Former MLB player recounts his time in the big leagues and pitching in the playoffs.
Sean MacCourtney | Sports writer | @seanmaccourtney
This is a great time of year for sports. College and professional football are in full swing, hockey has started, and basketball is just around the corner. The greatest thing that takes place in October is, of course, the World Series. Baseball teams start training in February and ten teams of the thirty Major League teams play until October. Brandon Lyon is a former major league pitcher and a player that was able to experience playing in October.
“Playing in October is something you never forget,” Lyon said. “Just playing in the Major Leagues is pretty special, but for those that have played in the postseason, they know how hard it is to get there and cherish every moment. I have a lot of great memories but the one feeling I will never forget is taking the mound for the first time in my major league debut. It’s indescribable with all the nerves and exciting feelings a person is going through and to be able to pitch well and win that game made it even more special.”
Lyon played for six teams over a 12-year big league career. Those teams were the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, and most recently the New York Mets. Of those six teams, three have participated in this year’s playoffs and the Mets and Blue Jays are still in the hunt for the World Series. For his career, Lyon had a record of 42-47 with a 4.16 ERA, 465 strikeouts, and 79 saves.
Lyon started his career playing for Dixie College and led the Rebels to the Junior College World Series in 2000.
“The Junior College World Series was a great stepping stone for me,” Lyon said. “I played there and was exposed to some of the great Junior College players in the country and it gave me the confidence that I could compete at that level.”
Lyon started his major league career with the Toronto Blue Jays. He played for Toronto from 2001-2002 and then again in 2012. As mentioned, the Blue Jays are playing in the American League Championship series. They are currently down two games to none against the Kansas City Royals with a chance to play in the World Series on the line.
“Toronto will always feel special to me since it was the team I signed with out of college and made it to the Big Leagues with,” Lyon said. “I’m very happy for that city and their fans. They have wanted a winner for a long time. This team has brought baseball back to life in Toronto. It’s not just a Hockey town anymore.”
Due to the fact that Lyon most recently played for not only Toronto but the Mets as well, they both hold special places in his heart and he has some friends on each team.
“It’s exciting to see former teammates and friends having success and playing in the NLCS,” Lyon said. “The Mets team has had the same core guys for awhile, and have been so close to this level of play over the past five years. It’s great to see them play this well and gives me incentive to watch friends of mine make a run at the World Series.”
The Mets are currently leading the National League Championship Series two games to none over the Chicago Cubs.
With the World Series just around the corner, it was no surprise to hear that Lyon is pulling for the Mets and Blue Jays to make it to the championship.
“I’m hoping for a Blue Jays versus Mets World Series and I believe that Mets would win with how great their starting pitching is right now,” Lyon said.
It is an exciting time to be a baseball fan and it is even more exciting for Lyon to watch his friends, especially since he is someone that was able to experience making it to the big leagues and experience the thrill of pitching in October.
Sean is a Sophomore at UVU, studying communications. He is originally from Cherokee, N.C. Follow him on twitter @seanmaccourtney