October 23, 2010 by staff
Colby Lewis, East Asia has long been a place to look to the wisdom and truth. Some of the world’s greatest thinkers – Confucius, Sun Tzu, Miyamoto Musashi – created shocking philosophies that changed the way of thinking about religion, war and even life itself. Colby Lewis did not travel to Japan to discover a new perspective or belief system. He came just to support his family.
Lewis, then 28 years, signed with the Hiroshima Carp after failing with his fifth different major league team. Originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in the first round in 1999, Lewis spent three years in the minors before finally making the big club in 2002. The Rangers stayed patient with Lewis, giving him three years. He could not deliver, going 12-13 with only one earned run average nearly seven years.
After the Rangers released him in 2004, Lewis was claimed off waivers by the Detroit Tigers. He appeared in only two games and pitched a total of three innings before being released in 2006. Lewis then signed with the Washington Nationals after the season, but even arrive in early 2007 in the capital. His fourth stop in the majors, this time with the Oakland Athletics, was almost as good as the first time in Texas. Lewis allowed 27 runs in 37.2 innings as reliever and was placed on waivers again. The Royals shot Lewis in November, and then released him a month later. After five teams without sustained success, Lewis thought his days as an important member was settled.
“To tell me that would be in this situation two years ago, when I thought [about] the end of my career in Japan, I would have said it would be crazy,” said Lewis. “But it’s a situation where I’m totally grateful, and grateful for the opportunity it gave me the Rangers to come back and continue to show my talent here in the United States. You know, I just want to go out and do what I’ve been doing all year – trying to give a quality start and left in the hands of the hitters. ”
In order to find stable income as a baseball player, Lewis traveled to the Land of the Rising Sun and signed with the Hiroshima Carp. Launching in Japan gave Lewis a new appreciation for the game and taught him how to be a pitcher instead of a player with talent it produces.
After two years in Japan, Lewis began to gain the attention of major league scouts. Despite its disappointing past with the organization, Texas general manager Jon Daniels gave Lewis a second chance in the majors. Daniels went so far as to give Lewis a two-year contract, an unusual step for a player who flamed like a pro and had no history of sustained success. Although Lewis did not impress with his win and losses this season, everyone who watched the Rangers saw how much she had improved. His ERA was the second lowest in the starting staff. His WHIP was down only Cliff Lee.
Everything came full circle of Lewis in the ALCS American League. The 31-year-old Lewis won two starts against the Yankees, allowing just three runs and nine hits in 13.2 innings. A complete line of all-star hit only .214 against the veteran officer who has been literally around the world and back.
While Lewis has changed his approach to pitching and increased aggressiveness in Japan, also learned to take everything in stride. Even after throwing eight innings and almost perfect dressage most dangerous lineup in baseball for the second time in a week, Lewis did not seem overwhelmed or amazed at the time. He admitted to being caught in the moment at a point in the game, however.
“I have a little overamped when he said my name. It was very, very well,” said Lewis. “I’m speechless. I never thought I’d be in this position.”
Life is a winding road full of twists and turns in the end not even take us to our desired destination. Two years ago, Major League Baseball was a distant memory and the dream faded from Colby Lewis. Now he lives in a state even beyond your wildest dreams.
It is a testament to take advantage of second chances and persevere in adversity. After stops in Detroit, Washington, Oakland, Kansas City, Japan, Colby Lewis is back at home and better than ever.
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