Detroit Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris says, jokingly, he’ll play center field if that’s what it takes to start this year.
The man wants to play baseball and he’s felt that way throughout the novel coronavirus pandemic, even sneaking out to throw balls against a chain-link fence in a post-illness, 27-day, symptom-free waiting period last year before he was allowed to join the season.
Ahead of pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training Wednesday, Norris spoke with the Free Press about his experience recovering from COVID-19, what he learned about himself and the season ahead.
Norris’ story can be accessed Wednesday through a Detroit Free Press subscription, in print, or for free on the “We Lived It” podcast.
“We Lived It” is produced by the Free Press in partnership with the Michigan History Center and aims to bring people together, while still socially distanced, with stories of life during the pandemic. The stories are then archived for future generations.
Norris’ story can be heard on “We Lived It” on Spotify, on the Apple Podcasts app, through Google or Alexa devices (Say “Alexa” or “Hey Google,” and “play the ‘We Lived It’ podcast”), and on freep.com.
Norris described the new atmosphere at the clubhouse when he returned to play and discussed how he kept sane and motivated in the interim.
“It taught me a lot about myself, dating back to the day spring training got shut down,” he said. “I was like, ‘All right, what now?'”
Everybody has their own story of living through the pandemic. Share your tale, big or small, by leaving a 3-minute telling at 313-288-0370 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written stories, videos and photos can be submitted through the Michigan History Center’s project webpage, by emailing archives@Michigan.gov or by using the hashtag #MICOVID19Story on public Twitter or Instagram accounts, or the center’s Facebook page.
Darcie Moran is a breaking news reporter and podcaster for the Detroit Free Press. She’s served as an investigative reporter and covered justice issues, crime, protests, wildfires and government affairs. Contact Moran: email@example.com. Twitter: @darciegmoran.