“What’s your ‘why?’”
It’s a very philosophical question from Jordan Procyshen, who admits his answer has changed on an almost-yearly basis since he started his professional baseball journey in 2014.
Fresh off what he calls a “rollercoaster” couple of years, the Calgary native is beaming as his latest answer is nearly ready to arrive – his wife, Lauren, is pregnant with their first child.
“I can’t wait,” he said, sitting in the nursery of the family home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “I absolutely cannot wait to be a father.”
It’s been a whirlwind since they found out in March, going through the processes and emotions many parents go through.
“When we did the gender reveal during the season and found out we’re having a little girl, I was scared,” Procyshen laughed. “But, you know, I’m very, very fortunate and we’re very lucky that we’re able to have a little girl and, God willing, everything goes as planned and in a month or so, I’ll be holding her in my arms.”
DAY BY DAY
The hurry-up-and-wait approach for parents is something Procyshen was already accustomed to after spending the last eight years in the minor league baseball system.
The 5-foor-10, 185-pound catcher spent five years in the Boston Red Sox system before becoming a free agent in 2018. He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2019, Chicago Cubs in 2020 and the Texas Rangers in 2021, never losing sight of his life-long dream.
“I remember as a little kid, I always wanted to play professional baseball,” Procyshen told Alberta Dugout Stories: The Podcast. “On top of that, I wanted to become a Major League Baseball player.”
Whether it was playing whiffleball with his childhood buddies or taking extra swings in the batting cages when he got older, he’s always had the dream in his mind.
“Everything that I’ve done since I can remember as a kid has been about baseball and the sacrifices I’ve made,” he continued. “I just think about those days and the time I put into it, I know I’m going to keep going because that’s the ultimate goal.”
Procyshen spent this past season with the Rangers’ Double-A affiliate, the Frisco RoughRiders, where he hit .197 with five home runs and 20 runs batted in over 45 games.
THE ULTIMATE FAN
While the grind of the minor league system might be real, Procyshen is also grateful for what it has provided him in his personal life.
While with the Tulsa Drillers in 2019, the Dawgs Academy grad noticed a girl in the stands.
“I managed to get her attention for after the game and convinced her to go out for a beer,” Procyshen laughed. “And the rest is history, honestly.”
History, as it turns out, was he had met Lauren, whom he married in 2020.
The Northern Kentucky University product beams about the support she’s shown, even in the face of uncertainty like in 2020 when he didn’t have a contract but was offered a tryout with the Rangers.
“I told her about it and she goes, ‘Alright, when are we going?’” Procyshen said. “She didn’t even think about it, didn’t even go, ‘Hmmm, I don’t know.’ It was just right away, ‘When are we going?’”
They didn’t ultimately have to go, as the Cubs called and signed him a few days later.
THE LITTLE THINGS
Having that support system has been huge for Procyshen, who will once again enter free agency this winter.
“It’s just little things like that,” he said. “She keeps pushing me to not worry about things, not stress about where we’re going to sign, where we are going to play, just that it’s all going to happen.”
He adds it helps that she loves baseball and wants to see him achieve his dream just as much as he does.
“I get so nervous, especially when he’s hitting,” Lauren told Spectrum Local News. “I get nervous because I want him to do so well. He’s put so much time into it.”
Wherever Procyshen ends up next, he knows he has a great support system in place – one that will be getting bigger in the not-too-distant future.
He also knows that means his “why” is getting bigger, too.
“It’s bigger than ever with becoming a father,” Procyshen said. “That’s my driving force, I know what it is, and what I’m going to do what it takes to achieve that.”