is a professional Baseball player in the Baltimore Orioles
Thank you for agreeing to this interview for the members of Baseball Nation.
I'd like to start off with a few baseball related questions:
Q: Baseball Nation - After spending your entire career, up to this point, in the National League, what will be your biggest challenge in adjusting to American League play.... more specifically, the AL East?
A: Derrek Lee - I think the biggest adjustment will be learning the pitchers. Just not being familiar with them and what they like to throw.
Q: Baseball Nation - Is there one person in your career as a baseball player (fellow player/manager/coach) who had a significant impact on the way you approach the game? Why?
A: Derrek Lee - I would say Greg Vaughn. He is from my hometown and I had the opportunity to workout with him in the offseasons. His work ethic in the winter really opened my eyes to what type of dedication it took to be a professional.
Q: Baseball Nation - Outside of the World Series, do you have a favorite game or moment in your career?
A: Derrek Lee - Wow. Tough question. I will say my first All-Star game when I was leading vote getter for NL. That was a special moment.
Q: Baseball Nation - Why Baltimore? What were the factors for you going with this particular team?
A: Derrek Lee - To be honest I chose Baltimore for a lot of selfish reasons. With incentives they offered the most money. Baltimore is a great place to hit. And they seemed to want me more than the other teams who were involved. That being said, I am really excited to play with the group of young talent they have put together. As well as play for Buck, whom I hear is one of the smartest managers around.
Q: Baseball Nation - You'll be a veteran on a young team. What can you teach the players coming into the game today?
A: Derrek Lee - Not so much teach, but guide and be an example. I will try and instill how important it is to show up ready to play every single day. And everyone has to be committed to the same goal, which takes a lot of sacrifice.
Q: Baseball Nation - Where do you see the Orioles in 2011?
A: Derrek Lee - Surprising a lot of people and enjoying doing it.
Q: Baseball Nation - This will hopefully be a long ways out but do you have any interest in coaching or broadcasting when your career is over?
A: Derrek Lee - No. If I was to coach it would be younger kids.
Moving on to the 1st Touch Foundation, I have a few questions that will hopefully result in members here reaching out to help:
Q: Baseball Nation - What was the catalyst, for those who don't know, for starting the 1st Touch Foundation?
A: Derrek Lee - Our main reason for starting the foundation was to help children in the inner cities. Specifically with education. With the circumstances of my daughter(she is doing great) we were taken into a different direction. That became project 3000 and trying to fight against blindness. My daughter was misdiagnosed with LCA(a blinding disease in infants) but we continue our fight against it.
Q: Baseball Nation - What is your major goal/project for your foundation right now?
A: Derrek Lee - Well we continue to try and raise money and awareness for LCA through Project 3000. We are helping homeless families through our Athletes Closet, and we continue to help children with their education through scholarship grants and other programs.
Q: Baseball Nation - How can people best help the 1st Touch Foundation?
A: Derrek Lee - The best thing to do is to go to our website at 1sttouch.org and look around. We appreciate any type of help someone may feel led to offer.
Thank you again sir. Good luck this season and I hope you accomplish all of your goals this year with the team.