Home Sports Babe Of The Day SPORTS BABE OF THE DAY: Michael Colla, Pitcher, Tampa Bay Rays Organization

SPORTS BABE OF THE DAY: Michael Colla, Pitcher, Tampa Bay Rays Organization

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27 year old Michael Colla is getting ready to start his seventh pro season. Colla was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 38th round of the 2005 MLB June Amateur Draft from Clovis West HS (Fresno, CA), but did not sign with the team. Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Mike in the 14th round of the 2008 MLB June Amateur Draft from University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ). Colla was with the Pirates until the 2013 season when he became part of the Rays organization. Colla split the 2012-2013 season between The Bridgeport Bluefins and The Montgomery Biscuits. He was called up to the Durham Bulls during playoffs, though he never played.

When he isn’t working hard on the field, you’re most likely going to find him hanging out with his family. Ladies, he is a family man, and let me tell you, he loves his nieces and nephew. He is probably one of the most easy guys that I know, you’re all in for a treat!Colla (7)

20 QUESTIONS WITH MICHAEL COLLA:

1. What sports did you play growing up?
Growing up I played every sport I could. Soccer, Basketball, Football and ran track.

2. What made you decide to stick to baseball?
My Freshman year of high school in one of the first weeks of the year, the Varsity coach, Stan Bledsoe, approached me and said if I wanted any chance of making the team as a Freshman he would suggest I come out for fall ball.  I made the choice then to stick with Baseball.

3. Was there a player or team that you looked up to, that motivated you to play better?
I was a big fan of the game, and still am.  Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Curt Schilling were a few guys I would love to watch.  All extremely competitive people and I wanted to emulate their styles.

4. So when you were growing up, at what point did you decide this is what you wanted to do as an adult?
As long as I can remember I have wanted to do this, honestly.

5. What has been your best baseball-related memory, so far?
13 years old we were playing in the regional tournament against some of the best teams in the “West Region”.  We had to win two games against a team that only needed one more win to advance. Last inning we were down 2-1 with two outs and nobody on. an infield single and back to back doubles later we were going to the World Series. Great feeling.Colla (5)

6. If you could put together a Fantasy Baseball team, and you were coaching, who would your ideal 5 starting pitchers be?
1) Roger Clemens
2) Randy Johnson
3) Bob Gibson
4) Clayton Kershaw
5) Nolan Ryan

7. What city would your baseball team be in?
Either San Francisco or Los Angeles

8. Are you superstitious when it comes to games? Do you have any special rituals you have to do before or after the game? Lucky charms?
Always have the same pre-game routine. Always shower at the same time when I get to the field, stretch my arm and whole body for that matter, the same way and listen to music and read. I try to keep everything consistent in order to get my mind focused on one thing, and that’s pitching that day.

9. Are there any rumors or misconceptions about baseball players, or even pitchers specifically, that you want to clear up? Or confirm?
Haha there are always rumors and misconceptions against athletes or baseball players. But truthfully there are so many things out there and everyone is different so its hard to clarify certain things as each person has their own opinions anyways.

10. Favorite pickup line?
I actually don’t have one

Colla (1)11. Something sports fans are always curious about when watching games – when guys get to First Base, what do they talk  about with the opposing team? Is it always trash-talk?
Unfortunately the last time I was at first base as a hitter was so long ago I can’t even remember what was said if anything.  I really don’t think much goes on over there, but that’s probably easier to ask a first baseman that question.

12. If you were in charge of getting everyone amped up in the clubhouse, what are your top three songs you’d play for the boys? Hmmm, that’s actually a really tough question just because new songs constantly come out that pump people up.  “Good Good Night” by Roscoe Dash was popular with the team.  I’d play “23” right now and also “Animals” by Martin Garrix.

13. What is one of the best clubhouse pranks you’ve seen?
Taking someones clothes and putting them in a bucket of water then putting them in the freezer is always funny.

14. Seeing how you guys travel a lot, if we were to look in your travel toiletries bag, what would be the most surprising product we would find?
Its pretty straight forward. Nothing in there that would be a shock, to be honest. Unless face wash is a shock ha.

15. I don’t think face wash would count as something shocking, lol.  What’s one thing we’d be shocked to find in your locker at the clubhouse?
Again, I’m pretty straight forward when it comes to my stuff.  I keep my locker very organized so maybe just the fact that its clean would be the shock.

16. Who’s been the biggest influence on getting you to the level you’re at now?
My dad for sure.  He never forced me or pushed me into taking lessons when I was younger or playing on travel teams.  But anything I wanted to do that would help me in any sport he would go out of his way to do with me. From playing catch, to hitting ground ball after ground ball, to kicking the soccer ball with me.  He was always just there to support and when I needed it he wasn’t afraid to set me straight.Colla (6)

17. When was the first time you had an ‘ah ha’ moment and realized, I’m living my dream right now?
When I got to Double A in 2010. Met a few older guys and then you realize just how awesome this opportunity is and how close you are to realizing your dream. Also, at that stage i realized its not enough to just play the game, people look up to the players on the team and helping out in the community you play in is extremely important. Just a cool feeling to be able to give back while attempting to live out your dream.

18. I’m sure your schedule is pretty packed during the season, but what are some things you like to do when you have free time?
Sleep, go to the movies, catch up on missed TV shows, maybe check out the mall. Pretty low key stuff.

19. If you were stranded on a desert island what are the 3 things you must have with you?
Toothbrush, Laptop with wifi and unlimited fresh water.

20. If you could nominate someone to be a Sports Babe of the Day on Babes Dig Balls, who would it be? Either my boy Jake Floethe or my good friend Caitlin Lowe.

Colla (2)