Preds captain Shea Weber
has become a big supporter of Vanderbilt University athletic events. A former baseball player growing up, Weber has developed a strong bond with the Commodores baseball program and even threw out the first pitch at the May 13 game against Florida this season. As Vanderbilt prepares for its program's first trip to the College Baseball World Series, NashvillePredators.com caught up with Weber to get his thoughts on the program.
How many years have you been going to Vanderbilt baseball games?Weber:
I’ve been going to games since I first came to Nashville in 2005. Unfortunately, I was only able to get to a couple of games this year. I definitely wish I could have gotten to more, but we were so busy coming down the stretch in the regular season, and then in the playoffs since we advanced to the second round.
Any nerves when you threw out the first pitch to open up the Commodore’s final regular season home series against Florida on May 13?Weber:
For sure there were. I hadn't thrown a baseball in over a year and there was a little bit of a worry that it may be a wild pitch. I was able to warm-up a little before though, so that made me feel a bit more comfortable. Nick Spaling
went out there with me to catch the first pitch, so I put a little pressure on him to make sure he didn't drop the throw.As a fan of the team, how much fun is it to see them advance to the College World Series?Weber:
I think it's great for the team. Obviously, they've worked hard all year and now they have a chance to be the best college team in the country, which is everyone’s ultimate goal.Are you going to make the trip to Omaha for any of the World Series games?Weber:
I'm back into training pretty hard now and my schedule has tightened up as far as being able to go away, so I won’t be able to get to Omaha, but I'll definitely be keeping an close eye on how they are doing. Have you become friendly with any of the players/coaching staff?Weber:
I've got to know Coach Corbin over the past couple years, and before the May 13 game, me and Pekka had a chance to go down on the field and meet some of the players while they took batting practice.Have you ever taken batting practice with the team?Weber:
I’ve never taken batting practice, would love to one day to see if I can still hit the ball.If you were to play baseball, what position would you play and why?Weber:
I played baseball until I was 16 years old, but had to give up on it to strictly focus on hockey. I use to be a pitcher and shortstop. Who are the notable Vandy players you remember watching?Weber:
David Price, Mike Minor and Pedro Alvarez are obviously some of the notable ones, but I remember a lot of their players from over the years.