(Clarinda) -- The Clarinda A’s regular season is winding down, but the Meet the A’s series continues today with one of the fan favorites this summer.
Catcher Ryan Gamboa comes to Clarinda from the Academy of Art in San Francisco, California, and he’s quickly gained a reputation as one of the most engaging players on the team.
“Everybody has welcomed me with open arms here,” Gamboa said. “I look at a lot of these young kids at our games, and I was one of them. My dad coached the high school legion team in town and growing up I remember all I wanted to do was be like the big boys.
“I just wanted to be part of their group and be just like them. They were major leaguers to me, and I think that’s how a lot of these kids look to you when you’re on a team like this. We’re the closest thing they have to Major League Baseball. I always just try and pay attention to them. I just remember being in their shoes and always wanted the attention from the older boys. I think that’s the least I can do.”
While Gamboa has been one of the most popular players off the field, he’s also been doing plenty of work on the field. The Red Bluff, California native was one of seven A’s to play in the MINK League All-Star Game.
“It was a really great honor,” Gamboa said. “It was a long road trip, but it was well worth it. I’d never really got an honor for athletics. I was mainly more of an academic player, but it was awesome to be recognized. It was a big game. I got to start and got to catch some great pitchers in this league.”
According to the MINK League website, Gamboa is hitting .357/.453/.543 in 86 plate appearances, driving in 20 runs on seven doubles and two home runs.
“It’s been a great experience,” he said. “Everybody around me has definitely helped me hone in my craft. I had a rough year in the spring and to come out here and step away from everything to just have fun and play the game has been great for me. I’ve started to get comfortable in the box and rack up quality at bats.
“Most importantly, the pitching staff has made my job easy. It’s been a walk in the park for me. They fill up the zone, they have good stuff and can throw anything in any count at any time. That makes it more fun for me to catch.”
Check out the A’s again on Wednesday night at home against the Des Moines Peak Prospects. The MINK League matchup is slated to begin at 7:00 PM. And listen to the full interview with Gamboa from Wednesday’s UFR below.
PREVIOUS MEET THE A'S FEATURES