A number of current and former athletes have taken to social media…Chad Ochocinco, Shaquille O’Neal and even Jose Canseco.
But only a few do it well.
One of those guys is former San Diego Padres number one pick and current Portland Beaver, second baseman Matt Antonelli. From his status updates regarding his recent hand injury to live tweeting throughout the NBA Finals, Antonelli has taken to Facebook and Twitter like a duck (or in his case…beaver) to water. He has even contributed a “Matt’s Mailbag” feature here at The Hall of Very Good.
This week, the Padres hopeful and wannabe YouTube video sensation (more on that later) is taking his crack at this week’s “Friday 5”.
HOVG: Who was your biggest influence and why?
ANTONELLI: My biggest influence as far as baseball is concerned would have to be my dad. He got me into baseball when I was really young and coached me throughout most of my childhood. He hasn't missed many games in my life, even when I went to school 800 miles away from home, and now that I play most of my games on the other side of the country.
HOVG: What is your most memorable travel experience?
ANTONELLI: My most memorable travel experience was definitely during Spring Training in 2008 when we traveled to China to play the Dodgers in a two game series. I am pretty sure it was the first time two Major League baseball teams played a game in China, so it is always cool to be the first to do something like that. I have never been to another country other than the US, Canada and Mexico, so to be able to travel to the other side of the world was an awesome experience. Being able to spend five days learning more about China's culture and being able to visit so many historic sites was something I will always remember.
HOVG: What is your favorite baseball term or saying?
ANTONELLI: I am not sure why, but hearing Crash Davis call Nuke LaLoosh "meat" over and over again in “Bull Durham” has always made me laugh.
HOVG: What is your best experience or greatest accomplishment?
ANTONELLI: I've had a lot of experiences in the game of baseball that have been a whole lot of fun to take part in. I can't even think of them all, but to name a few: Winning a state championship in high school, being given the opportunity to attend Wake Forest and play baseball there, being drafted into professional baseball by the San Diego Padres, winning a Double-A championship, making my Major League Debut.
HOVG: When did you know that you “made it”?
ANTONELLI: Hmm, that is a tough question. I've never really had a moment where I sat there and thought to myself that I had made it. I'm still hoping that I have a lot left in my baseball career and I'm just working hard everyday to get back to the Major Leagues where I have always wanted to play since I was a young kid.
While Matt Antonelli continues to nurse his hand injury, he is doing his best to keep everyone up to date and entertained over at his website. And until he gets back out on the field full time, be one of the tens of thousands to check out his hoops skills.
And as always, if you have a question for Antonelli, you can email him at email@example.com who knows, you might just be featured in a Matt’s Mailbag post here at The Hall.