Just call him the man in the van.
Daniel Norris is one of baseball’s top-ranked prospects, but he certainly doesn’t live like one. The 21-year-old Toronto Blue Jays pitcher signed to play with the organization out of high school, earning a $2 million signing bonus for inking the deal, yet he willingly calls a 1978 Volkswagen van home during the offseason.
The Johnson City, Tenn., native told ESPN he bought “Shaggy” for just $10,000 as a way to not only prepare for the 162-game season, but also to escape the pressures that come along with being a promising star. After leading the minors in strikeouts per nine innings last year, Norris is well on his way to cementing a spot in the Blue Jays’ rotation in 2015.
“It’s like a yin-and-yang thing for me,” he told ESPN. “I’m not going to change who I am just because people think it’s weird. The only way I’m going to have a great season is by starting out happy and balanced and continuing to be me. It might be unconventional, but to feel good about life I need to have some adventure.”
Unconventional might be an understatement. VICE Sports recently traveled down to Florida to Blue Jays spring training to spend a few days with Norris, who spends his time away from the diamond doing pull-ups in a Wal-Mart parking lot, cooking on his portable stove and wearing a flashlight on his head while he writes in his journal.
Check out VICE’s short documentary in the video below.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@STACKMedia