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Flashback Friday – Brian Gump 2008 Rochester Honker

Brian Gump – UC Santa Barbara
2008 Rochester Honkers
Photo of Brian at BCS National Championship Game

What’s your favorite memory while playing for the Rochester Honkers?
BG: Tons of great memories. Getting to play ball with and against so many talented players from all over in a minor league setting was great. Personally, robbing 2 home runs in one inning in center field at Mankato was pretty sweet.

What's your favorite non playing memory from your time with the Rochester Honkers (Host Family, Experience, Bus Ride, etc.)
BG: I'm split between watching Letterman and Conan and chatting after every home game with my lovely host mom Sonia Thorn and hanging out at the Rochester Athletic Club with all the teammates working out, playing basketball and relaxing and then there's my short time getting to do some color commentating on the radio when I was hurt at the end of the summer.

Who was your favorite teammate when you played for the Rochester Honkers and why?
BG: Thats a difficult one to answer. A few names come to mind, Devin Goodwin, Aaron Senne, Austin Wates, Eric Stephens, assistant coach Brent Biggs and Tony Ballesteri. Everyone on that team was solid. So much fun on and off the field.

What has happened to you since you left Rochester and what are you doing now?
BG: I was drafted again, this time in the 26th round by the Phillies, enjoyed playing a few years in their organization where I won 3 championship rings, got released, decided to try pitching professionally, did that for about a year and a half in Indy ball (even for the St. Paul Saints for a bit after being traded to them) and then hung up 'em up last June. Now I work at a PR firm, The Brand Amp (shameless plug I know) in Seal Beach, CA and coach a 12U travel team of great little men.

What was your biggest realization while playing for the Rochester Honkers?
BG:
My summer with the Honkers gave me my first real taste of what pro ball was going to be like and introduced me to "the grind" of playing every day and traveling non-stop in the heat of summer. Rochester was an excellent place to get that first taste and I left with very fond memories. I also fell in love with Minnesota, I've definitely got a soft spot for the state. I need to get back and take advantage of the great fishing finally.

Do you stay in contact with former teammates? If so, who?
BG:
I stay in loose contact with a few of the guys. I'm Facebook friends with several of them so it's easy to see what they are up to and drop them a note from time to time. I played against Goodwin in pro ball so that was cool too. I also give my host mom, Sonia, a call or two a year to check on her and see how her and family and grandson Teddy are doing.