MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
When Pfc. Anthony M. Prohaska takes the mound on a baseball diamond, he knows his teammates look to him as a leader and he feels the pressure of having the game in his hands.
When he walks into his shop, Prohaska, 21, from Fort Myers, Florida, demands the same effort and performance he brings to baseball.
In this interview Prohaska, an administrative specialist for the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, tells us where his passion for baseball comes from and how it helps him be a better Marine.
Q: What inspired you to join the Marine Corps?
A: I wanted to join ever since I was a little kid. My grandpa was in the military and that inspired me. My best friend was supposed to join with me, but then he got hurt so I decided to go to college and play baseball. Once I finished college, I decided to live out my dream.
Q: What drove you to be an administrative specialist?
A: It wasn’t something I chose, but I like it so far. It’s something different that will help me if I ever decide to get out.
Q: How does it feel to be coming to the MEU straight from your military occupational specialty school?
A: So far it’s been pretty [intense]. I got here at the right time. There’s a lot going on, and I’m trying to learn my job.
Q: Your job can be demanding, what do you do to relieve some of that pressure?
A: I like coming out here and playing baseball. Throw the ball around, and just have a good time.
Q: When did you first start playing baseball?
A: I first started playing baseball when I was about five, and I just stuck with it. I lived in Florida, so I’d play all year long. It grew on me and it became the sport I love. There’s something about being on this diamond every morning; you play hard, get dirty. It’s a passion that I love.
Q: What position did you play in college?
A: I played pitcher and catcher for Broward Community College, which was one of the top five junior colleges in the nation when I was playing with them.
Q: Pitching and catching seem to be polar opposites. How did you fall into those positions?
A: I started out as a pitcher. I have a strong arm and I was a natural. As I played later on, I was the only guy with a strong enough arm to throw to second base, so my coach made the switch.
Q: Do you have a specialty pitch?
A: Fastball. When I was in college I was pitching 94-96 mph.
Q: How long do you plan on continuing to play?
A: I’ll keep playing [baseball] as long as I can.
Q: Who was the most influential person when you first started playing?
A: My dad. He’s always there for me. He’s always pushing me to be the greatest player I can be. No matter what happens, he’s there to support me, give me tips when I was struggling, and he was always there.
Q: How do you apply what you bring to baseball to your job?
A: Being a leader. As a catcher I can see everything going on and I have to be in control and know what I’m doing. I bring that same enthusiasm to work. I try to push everyone to be better than what they are, because no matter where you are, it isn’t good enough. No matter how hard it gets, just never give up. Just keep trying. Sometimes it sucks, but you go to sleep at night and wake up to a brand new day.
For the Warrior Wednesday video on Prohaska, visit our YouTube page at: http://youtu.be/eNgvJQk7990