Not only is Cody Fajardo talented with a football, but his baseball abilities are not too far behind.
“I thought I was a pretty good baseball player, to tell you the truth,” said the Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback.
In fact, Fajardo still wonders what life would have been like if he had chosen to pursue baseball instead of football in high school.
“A lot of people in my family tell me that I was a much better baseball player than I was a football player,” he said. “Probably one of the biggest regrets of my life is quitting baseball because I had a lot of passion for it and I loved it so much.”
Growing up in Orange Country, Calif., Fajardo played shortstop and pitcher in little league before transitioning to centre field in high school. However, in his freshman year, he was thrown a curveball.
“My freshman year I got cut from the baseball team when I tried out,” said Fajardo. “I didn’t know why, so I went into my head coach’s baseball room and said, ‘Hey, why did I get cut?’
“He said I didn’t have a strong enough arm and I said, ‘I’ll go out to the warning track right now and throw it to home base,’ and he said, ‘You know what, OK, a guy that’s this adamant about it, I’ll give you another tryout.’”
Two days later, Fajardo made the team. And ironically enough, he went on to be named the team’s MVP that season, batting .667. But then came a crossroads in his sophomore year at Servite High School.
“They didn’t let many guys play multiple sports, so I had to make a decision between football and baseball,” he said.
And that decision appears to have paid off, as Fajardo is now a CFL franchise quarterback. However, he is still a passionate baseball follower, with a deep love for the MLB’s Los Angeles Angels, a team he grew up idolizing.
“In my backyard, I remember every Friday night they would have Friday night fireworks at Angels Stadium and we could see the fireworks,” said Fajardo. “And then they won the World Series in 2001 when I was a young buck, so it always helps when your team wins when you are young.”
And on Thursday night, the 29-year-old will get a chance to share more of his love for the sport, as he is the guest speaker at the Regina Red Sox Virtual Gala, hoping to help the club raise some funds as they are coming off back-to-back cancelled seasons.
“We’ve all been going through this tough time in the sports world and I think it’s best to stick together,” said Fajardo. “It doesn’t matter if it’s football, baseball, hockey, just sticking together and find a way to rally everyone back and get people excited about sports again.”
And perhaps, this isn’t the last partnership between Fajardo and the Red Sox.
“Getting a slow-pitch or softball game versus the Red Sox guys and the Roughriders in the off-season would be something that would be so cool to see and intermix between different sports in the wonderful province of Saskatchewan,” he said.
Tickets are still available and can be purchased on the Red Sox website.
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