If you followed today’s spring training opener, you surely know the name Colin Curtis. In his third big league camp, Curtis hit the walk-off home run that beat the Pirates today at George M. Steinbrenner Field. He’s been hitting for a lot power lately, having just led the Arizona Fall League with a .731 slugging percentage.
What was that feeling like today?
Curtis: It felt really good. Coming in, it’s the first day, so you’re going out there basically just trying to get your timing down and get everything going. To be able to come through and win a ball game with a walk-off home run, any time you do that is a good feeling, especially in the first big league spring training game. It was really fun… Before the game you saw everybody that came out. We kind of had all of those festivities from last year so it was a good vibe going into today. Everybody was happy to get going and playing against someone from the opposite team. To get off to a win in kind of exciting fashion, it was pretty fun.
The numbers in Arizona were so good. What were you doing out there?
Curtis: The last few years I’ve spent so much time thinking about what I’m doing hitting, I just haven’t been very consistent. I actually went back and threw on high school video tape and tried to get back to how I swing naturally and not really think about it. I went down there with one swing and didn’t make any adjustments, just focused on seeing the ball. I was just going to give it a shot, see how it worked out, and it ended up I was really successful. I’m just trying to stay with that approach.
When you looked at old tape, did you change anything yourself?
Curtis: Yeah, it was a lot different. It was kind of funny. You get going and you make a little tweak here and then another tweak, and pretty soon it’s completely different. I just kind of tried to go back to what I do naturally. Not try to get any mechanics out of it.
What did you notice? What is it you do naturally?
Curtis: When you’re hitting, you have kind of a feel. Sometimes you kind of lose that feel when you’re trying to do things mechanically. I was just seeing how I swing. I think I can pick out things that are kind of hard to articulate. I kind of see how I went about it, and the smooth and the feel that I had. I was trying to find that and get that back. I went down to the Fall League with that intention and it turned out to work really well.
Who were you a fan of growing up?
Curtis: I’m from Seattle, so I was a big Griffey fan. Growing up, I feel like everybody watches their home team and then the Yankees. There’s tons of other teams. You’re always cheering for your home team, but every day you’re watching the Yankees. I watched guys like Jeter when I was younger, and A-Rod when he was coming up with Seattle. These are guys you’ve been watching since you were little, and then you have an opportunity to play with them.