Baseball: ThunderBolts have Oklahoma connection
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media July 6, 2014 6:48PM
Windy City ThunderBolts players (from left) Garrett Carey, Jake Fisher and Max White were college teammates at the University of Oklahoma. | Supplied photo
Updated: July 13, 2014 4:36PM
Garrett Carey, Jake Fisher and Max White finished their collegiate careers together at the University of Oklahoma in 2013.
Fast forward a little over a year and the trio has formed an unlikely reunion 800 miles away in Crestwood.
All three are members of the Windy City ThunderBolts.
“It’s really exciting for us,” Fisher said. “We became really good friends at OU. A lot of people don’t get this opportunity after college to play with really good friends and close teammates.”
The three definitely stand out in the T-Bolts clubhouse, which is filled with players from across the country and has no other set of college teammates.
“There’s a lot of jokes being made,” White said. “If we’re ever around each other, people are calling us the ‘Boomer Sooner squad.’ It’s a lot of fun.”
The three are able to gang up in any war of words with T-Bolts veteran Mike Torres, an alum of rival Texas.
“Mike always has something to say,” Carey said.
Fisher was the only one of the three to play last summer after the college season ended. He was picked by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 22nd round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft and pitched in 16 games at rookie ball before being released in the offseason.
He signed with the T-Bolts on March 11, and White saw an opportunity.
“I was working for OU baseball and I heard Jake was going to play some independent ball and I was like, ‘Hey, man, if you get a chance, I still feel like I can play some ball, spread the word for me,’ ” White said. “He did. We actually drove up here together from Oklahoma.”
Carey completed the trio when he was signed June 17.
“If I was going to name-drop a couple of guys, it was definitely going to be these two,” Fisher said.
Carey began his rookie season after not playing for a full year.
“I was working in oil and I missed baseball too much,” he said. “The T-Bolts provided an opportunity for me and I’m embracing it. It’s very exciting so far.”
Though the three all have struggled at times — through Thursday Fisher was 2-6 with a 5.32 ERA and White and Carey were hitting .202 and .091, respectively — it’s helped having the support of close friends.
“It’s all about being comfortable in the clubhouse,” White said. “This is our third year together, all three of us. It’s not like I have to make my way into a friendship.”
The three share an apartment and say they’re making sure to enjoy every day of playing together.
“We’re soaking up all the time we get together and embracing it,” Carey said. “There’s no telling when our last game together will be, so we’re just going to have fun and enjoy it.”