LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - For all professional baseball players, this is the time of year when they should be on the diamonds working towards a pennant or moving up the league ladder.
JJ Bleday taking time Friday to get in some swings at Frank Field.
Mosley alum and Marlins minor leaguer JJ Bleday is one such player, returning home awaiting an end to the coronavirus pandemic and an eventual start to the season.
All major and minor league activities came to a halt along with the rest of the sport world midway through March. JJ, who spent time this spring with the big league club, decided to come back to Bay County to wait things out.
"Everybody's in this together," Bleday said between swings at the Mosley batting cages. "Everyone's struggling in terms of calming down and showing less panic because no one's really working and it's tough to get a gym. Thankfully, everyone's kind of in this together and we've all just got to try and get through this.
Part of his routine now includes throwing and hitting at Frank Field on the campus of his Alma Mater. Friday afternoon, he practiced alongside fellow Mosley alum Michael Cullen, who was in his sophomore season at Chipola when the NJCAA season was halted.
"Your body is your investment and you've got to take care of it," Bleday added. "When you're training this long, there's a lot of risk of injury and a lot of risk of coming back and overdoing it when you do have to go back when this thing's done."
While in Bay County, Bleday is spending time with his family, doing his best to balance working on staying in good baseball shape and not overdoing it. Having coach Jon Hudson throw out the welcome mat to JJ and others helps.
"It's fun to have a community like this to come back to especially in times like this, having a good facility here to just come and get some work in and make sure you're ready when this thing's over with."
Bleday is coming off his first season of professional ball, getting in about half a season with the single-A Jupiter Hammerheads and earning one of 40 non-roster invitees to spring training.
"Big league camp was a blast," Bleday recalled. "I was blessed to get that my first big league training. Learned a lot about how guys go about their daily routines on a daily basis, and just goes to show the maturity and how dedicated they are to this sport, trying to do good and compete every day. You've got to take matters into your own hands with situations like this. Again, who knows when this is going to be over with and when it is over with, you've got to make sure you're ready."
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