Infielder Chris Owings was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009, and has played with the organization ever since, making his Major League debut with the team in September 2013. Here, he chats with us about what he loves most about baseball, what he thinks the Diamondbacks’ strengths are for this season and what he loves about the Valley—plus, his favorite restaurants around town.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Charleston, South Carolina but grew up in Columbia, South Carolina.
What do you love about the game?
I love the team aspect. From Little League to high school—I won two state championships in high school—just the connection you have all the way to the Majors. You look at the team we had last year and it was just a good group of guys who just have one goal, and that’s to win the World Series. Hopefully we can get back to the postseason again and experience the excitement and electricity—you just look forward to coming to the field every day.
What drew you to baseball?
It runs in my family. My dad played in college at Charleston Baptist University (now called Charleston Southern University). My mom played volleyball and baseball, her dad played baseball and his brother was a Minor League umpire. I started playing young and just love it.
What are you most excited about for this season?
Staying healthy is the main thing. It was tough to have the injury last year and miss the postseason. I’m looking forward to getting back on the field. It’s been since July 31 that I played in a Major League Baseball game, so I’m just excited to get back on the field and help the team again.
What do you think the team’s strengths are this year?
For the most part we are bringing back the same team again this year. I think one of our strengths is our pitching staff. Our starting pitching staff pitched really well for us last year and went deep in games, and our relievers came in and shut it down. If we can use that recipe again for this year it will be a good season.
Do you have any rituals you do before or after a game?
I don’t really have any rituals but more of a routine. You play 162 games so you kind of get into a routine on day games and then a different routine for night games. It’s really just developing a routine each day, whether it’s listening to a particular song, or watching video of the opposing pitcher, or taking your swings at the same time every day. Just get into a good routine so you stay locked in for the whole season.
What do you love about the Valley?
The weather and all the restaurants out here. You can be outside almost any time of the year once you get used to it. My family and I call this home, and have now for the past four to five years.
Do you have any favorite restaurants in town?
When you’re not playing baseball you love to….
Spend time with my family. We are so busy in season that in the offseason I like to unwind and spend time with my wife and my dog, or take a trip. I also enjoy playing golf.
You spend a lot of time on the road. Any tips for traveling?
When I travel I always bring an iPad or computer and have it loaded with a movie.