Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

June 26, 2010

Webb making transition to Bluefield

BLUEFIELD — Brenden Webb had a difficult transition to make. The San Diego native and 30th-round draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles suddenly had to go from the beaches and sun of southern California to the moisture and mountains of southern West Virginia.

The differences were not lost on the 20-year-old outfielder.

“In San Diego, you definitely also have the beach and stuff like that and where I’m at there’s hardly any mountains,” Webb said. “It’s definitely a little bit different.”

Those beaches provide recreational opportunities that mountains can not. But Webb is here for business, not for pleasure.

“I body board,” Webb said. “I haven’t been home in a couple summers, but when I’d be out in the summer and stuff I definitely went to the beach with my friends and with others and just hanging out. It’s fun. It’s definitely something that I miss, but I know that I’m doing something that I’d rather be doing.”

That something is playing professional baseball for the advanced rookie league Bluefield Orioles. Webb began playing the game at the age of 4 and unlike other children, he chose the sport on his own.

“My parents bought me kind-of like a multi-sports set with a basketball, a football, a wiffle ball bat and stuff and a soccer ball,” Webb said. “And out of all of them, I went and picked up the baseball bat and the wiffle ball and started swinging and I never really picked up the other ones. So I guess it was kind-of by choice when I was little.”

To this day, Webb is unsure of why he chose the wiffle ball and bat.

“To be honest, I have no clue,” Webb said. “I really don’t know, but I’m glad I did. I really love baseball and I love coming out here every day and playing and working hard.”

Webb was in the right place to play baseball every day. San Diego provided the perfect climate for him to continually work on his game.

“It’s sunny 365 days out of the year,” Webb said. “You’re playing baseball year-round. When other kids are out in the northeast when it’s snowing playing football or indoor basketball, we’re in the winter still playing baseball. Everybody out there plays baseball and it’s great. I love it.”

Webb spent his youth playing mostly on travel teams, although he did go out for his senior season at Mount Carmel High School and then played one season at Palomar Community College.

Then came draft day.

“I was at my house,” Webb said. “My dad and I were sitting there watching the computer and then it says, ‘In the 30th round, the Orioles select Brenden Webb from Palomar Junior College in San Diego, California.’ That was a fun time I had.

“Ever since you’re growing up playing a sport you want to play professionally and when I found out I had the opportunity to play professionally and for a team like the Orioles, I was ecstatic. I think it’s probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever gone through.”

Webb’s parents were present for the draft. Now they will be present for his first home games with the Baby Birds this weekend.

“They just came out and visited me for the first homestand,” Webb said. “It’s nice to have them out here. It’s actually the first game they’ll be able to see in over a year-and-a-half.”

He realizes that there are things he will need to improve on to progress through the minor league ranks.

“We’re all down here working on things,” Webb said. “There’s a bunch of little things as far as swing and running the bases and playing the outfield that there’s to learn.”

He also wants to be a part of a winning team, a gift he wants to give the city of Bluefield.

“I just hope that the fans like me and I hope that the team wins,” Webb said. “More than anything, that’s all that I want here, just helping the team win and hopefully bringing a championship to the Bluefield Orioles — and winning the Mercer Cup, too. That’s also something we need to do here.”

Along the way, Webb will take in the Bluefield experience — one he can not get in San Diego.

“It’s definitely different,” Webb said. “I’m glad that I’m here. The people are nice. It’s just fun, you know. Cooler temperatures, nice people and also a good ball club to play with out here.”

— Contact Jed Lockett

at jlockett@bdtonline.com

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