Tyler Flowers says he has no hard feelings against the Braves.
Flowers, who had his No. 21 baseball jersey retired by Blessed Trinity this week, made his major-league debut with the Chicago White Sox last September.
He was drafted by the hometown (and his beloved) Braves in 2005 and considered one of the organization’s most promising players before being traded to Chicago as part of the deal for Javier Vazquez just over a year ago.
“Being born and raised in the Atlanta area, I was just like every other kid who wanted to play for the hometown team, whether it be baseball, football or even hockey,” Flowers said.
“It was a dream of mine to play for the Braves. It was also a dream to play for the Falcons. But you never know what life has in store for you. Ultimately, (the trade) was a great move for my career.”
However, Flowers admitted that it took a little time to adjust to the shock of the trade.
“It was tough at first. Being a minor-league guy, with no experience in the majors, you kind of feel pulled around. But when I had time to sit back and analyze it, teams trade for players because they want them.
“Chicago wanted me and felt like I could help them. It definitely fired me up to work as hard I could to get up (to the majors) … it all worked out for the best.”
The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Flowers got his first big-league hit against the Royals on Sept. 19 in his first start. It was a big relief for Flowers, who had gone hitless in four previous game appearances as a pinch-hitter.
“It was haunting me … I’m glad to get it out of the way,” Flowers said with a laugh.
Where does Flowers see himself fitting in with the White Sox for next season?
“That’s a good question,” he said. “I’m preparing as if I’ll be the starting catcher. Whether or not it happens, I don’t know. But that’s the goal. If that doesn’t happen, then I’ll be the backup catcher. If they (Chicago) don’t want that, then I’ll go get ready in Triple A.”
Flowers is the first Blessed Trinity athlete to have his jersey retired. “He made the right move with baseball, but I would’ve liked to have seen what would’ve happened if Tyler had played college football,” said Ricky Turner, the school’s athletics director. “He was really, really good in football.”
Flowers (10-15 pounds heavier in high school) was offered a football scholarship at fullback by Wisconsin and drew the interest of several other schools, including Auburn and Georgia, before declaring his baseball intentions.