Millersville University alum CHAS MCCORMICK ’17 received the call of a lifetime one day before the Major League Baseball playoffs began. On the phone was Dusty Baker, manager of the Houston Astros. McCormick was being added to the Astros’ roster for the playoffs. He became the first Marauder position player ever promoted to the majors. The 2020 season was a wild ride for McCormick. He made appearances in big league spring training before COVID-19 shut down the sport. With no minor leagues, McCormick spent portions of the summer shuttling to cities as part of the Astros’ taxi squad.
AS A PLAYER AT THE ALTERNATE SITE AND ON THE TAXI SQUAD, WHAT WAS YOUR LIFE LIKE DAY TO DAY?
My life at the alternate site was practice from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day in Corpus Christie, Texas, then isolating ourselves at our hotel for the rest of the day. We had our meals delivered to us and received
$25 a day with our $400 a week. We would play scrimmages every other day to keep us game ready. I was fortunate enough to travel with the big league team every other week on their road series for $100 per day.
HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT BEING SELECTED TO THE PLAYOFF ROSTER?
I traveled with the team on the very last road trip of the regular season, and as soon as the regular season ended, I got the call to the show that night! Dusty Baker called me and said. “we will be activating and adding you to the roster for the Wild Card and American League Division Series.” I was with some of my teammates at the time, so they all jumped on me and congratulated
me. Then I called my parents, girlfriend and a few friends, including coach Jon Shehan. It was the proudest moment of my life, and I almost cried that night.
HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR THE GAMES KNOWING THAT YOUR MLB DEBUT COULD COME ANY MOMENT?
I woke up every morning focused and eager because I knew I had a chance to play in my first big league game this year. I made sure when I got to the field, to look at
scouting reports of the pitchers we would be facing that day, go over some defensive shifts and, most importantly, be ready to run, staying loose all day. You cannot make any mistakes at this level, especially in the postseason, so you cannot afford to make any mental errors or not be physically ready. Emotions were high as well; you must find a way to control that. Every time the game would get to the fifth or sixth inning, the backups would go into
the weight room or cage and activate our bodies and minds as quickly as possible. You prepare before the game and prepare afterthe game.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE EXPERIENCING THE PLAYOFFS FROM INSIDE THE DUGOUT?
Being inside the dugout was amazing. You look onto the field and notice how bright it is out there. As the game goes on, you just think it’s another baseball game you have been playing for most of your life. Then you
see Nelson Cruz at the plate or Zack Greinke on the mound and realize this is not just a regular baseball game; it is the show. Even though I was sitting on the bench, you must watch every single pitch carefully because
every pitch matters and will determine the outcome of the game. At all times you must know what is going on every second of the game, because at the Major League level, the game is so fast. You rarely see any mistakes during these games, so you must be ready. The cool thing about transitioning from minor leagues to the big leagues is in the big leagues, winning is all that matters.
HOW DID YOUR TIME AT MILLERSVILLE PREPARE YOU FOR A CAREER AS A PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER?
Millersville is such a good baseball program and how Coach Shehan ran our agendas every day for four years could not have gotten me any more ready. With the competitive teammates I had and all the successful seasons we had as a group, it was evident Shehan was getting us ready for life after college. Coach Shehan did a great job with making sure our team had a plan every day to make sure we were ready for anything to come our way. He would always preach about the little things, and he could not have been more right. I thank Jon Shehan, Millersville Athletics and the University for preparing me for my career as a professional baseball player.