Now you're probably all wondering why I would want to write about Dontrelle Willis. Yes, his career was plagued by inconsistency after his early years in Florida but that's not how I will remember him. I will remember him as the fun loving guy who always had a smile on his face and a hat that wasn't worn quite straight. I'll remember the 22 games he won in 2005 and in the same year became the first pitcher in 32 years to bat 7th in the hitting lineup. I'll also never forget the two home runs he hit against the Mets in September of 2006 to go along with the 8 innings he threw that night.
I have modelled my game around the way that Dontrelle played. I played each game like it was my last. Leaving everything out on the field and having fun while doing it. Many people, especially many of my Blue Sox teammates would be used to my signature "smile while poking the tongue out face" I make while on the mound was something I would do when I felt like I stuffed up or got away with a mistake. Even though I'm in the heat of the moment, I still find a lighter side in everything. Something I always enjoyed seeing Dontrelle do. The way he would slide head first into 3rd base while running out a triple is exactly the way I would do it. Even though the coach wouldn't approve of his pitcher sliding into base, it didn't stop him from playing hard. Playing the game it was meant to be played, just like you're a little leaguer playing on the sandlot with your friends.
One day I even decided I'm going to start pitching like Dontrelle Willis. I wore high socks, I had a high leg kick, twisted my body, hands were raised above my head and I threw across my body. People asked me why I did that and I simply told them, because it's what the D-Train does. That's when I received the nicknames T-Train and VanTrelle. I had that pitching action for five years. I even wore number 35 because of him, then changed to 21 when he moved to Detroit.
I'm definitely going to miss him and the way he played the game, but wish him the best in retirement. He is truly my favourite player of all time, no one else will understand why except me.
|@D_Train35 retweeting one of my tweets|
|My game use Dontrelle Willis bat|
|@D_Train35 replying to one of my tweets|