02 Nov GETTING TO KNOW ATLANTA BRAVES CATCHER TRAVIS D’ARNAUD
Name: Travis Emmanuel d’Arnaud
Born: February 10, 1989 (age 32 years) in Long Beach, CA
MLB debut: August 17, 2013, for the New York Mets
2021 Salary: $8 million
Ex-Met Travis d’Arnaud, a nine-year MLB veteran, is again thriving on the postseason stage, where he memorably walloped a solo home run in Game 1 of the 2015 National League Championship Series in which his Mets swept the Cubs. After hitting .220 during a ‘21 regular season for the Atlanta Braves limited by a thumb injury, d’Arnaud is batting .256 in the postseason and is 5-for-12 against the Astros in the World Series.
What is it like playing in Atlanta?
I love it. I mean, it’s a baseball town. Everybody loves baseball here. It’s crazy.
What drives you?
A World Series ring.
Have you visualized what winning a World Series would be like?
I have visualized it for a little bit, and I already started shivering and getting goosebumps. That’s how crazy it would be. I know the city loves its sports teams, and when they win, it’s an indescribable feeling, and the city just goes crazy.
Do you think the Braves are going all the way this year?
I do. I’m sure everybody else on the team as well.
Do you have any superstitions?
If I have a bowl of chicken teriyaki and I get two hits, or three hard-hit balls, you better believe the next day I’m going to that same chicken teriyaki place at the same exact time.
Any personal goals for this year?
My personal goal is to stay healthy all year, that’s my first one. My second one is to make the World Series, and my third one is to become a better teammate and a better friend to all my teammates on my team.
How do you deal with the high expectations for you?
I just try not to think about it. It’s the game of baseball. There’s a pitcher, there’s a catcher, there’s the hitter, there’s nine people on the field. … It’s a game. I try to look at it that way, and just try to have fun with it. It’s not gonna last forever, for anybody, so I’m just gonna enjoy this wave and have fun and always have a smile on my face.
Biggest baseball influence on you growing up?
Definitely gotta be my older brother, Chase. I pretty much followed his footsteps growing up. He played baseball, I was like, “All right, I’m gonna play baseball.” When he was 10 and I was 8, I would go out there with his team and practice with him.
Who were your favorite players growing up?-
I was a Dodger fan. My brother was an Angel fan. I was a Mike Piazza guy.
Best piece of advice your mother or father gave you?
Do what you love. That you didn’t want to wake up every day dreading doing what you did every single day for your life. Fortunately for me, I fell in love with baseball at a young age and I’ve been doing it ever since.
If you could pick the brain of one catcher in the history of the MLB, who would it be?
Yogi Berra. I’d like to try to pick the brain of the best catcher of all time. It’s between him and Yadier Molina, I think. Honestly, Yogi Berra has had more playing time as of now, so why not have Yogi Berra? I would love to ask him how to handle a staff, like what he did, like how he prepared for games … what type of pitcher was his favorite pitcher to catch. … It’s so hard to put words in my mouth for how great of a catcher Yogi Berra actually was.
Do you describe yourself as a goofball?
I just like to have fun out in the field with my teammates, and I just try to not take life too seriously, you know? Enjoy every minute of it, and I’m riding this wave. I’m gonna enjoy every minute of it.
When I’ve spoken with different starting pitchers on your team in New York, they’ve always given you loads of credit when they performed well. How does that make you feel?-
It’s one of the best feelings in the world. I would love it for a pitcher to want to throw to me. Some catchers just, ya know, they catch ‘cause they can hit, no defensive thing. But, I think catching is more of a defensive position than offensive. But when the whole pitching staff enjoys throwing to you, they feel comfortable, they probably throw better.
What kind of catcher is Travis d’Arnaud?
Just a very team-oriented catcher who loves the game of baseball, and is gonna work his tail off to try to get a win every single day, and wants to make the playoffs.