By Jesse Cook (Correspondent).
Sharon High School alum Jake Fishman has moved on from our small town and into the world of professional baseball. He’s a pitcher in the Toronto Blue Jays minor league system for the Gulf Coast Blue Jays, and was a reserve for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic.
Fishman, who is currently preparing for the upcoming season in the Jays’ farm system, relishes his professional opportunity.
“Minor League Baseball is tough; there’s no other way to describe it,” he said. “It’s long days, hard work, long bus rides, ugly hotels, low pay, and you’re fighting your teammates to win a spot at the next level. Even with all of that, it’s still the best job ever and I wouldn’t trade any other job for it,” Fishman added.
Although upward mobility in the baseball farm system is difficult and can take years, Fishman is grateful.
“Minor League Baseball has been a great experience so far. The skills you learn during it are not baseball specific. These are things that will help you throughout your entire life no matter what job you work,” Fishman said.
Last year, Fishman pitched seven games, recording one loss, a 4.80 Earned Run Average, and 13 strikeouts. For seven games, those are rather impressive numbers: that means that in the 15 innings he’s thrown, he’s averaging about one strikeout per inning.
In addition to his minor league gig, Fishman was a reserve for Team Isreal in the World Baseball Classic.
While Israel tragically lost in Tokyo to Team Japan, who lost to the United States in the semifinals in Los Angeles, they made in improbable run into the quarterfinals. Fishman dd not travel with the team, but may have gotten called up if Isreal advanced further.
At Spring Training in Dunedin, Florida, Fishman says there is value in a reserve role.
“As a reserve, you unfortunately don’t get to travel with the team,” he stated. “The way it works is if somebody gets injured, then they can call you to take their place. Also, if they advance rounds, they can get one or two replacements from their reserve list,” Fishman said.
The United States ended up beating Puerto Rico in the WBC Championship after Isreal’s remarkable run petered off in the quarterfinals. In four years, Isreal will look to pick up where it left off, possibly with Fishman on the active roster.
Fishman attributes much of his athletic success to his experiences at Sharon High, playing under coach Joel Peckham.
“We were always the underdogs at Sharon, one of the smallest schools in the Hockomock going up against the big division one schools. It taught me to fight against bigger, stronger, faster guys and to not care who’s at the plate. You have to pitch everybody like they are the best hitter or else they’ll beat you.”
While Sharon is renowned for its students’ academic success, Jake Fishman is the living embodiment of how Sharon has had great success in building character in its students and athletes.