Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ozzie Timmons Interview

Ozzie Timmons was originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 44th Round (1127th Overall) of the 1988 MLB Amateur Draft but did not sign. He enrolled at the University of Tampa instead.

In 1991, he was again drafted, but this time in the 5th Round (138th Overall) by the Chicago Cubs. On June 6, 1991 he signed with the Cubs organization and was assigned to the Geneva Cubs in the New York-Penn League.

In his first four years in the Cubs minor league organization (1991-94) Timmons hit 73 home runs, and drove in 240 runs.

On April 26, 1995 Timmons made his major league debut for the Chicago Cubs.

Timmons would play a total of 186 games for the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He hit 20 home runs, 60 RBI's with a .235 batting average in the majors.

In 2003, Timmons signed with the Atlantic City Surf.

From 2003 - 2006, Timmons bounced around between Mexican League and the Surf (he had a brief stint in Triple-A with the Mets in 2004). Timmons finished his Surf career with a .297 batting average, 74 home runs and 224 RBI's. In 2004 he was selected as an Atlantic League All-Star.

In 2004, I had the chance to meet Ozzie and get his autograph. Here's a record of the interaction we had on the "Duck Prints" page on our site. "...I missed Ozzie Timmons on his way out but watched as he threw around a football with some friends. After this I didn't think I was going to get Timmons. Finally he came over after and signed for about 20 kids. I handed him my sheet with 8 cards told him to only sign 2 because the game was going to start. I offered him some cards and he passed but continued signing and signed all 8 cards I had. Definitely the best one person signing of the season. "

Since his retirement Timmons has been a coach in the Rays organization including as Manager for the Hudson Valley Renegades(A-) in 2007, and Columbus Catfish(A) in 2008. He's been the Hitting Coach for the Montgomery Biscuits (AA) since 2010.

CM: Favorite Baseball player?

OT: My favorite players were all the players who came before me from the Tampa Bay area: Fred McGriff, Dwight Gooden, Gary Sheffield, and Tino Martinez.

CM: Do you remember where you were when you were drafted by the Cubs in 1991? What was your reaction?

OT: I was at my mother's house waiting on the call with all my family and friends and my reaction was just a big smile.

CM: You spent only 4 seasons in the minors before you got called up to the majors? What was your favorite experience playing in the Cubs organization?

OT: The friends I made in the organization and traveling to places I would have never gone to if it wasn't for baseball.

CM: On April 26, 1995 you made your major league debut what do you remember about it?

OT: It was in Cincinnati and I had a pinch hit walk but it didn't really hit me until we went back to Chicago for opening day and the guy who sung the national anthem was halfway through and the crowd went crazy and that sent chills up my spine and that is when I said I am in the big leagues and by the way it was about 20 degrees that day.

CM: What was it like to play in the major leagues?

OT: It was awesome no better place to play baseball than the major leagues.

CM: What was your reaction the first time you saw yourself on a baseball card?

OT: Man this is awesome! And then when someone asked me sign it was great.

CM: After playing for a few different organizations (Reds, Mariners, Devil Rays) from 1997-2002 you signed with he Atlantic City Surf and would bounce back and for between affiliated ball and the Surf from 2003-2006. What did you think of the Atlantic League when you joined the Surf?

OT: It was good a lot good players was there and very good competition and what really got my attention was how well they kept up the fields in the league and the fan support was also pretty good.

CM: What did you think of the Atlantic City Surf fans and the organization?

OT: I think we had a lot of competition with casinos which I think hurt our attendance but the fans we had were very loyal as well as the organization the treated me very well.

CM: You had some great seasons with Atlantic City, what was your favorite experience there?

OT: Just playing baseball with a bunch of great guys.

CM: Obviously, the Surf had some issues and are no longer around. Do you think it's a good place for baseball? (read our post about the Surf)

OT: It's not a bad place but with all the casino's it is just to much competition.

CM: Since you've retired from baseball what are you doing?

OT: I'm a hitting coach in AA with the Tampa Bay Rays (Montgomery Biscuits) which is located in Montgomery, AL.

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