Former Major Leaguer to help battling Bandits
THE Brisbane Bandits are set to be assisted by a Queensland Baseball Hall of Famer and Major League veteran next season, as they look to climb off the bottom of the ladder.
Trent Durrington, a star of 140 games for Anaheim and Milwaukee between 1999 and 2005, has put his hand up to join the coaching staff.
Durrington will be welcomed in any capacity at the Bandits, with the former second baseman a born leader.
"At a lot of the clubs I played at I was a bit of an enforcer when anyone would step out of line. I always liked to help out the younger players," Durrington told APN.
The 38-year-old currently helps out Queensland under-14 and under-16 academy players, while his young son Max is already known to have a strong arm and a fierce love of the game.
Indeed, it was a fierce love of the game that got 2012 Queensland Baseball Hall of Famer Durrington through the constant grind of a five-year career at the very top of his sport.
Not to mention the countless days he spent honing his craft in the relative obscurity of the minor leagues.
"You'd bide your time in the minor leagues, finish a game at 10pm and then jump on a 3am flight the next morning," Durrington said.
"You'd arrive at your next venue at 6am, and then you'd go to the yard and start training for your next game.
"You wouldn't get much sleep, but having tenacity and determination would get you a long way."
Durrington said he didn't get any sleep before his debut with the Angels in 1999.
"I was playing in Pennsylvania and got a call-up all of a sudden. I hadn't slept the night before," he said.
"But during my first at-bat I looked up at the scoreboard which seemed 10 storeys high, and thought 'how good is this'.
"You're always travelling, but it is quite the life when you get to play in front of packed stadiums every night."
Durrington played against Yankees legend Derek Jeter in his prime, with Jeter to retire this year.
Jeter has made over 2600 appearances for over 3300 hits.
He is a five-time World Series winner and a 13-time All Star representative, but Durrington was struck back by the modesty of the Yankees' captain.
"I shared some beers with Derek and he's just a normal bloke, like you or me," Durrington said.
"He's a superstar because of his ability to visualise what he wants to do every time he steps up to the plate.
"He blocks out pressure better than most others."
Durrington has carried on his hard-working nature in his life post-baseball - he is now a construction manager for Australasian Homes.