Because of an accident, Travelers right-handed pitcher Matt Oye thought he would never have a chance to play baseball again. In 2009, that changed when he was signed as a nondrafted free agent. As of Tuesday, Oye had a 3-1 record with 3.47 ERA. Oye has a six-year-old daughter Sailor and a three-year-old son Jade.
What happened and how did you make your way back?
I had a construction accident with my dad. He does demolition work and were taking a porch roof down and the whole thing fell underneath me. I had given up on baseball.
I then went to Florida to work with Eddie Cardieri, who used to be at South Florida. A couple of scouts told me I should hang it up, but I worked hard and stayed faithful. On April 19, 2009 after Nick Adenhart died, I was approached and told I couldn’t be offered a signing bonus. That night when I was offered the opportunity was the best day of my life.
What keep you going through all that?
Not quitting and staying faithful. If you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything.
You also could have played college football as a quarterback. Why did you choose to go with baseball?
I like pitching because I enjoy the one-on-one with the hitter. I also ran cross country in high school, and that is kind of the same thing. It is a team sport, but it is also individualized.
Talk about your minor league career so far?
It has been wonderful, and I am so blessed to have this opportunity for something I like doing. I have an opportunity that so many others would like, and God gave me a chance. That is part of my mentality, knowing others never get a chance drives me to do my best. I play for the fans. That’s why I interact with the fans and help with kids’ camps and lessons. I want to share any pointers I can and share my experiences and the knowledge I have gained.
What are you goals?
I don’t look back; I look forward and take each and every day as it comes. I want to grow in my faith and be the best I can be. Currently, I am working on my splitter and sinker and consistency with my slider. I have to mention our team. As a pitcher it’s nice when you look in front and see behind home plate a catcher you can believe and trust and can block. I can look behind me and see a defense that makes plays. It is such a good feeling to know I don’t have to overpower.
What are games days like for you?
I wake up and visualize the lineup I am about to face. I eat a good breakfast and stay active. I like to get to the field three to four hours before the game and clean my shoes. I interact with the guys, but I’m not real talkative. I want to go out and give the team the best opportunity to win.
My six-year-old asked me if I made it to the Big Leagues yet. Then she said Daddy go out, have fun and pitch.