While the Indians are on road trips, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything going on at Victory Field. As one of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s “Best Places to Work”, the Indianapolis Indians’ front office takes the mantra “work hard, play hard” to the next level – especially when it comes to interoffice games, bets, and competitions.
Enter Nick Guenther, the Indianapolis Indians’ Video Production Intern. Having pitched for four years in high school, playing competitively in college, and having an apparently prodigious throwing arm, you could say that he has slightly more experience tossing a ball around than a majority of people. That being said, when someone who is not a professional ball player boasts about being able to throw a baseball from home plate over the outfield wall – which is exactly what Guenther did this past February – the initial reaction from people is typically one of skepticism. However, after nearly six months of waiting and shaming Guenther into following through on his claim, this past week the Indians staff were finally able to see their coworker step up to the plate to showcase his rocket arm.
For Guenther’s sake, though, let’s rewind the clock a year to when he was interning for the Southern Illinois Miners, an independent minor league team in Marion, Illinois. The Miner’s ballpark, Rent One Field, has a similar distance of 320 feet but with only an 8 foot fence (Victory Field’s wall is 12 feet tall at the left field video board), and after a few weeks of doing long toss to warm up his arm, Guenther not only attempted the throw in front of his coworkers, but actually cleared the fence on two out of three throws. His supervisor at the time, Heath Hooker, couldn’t believe it. “We absolutely did not believe him when he first told us (that he could make that throw). But I have to give him props, he went out there and he threw it right over the left field wall.”
Having a confidence in himself that was surely boosted by his previous success, Guenther cut his long toss preparation in half before this year’s throw. Despite his prior achievements, he didn’t quite pull off the herculean throw this time. However, he was able to find some solace in the fact that he out threw a certain Community Relations Coordinator who wagered that he could throw farther than Guenther. Although neither party cleared the fence, we were able to capture video of Guenther’s warning track power – which, admittedly, is still an impressive feat.
Although he didn’t quite reach his goal this time, Guenther still enjoyed the pressure of performing in front of his coworkers and hopes he finds himself in a similar situation again. “I’ve always dreamed of finding myself in the same situation as that Rookie of the Year scene, where I’m able to have a monster throw in front of a huge crowd,” he commented. “That’d be a really cool feeling to pull that off.” With his love of baseball apparent to everyone he meets, the Indians are proud that Nick Guenther will be continuing his career in the industry with the Sugar Land Skeeters as part of their Video and Graphics team. Congratulations and good luck!