Chaz Bagwell, VSU baseball utility player, recently saw his chances of playing professionally evaporate after having double-hip surgery.
Since then, his body conditions have greatly improved and he is now helping his team win games with his newfound role. Last year, Bagwell had a tremendous freshman season, batting .324 on the season.
Although his numbers this season are less than spectacular, especially because of the injuries, he has much faith that his teammates will continue to steer the team in the right direction.
The Spectator’s Eric Jackson recently sat down with Bagwell, who spoke about his feeling on the Blazers, his career after surgery and more.
Eric Jackson (or The Spectator): Chaz, what’s your major?
Chaz Bagwell: “I’m double majoring in business management and marketing.”
EJ (TS): Where do you see yourself in a few years?
CB: “Just the way my body feels and everything, I’m probably going to be in the business world hopefully.”
EJ: How much has the surgery impacted your future plans?
CB: “To be honest with you, it practically shut them down. Before I had the surgery I couldn’t get out of the bed under my own power. I would have to ice bath after every practice, every game. As far as my future plans go, scouts hear you had double-hip surgery, it doesn’t look good.”
EJ: What is wrong with your hip exactly?
CB: “I had both my labrums on both sides torn, which is pretty much what everybody hears A-Rod [Alex Rodriguez] had. The top of my femur head had bone spurs and jagged edges on it. I had 10 degrees of movement when the average is probably 45 or 50.”
EJ: When did you notice there was a problem?
CB: “My freshman year of high school I really started noticing it, and it just got worse and worse. I didn’t stretch right. When you’re in high school all you’re playing for is Friday night.”
EJ: How has the game physically been different since the surgery?
CB: “My speed has been unbelievably impacted in a positive way, able to swing harder, run faster. Everything has been awesome.”
EJ: Are you playing much less?
CB: “I can’t play more than about two or three games in a row. Coach will get me off about every third or fourth game, or I’ll only play five or six innings.”
EJ: What do you do on a daily basis to make sure of a full recovery?
CB: “Stretching every time a commercial comes on, after or before working out, before or after a run. I’m in the training room every day. I’m just doing what I got to do.”
EJ: What’s your nickname given to you by your teammates?
CB: “Bags or Buff”
EJ: What do you normally do before games to get yourself mentally ready?
CB: “I’m real spiritual. I would consider myself a pretty strong religious guy. I get into the Word a lot. Football was different, but baseball I ain’t got to get all hyped up. I got a little devotional thing in my locker I like to read.”
EJ: You guys have a better record away than at home, why is that?
CB: “Dude, it’s hard to say. Sometimes we got to ride the bus 10 or 11 hours away, and getting off the bus pretty much showing and going. Not to mention we don’t play in front of thousands of people, there are a couple of hundred at our games on a good day.”
EJ: So how does that make you feel about VSU baseball fans?
CB: “I think the community around here is awesome. Everybody’s got their own Adopt-A-Blazer, which is people who donate money and kind of adopt us a family away from our own. They’re awesome.”
EJ: How have you changed since you’ve joined this club and put under the wing of Coach Greg Guilliams?
CB: “I was a little boy coming in here, straight out of high school. I thought I was bad to the bone. He basically slapped me with reality, rode me since the day I got here just to see how bad I wanted it and turned me into a man.”
EJ: How has it been being assigned this position, where at any given time you could be sent to play inside or outside the diamond?
CB: “I grew up playing the infield, never played the outfield a day in my life. Leading up to the surgery, I couldn’t squat for ground balls. I still play some infield now; just the outfield is a lot easier on the hips.”
EJ: Overall how do you feel about the team at this point?
CB: “As of now a lot better than I did. You bring in 20 something new guys, it’s tough man. I think our commodity and chemistry has gotten a lot better.”