By: Papa Orleans-Minnow
Canadian Baseball Network
DUNEDIN, FLA. — Travis Bergen knew baseball was his sport since the day he took his first steps as a toddler.
It wasn’t long after those first few steps that he began playing baseball. It was his dad’s favourite sport, which he decided his son should play.
“He’d always loved baseball,” Bergen said. “Right when I was walking around I had a baseball in my hand. I started playing recreationally when I was three-years-old, so it’s pretty much been something that I always did. It’s just kind of a part of me.”
Bergen, the McDonough, Ga., native discovered he was good enough to pitch in high school. The left-handed pitcher was then recruited by Kennesaw State University to play for the Owls in Georgia.
In his senior year, he became the Kennesaw State captain and was named to the 2015 Atlantic Sun Conference all-first team.
Bergen led the team in both innings pitched and wins, posting a 6-4 record and a career-high 100 innings in which he struck out 84 batters and allowed only 31 walks.
KSU was one of Bergen’s greatest baseball experiences that has led not only to his development as a player, but as a person, too.
“It was just a group of brothers. It was something that we had each other’s backs and it was more important for the team to win than for somebody to hit a homer,” Bergen said.
“It was just a family atmosphere and the guys played as hard as they could for the guy standing next to them. That’s what made the team special. I had been there for three years and I had some success. I think that stemmed from my work ethic.”
Now he sports a vibrant blue T-shirt with the words “Blue Jays Baseball” on the front as he prepares for spring training and another year of baseball.
“It’s just something that’s going to take all my effort every day to work on delivery and being in as good as shape as I can,” said Bergen, who was drafted in the seventh round of the 2015 MLB draft. “It’s just something that I’m going to have to take day-by-day and know that I can’t do everything in one day, it’s just continuous hard work.”