Pagan describes his first big league game as his most memorable big league experience. “Just making my dreams come true, I think is one of the best things that happened to me in my career,” he said.
While Brandon Crawford and Barry Zito both said that their most memborable experiences have been their first games in which they hit a grand slam and defeated Roger Clemens at Yankee Stadium, respectably, Ryan Vogelsong’s most memorable experiences are a bit off the mainstream path. Vogelsong was originally drafted by the Giants in the 1998 amatuer draft, but was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2001. After struggling with the Pirates, Vogelsong left to play in Japan for three seasons.
“That was a tough and weird three years at the same time,” Vogelsong said.
Vogelsong returned to resume his career in the United States in 2010, before signing with the Giants’ AAA club in 2011, when he was called up to the pros and later named to the All-Star team. Although Vogelsong did not get the opportunity to pitch in that All-Star game, he remembers the experience fondly. “There was no point in my career did I ever think I think that that was going to be an opportunity so the chance to do that and have that behind your name for the rest of your life, that all-star tag is something that’s very special,” he said. Along with his experience in Japan, he says that his time playing winterball also ranks high on his list. “My favorite one is getting a chance to come back here,” Vogelsong said.
Vogelsong’s career has certainly had its ups and downs, but he says that he wouldn’t change a thing about it. “Obviously it wasn’t the course that I probably wanted to take, but I think all those trials and journeys helped me grow as a person and as a player,” he said.
Fellow Giants All-Star pitcher Matt Cain may only be 27, but he has already stepped into a leadership role. Now that I’m one of the veteran guys I try to do what they did when I was a new player, inspire the rest of the team by getting my work done and try to lead by example.”