GETTING TO KNOW BRANDON FINNEGAN
It’s been a frenetic two years for Reds lefty Brandon Finnegan. Acquired by the Reds in the July 26 trade that sent Johnny Cueto to Kansas City, Finnegan’s still trying to catch his breath from 2014 when he became the first player to ever participate in both the College World Series and Major League World Series in the same year.
Better Off Red recently took a moment to get to know one of the newest Reds. Here’s Brandon Finnegan in his words…
First car: 2004 Chevy Tahoe w/ 20” rims. My dad bought it for me during my sophomore year of high school.
Sports: In addition to baseball, I also played football and basketball until I started to throw hard and I decided to stick to baseball. We (my brother and I) won a lot of trophies growing up.
Favorite Players: Pudge (Rodriguez), A-Rod; Barry Bonds was my favorite. I also liked David Ortiz, Josh Hamilton and Aroldis Chapman.
Hobbies: I collect shoes. Being around Jeremy Guthrie in Kansas City; he got me into the shoe game. I collect all kinds but mainly Jordans.
Jobs: I was a valet during my freshman year at TCU. Before baseball started, I parked cars at the Omni Hotel. I didn’t have to learn how to drive a manual transmission, though.
When he first “knew”: I threw hard in Little League. I knew I had the tools because I could hit, too. Going into my sophomore year of high school is when I first hit 90mph, so I knew I had something special going on.
Halloween costumes: I dress up as Superman a lot. Also a vampire and a Ninja Turtle.
Memorable birthday parties: My brother and I always celebrated our birthdays at a roller rink or bowling alley. All of the same friends always came. It was fun. Now we get together with friends and family for dinner.
Favorite non-baseball trip: I went to Jamaica when I was in high school. I also took a cruise in Mexico.
Music: I like country music and hip-hop. My first concert was Leann Rimes, Brooks & Dunn and Kenny Chesney all on one card in an outdoor concert.
Pets: My parents have my two dogs – Gizmo and Dixie. Gizmo is a Shih Tzu/Pomeranian mix and looks like Gizmo from Gremlins. Dixie is a Chihuahua/Greyhound mix. I was driving home one night and she ran out in front of me, so after I stopped and opened the door she jumped in my car with me. So, I took her home.
Superstition: When I start, I wear the same socks and under shirt; laundered of course. I have a very specific routine.
Siblings: I have a brother (Jonathan) who is 2 years older than me. He’s a real estate agent (and also played baseball at Western Texas College).
Role model: My dad (Gary). He was also a left-handed pitcher (at TCU).
Best gift received: When I was younger my cousin and I both got mini pocket bikes.
Best gift given: I sent my parents to Maui this past offseason.
Charities: Stand Up 2 Cancer. At TCU my teammates and I took a boy named Micah under our wing. He suffers from Neuroblastoma. I got really close with him and his family, so Stand Up 2 Cancer is a really big thing to me and my friends.
Best advice received: Control what you can control.
Career difficulties: The trade was the hardest thing I’ve had to go through so far. Some of the Kansas City players are still some of my closest friends.
Coming to Cincinnati: The Reds organization has been awesome. It took me a couple of days to realize that I have a better opportunity with Cincinnati. I spoke to Barry Larkin and Eric Davis in Louisville when I first came over and they helped me settle in.
Goals: I want to start. I want to prove I can be a successful starter. Doubters fuel me. People always told me I’m too short or not fast enough and I want to prove them wrong.
Brandon Phillips: I’ve always been a huge fan of Brandon Phillips. I like the way he plays because he always seems to be having a blast.
Other Reds: I love Fraz (Todd Frazier) and Votto . I think they’re both unbelievable players. And of course, one of my favorite pitchers is Aroldis Chapman.
Playing in both the College World Series and MLB World Series in same year: It was just baseball. I never thought of it as anything more than that. In College it was different because that was something I had been working towards with all of those guys (TCU teammates) for three years. It was a crazy whirlwind that hasn’t hit me yet. It was awesome and a lot of fun.
What he’d do if he wasn’t a baseball player: If I didn’t play baseball I might work in my dad’s roofing business.