HUDSON, Texas (KTRE) - San Francisco Giant First basemen Brandon Belt is in a place he has not been since his college years, at home in the middle of June.
“It is different,” Belt said. “I haven’t felt this heat in a long time. It is a time I have been able to spend with my family, go fish with my boys and do activities that I haven’t done in a very long time.”
Earlier this week the MLBPA agreed to have players back in their home cities and ready to start an accelerated training camp on July 1, with games starting on July 22. MLB teams will play 60 games over a 66 day period. Teams will play the majority of their games against their own division and then meet up with their sister-division in the other league. For instance the American League West Division would play the National League West division.
“Going into spring training earlier this year this was the best I felt in maybe four years. Physically I feel great. For people feeling a little bit more I think a 60 game schedule could help.”
Belt, ready to play his ninth season with the Giants, is coming off a season where trade talks dominated the news. He is eager to get into camp ready to go and prove why he is still a good veteran to keep around. Belt has been constantly training while at home, just waiting on the call that the season was back on.
“I just wanted to be ready to jump in right away,” Belt said. “Get in there and hit baseballs, take ground balls and do whatever I have to do. Before you can work your way into that with spring training. You had time to do that. Mentally I am in the right spot and physically I feel great so I think that’s going to meet up and make for a great season.”
Belt is all about baseball. From his days at Hudson high, to winning a World Series in 2012 and 2014 to recent years helping out the younger guys, Belt loves the game of baseball and is just ready to once again step back out on the diamond.
“I know I love baseball but you realize how much you love it and miss it when it is not there,” Belt said. “It could be foreshadowing to what it is going to be like when you have to retire. Hopefully that is a few years down the road. It has helped me realize that I cannot play this game forever and I need to enjoy and take serious these last years that I have.”