to be performing on the field, but I told my dad when I was driving up: ‘I really want this city to win. I really want them to make the playoffs, because I think they deserve it. I think the people deserve it, the coaches deserve it, the Brooks organization deserves it.’
5. Brooks doesn’t receive the same recognition that other markets in the league do. How do you like playing for the Bombers?
I like it. I’m from southern California and it’s super busy, it’s packed. It can get a little crazy, so it’s kind of nice to get away and be in Brooks. It’s kind of low key.
You’ll be walking around in Brooks and I’ll have my hat on, or something, and people will ask me, ‘When’s the next game? I’m going to try to make it out.’ They’ll ask me how the season is going and how I’m doing. It’s good to hear stuff like that. I think a lot of the fans are really great people.
6. There’s a lot of travel in the WCBCL. What activity do you like to do when you’re on the bus?
My mom has been getting on me about my data. She actually told me to get a crossword puzzle, because I was using too much of it. I’m usually listening to music. I actually play the guitar so I like watching guitar videos and stuff.
I like Christian gospel, Christian contemporary, alternative … I don’t listen to country music – that’s the only one I don’t listen to.
7. Between your bat and your glove, which one are you more likely to be particular about?
Definitely my bat. I’m definitely a hitter at heart. I’m super analytical, I’m super focused when I’m hitting, because it’s important to me. I love to hit. I’ll hit every day, all the time. You give me a bat, I’ll go out there and hit.