Tanner Brown was named Big West Pitcher of the week in April. (Jim Cayer/Gazzetes Sports)
Dirtbags pitcher Tanner Brown opens up on his life.
By Matt Gozzip Staff Writer
One of the most fluid motions in all of sports is a baseball pitch. A combination of statuesque poise and momentum mechanics, a perfect pitch can transform a seemingly harmless ball of yarn into a 90mph comet in mere seconds. Pitch poses vary but the cadence is all the same: think, thrust and throw.
Much like the motion of a pitch, senior pitcher Tanner Brown has learned to embrace the fluidity of life, on and off the mound.
“I have no clue what is going to happen in the future”, Brown notes. “I don’t have a dream job. I just continue to keep moving.”
In an age of meticulous coordination and careful planning for the future, Brown is indeed an outlier. After playing baseball for Fountain Valley High School, he had no offers. Following an extended stint at Golden West College, no coaches came calling yet again. For some this may have felt like the end of their baseball career but to Brown it was not debilitating. If anything, it was just more of the same treatment that he was used to.
“I wasn’t going to play after Golden West,” said Brown, “but my coach, Bert Villarreal, knew some of the coaches at Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State. I was offered a walk on spot to both, expecting to be on the team and only go through the motions. I didn’t expect all of this.”
The “this” that Brown is referring to is a starting pitcher spot in the rotation, numerous Big West accolades and lately, early flashes of dominance in the new season. Brown is 4-2 with a 3.00ERA that was recently capped off by a dominant outing in a shutout over a nationally ranked UCSB squad.
Much of Brown’s success on the field is well documented but it is what he has kept in his life during his ascension to stardom that has better defined him. The college culture of sociability networking is quite alluring but Brown has a different set of values.
“I live five minutes from the beach so that is an escape when I’m hanging out with friends helps to calm me off the field, no matter what we do,” explains Brown. “To me, it is important to be with my friends and especially with family. Family is huge to me.”
Brown’s cites frequent barbecues with his sisters and their children as something that helps him play so level headed when he pitches. His family values also have attributed to his near seamless assimilation and comfort with his new team surroundings, which are pseudo kin to him after only a couple years.
“Being part of a team is one of my favorite things about baseball and getting the set the tempo as a pitcher and put my team in a position to win is what I enjoy to do, even if I haven’t been pitching for too long.”
Sporting events consistently have unpredictable outcomes. Players prepare for countless hours only for their training to be thrown out the window when something unexpected happens. For now, pitching for The Beach is all on Brown’s mind at the moment, even when the MLB seems uncertain.
This situation should scare batters. Brown has thrived on unpredictability in his life because it is all he has ever known. Broken plans and dreams are aplenty for collegiate athletes but to Tanner Brown it’s just a matter of following the rhythm of his pitch motion to fight the future.