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By Scott Barancik, editor
Cody Decker is many things, but “average” is not one of them. Neither is “normal.” That seems to suit the 26-year-old San Diego Padres prospect just fine.
The southern California native played a lead role in The Music Man and other productions in high school. A Dr. Who fan, he watches movies around the clock, poses for photos as his favorite characters (see pics below), and tends bar during the off-season. A constant barrage of clever one-liners has earned Decker more than 16,000 Twitter followers, an almost unheard-of number for a Minor League player.
He also plays a little baseball. Before joining Team Israel for last year’s World Baseball Classic qualifiers, the 5-foot-11-inch, 220-pound slugger hit 29 home runs, the second-most among all Padres prospects. Twenty-five of them came with the San Antonio Missions (AA), where he and Jewish teammate Nate Freiman (24 HRs) terrorized opposing pitchers.
Jewish Baseball News recently e-mailed Decker a handful of questions. He’re how the UCLA alum responded.
JBN: According to Baseball America, you were the lead in a school play your senior year of high school and had to quickly change into baseball gear after one performance in order to get to a game on time. Is that true? And if so, what was the play?
Decker: I was in every play in high school. Starred in several. As for getting to the game on time, it was the other way around. Had a crowd of 1,200 at the theater, but my game went into extras. The second the game ended, had to sprint to the theater to get into wardrobe and get into character. The show [The Music Man] opened 45 minutes late.
JBN: Were you the inspiration for High School Musical?
Decker: Doubtful, but yes….
JBN: True or false: you recently let your Twitter followers pick your walk-up song from a list you’d created, and they chose the theme song from the British television show Dr. Who.
JBN: Do fans look at you funny when the song comes on?
Decker: I’m too busy getting all charged up by the song to notice.
JBN: In your first four seasons of Minor League ball, you played nearly every game either at First Base or in the outfield. Last month (4/21/2013), you played catcher for the first time. Is this something we should expect to see more of?
Decker: Yes. [Editor’s note: Padres staff recently decided to try Decker out at catcher after seeing him work a bullpen session.]
JBN: You’re 5-foot-11-inches tall. With the exception of Prince Fielder, who’s also 5’11”, all current Major League first basemen are taller. Is your height a disadvantage at that position?
Decker: So I’m told…. But I’ve yet to see any proof of that.
JBN: Last year, you and San Antonio Missions (AA) teammate Nate Freiman were among Texas League leaders in home runs with 25 and 24, respectively. Did you feel like Jewish superheroes?
Decker: We were Jewish superheroes…..We still are.
JBN: You played for Team Israel in 2012. What was it like to play with a whole team of Jews?
Decker: Best baseball experience of my life. It was a special bond we all had.
JBN: You have more than 16,000 Twitter followers, far above than the average Minor League. Your unique sense of humor has a lot to do with it. Are you just clever, or did someone accidentally swing a bat at your head when you were young?
JBN: During the off-season, you’ve been known to tend bar. What’s your favorite drink to make, and your favorite one to imbibe?
Decker: I enjoyed making an Old Fashioned…. The problem was I was the only one that would order it. I hated making shots.
JBN: According to your Tweets, you love watching movies. What is the dumbest baseball movie ever made?
JBN: Of the thousands of websites following Jewish baseball players, which one is the most fabulous?
Decker: There are other websites following Jewish baseball players?
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