Like many Cardinal farmhands, first baseman John Nogowski was in Jupiter, Florida, for spring training.
Unlike many of his former teammates, he was playing for the major league club. He appeared in 14 games for the Cards this spring and survived the roster cuts that sent other players to AAA-Memphis and AA-Springfield. At 27, he’d already spent plenty of time in both of those cities.
Home again, home again
It was back home to Tallahassee, Florida – “for the time being,” he said. Nogowski, 27, attended North Florida Christian High and Florida State, and his parents still live in town.
So, when COVID-19 shut down all major sports, including MLB spring training, John went back home. And, he brought a guest: his longtime girlfriend, Ashley.
“She is from Dallas,” Nogowksi said, “Both her parents work in the medical field so she is staying here with me.”
I said the pandemic was “intense.”
“It really is. Tough to see an end to all of this anytime soon,” Nogowski said.
Still, he is staying in shape as best he can so he’ll be ready for the season – whenever that is.
“Lots of running mostly,” he said. “We have some pretty good equipment at my house, so luckily I’ve been working out at home!”
He also spends plenty of time fishing.
Staying attuned – and in tune
It can’t be easy to go from finally getting a chance in big league camp to waiting around for the season to start. But Nogowski appears to recognize the bigger picture.
“Bummer for sure,” he said. “But it’s all about being safe, which is completely understandable.”
Besides, Nogowski is spending his free time with his parents picking up a new skill: learning to play guitar.
“My dad knows so the lessons are free!” he said. “I like a lot of Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty – some Jimi, of course!”
- Want to be a part of this project? I’m conducting interviews with baseball players, coaches, journalists, and fans during the coronavirus hiatus. I’d love to find out how you are doing – baseball and otherwise. Drop me a message at [email protected], or connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Stay safe!