Foli shares a moment with dear ol’ dad

LAKELAND, Fla. — When you ask a baseball player to recall the most memorable moment of his career, you’re sure to get many of the same answers time after time.

For most, the first appearance in the big leagues is a big one. For others, it’s their first hit or strikeout in professional baseball.

Not for Dan Foli.

The right-handed relief pitcher’s fondest memory in his baseball career came when he played for the man who was the reason he started playing the game in the first place — his father. Dan Foli earned a promotion to Triple-A New Orleans with the Washington Nationals in 2006 and was managed by his father, Tim “Crazy Horse” Foli, who enjoyed a 16-year career in the major leagues with various teams.

Now Dan Foli, 27, is in camp with the York Revolution and will be counted on as one of the Revs’ prominent relievers in the late innings. The former Harrisburg Senator has a three-quarters delivery and throws a sinker, slider and change-up. He credits dear-ol’ dad for giving him the drive he has today.

“Playing for him was like being at the house, but he gets a little more fired up when you don’t do stuff right,” Foli said after he threw 35 pitches in live batting practice on Tuesday. “He does it (gets fired up) because it’s his job and he’s passionate. It was a good experience and going into my eighth year he was never around, so it was good to be back with him. I felt like a little kid again, I guess you could say.”

Foli spent spring training with the Nationals this spring, so he’s currently in about his seventh week of spring training. He had about a week off after his release from Washington and joined the Revolution after creating a relationship with Adam Gladstone, the Revs’ director of baseball operations, last season.

The Jacksonville, Fla. native was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs and has also played in the New York Mets’ organization. He was a starter previously, but was moved to a relief role to make way for the young starting prospects he was competing with in the minors.

“It didn’t bother me because I can throw every day,” Foli said of moving to the bullpen. “I guess I have a rubber arm and as long as I got to pitch, I was happy. I just want to show what I can do. I can close, set up, I’ve done it all.”

Foli struggled a bit with his control last season between Double-A and Triple-A (27 walks in 39 innings), but he’s anxious to get back on the mound and get his season started.

“I’m definitely ready to get going,” he said. “I’ve done enough of the fundamentals, enough of the live batting practice. I’m ready to get the crowd involved and win some baseball games.”

Fun Weather Facts: According to Tuesday’s Lakeland Ledger, the temperatures this week in the area have set record lows for this time of year. Two unusually strong wind fronts are the culprit, and Wednesday should be another record-setting day for chilliness. Makes you think what workouts in York might feel like, right?

*Photo by Dispatch photographer Bill Kalina.

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2 Responses

  1. What’s up with the uniforms? Is that some sort of Orioles tribute?

  2. You got it!

    I hear that there was talk of blue lettering on the practice unis, but management sure likes to beat you over the head with the O’s connection.

    Another strange thing: these are batting practice warmups, so presumably they’ll be used on the road. Shouldn’t there be York on there somewhere?

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