BY JEFF FALK
QUENTIN – Success hasn’t spoiled Derek Fisher. In fact, it has had just the opposite effect on him.
Success has helped Derek Fisher mature, to become a better person, to become the man he was meant to be.
Still basking in the glow of the Houston Astros’ World Series championship, Fisher made a personal appearance at Fairview Golf Course’s pavilion on Saturday afternoon. The event was attended by a couple of hundred local fans, friends and members of his family.
Fisher, a 24-year-old outfielder with the Astros and a 2011 graduate of Cedar Crest, signed autographs, interacted with acquaintances and posed for photographs as part of a fundraiser for charity. Throughout the event, Fisher was warm, accommodating and polite.
“I like to be that way all the time,” said Fisher of his friendly nature. “It’s something I don’t think about. I was always that kid who wanted an autograph, who asked a lot of questions. The person I am today reflects on the people I grew up around. To be able to give back is pretty special.
“It’s (Lebanon) a small place. It’s a special place,” continued Fisher. “Fairvew has always been really special to me. It (the turnout) was more than I expected. It’s pretty cool to be able to reconnect with people. They’ve been a big part of my life, since I was a little kid. I wanted to be that guy who puts smiles on people’s faces.”
The year 2017 has been a bit of a whirlwind for Fisher. It began with a successful Houston Astros’ training camp in West Palm Beach, Florida in March.
It included stints with the Class AAA Fresno Grizzlies of the Pacific Coast League, a June call-up to Houston and subsequent demotion and 53 total games with the Astros. And it culminated in Los Angles last month with a World Series crown.
“It was the best season of my life, with all the accolades and the things that happened,” said Fisher. “To be able to have those opportunities, it’s very special. It’s (the last month) been fun. I’ve attended different sporting events. To be able to reflect on it with teammates on a daily basis has been incredible.
“I’ve made a lot of adjustments to get where I wanted to go,” added Fisher. “But being topped off by a World Series title, you can’t describe it.”
Though Fisher was pleased to be able to contribute to the Astros’ world championship, he’s never satisfied. Of course the highlight for him was scoring the winning run from second base in Houston’s pivotal 13-12, ten-inning victory over the Dodgers in Game Five.
“You feel like you’re running under water,” said Fisher of that special moment. “It was an opportunity I’ve been working for, for a long time.
“You want to contribute,” Fisher added. “You want to do everything you can. You want to be the best player you can be. You just want to contribute to a team as good as our’s.”
Though the past season may have been the best of Fisher’s career, even better things may be yet to come. Fisher became a World Series champion even before his official rookie season.
“Everyday we would win, the atmosphere inside our four walls, it was just a lot of fun,” said Fisher. “(Houston catcher) Brian McCann would say every time, ‘This team isn’t normal.’ It’s not something that happens all the time. The type of team we had was special.”
“I can say I’m a World Series champion,” continued Fisher. “But I can’t say I’ve made it. To say ‘I made it’, absolutely not. I want to get better everyday. You can never figure out this game.”
Fisher is the first Lebanon County native to play in the Major Leagues in more than 70 years. He is also believed to be the only local native to win a World Series ring as a player.
“It’s crazy how little down time there is for professional athletes,” said Fisher, who is about to begin training as part of preparation for the 2018 season. ” A lot of it is continuing to do the things you can do. What’s crazy is you can go from the the minor leagues to a World Series champion. It’s all about hard work. But I got to watch some of the best players in the world on a daily basis.
“When you understand the business, you can only control what you can control,” Fisher continued. “Quite frankly, you don’t always know what team you’re going to be on. You’ve just got to be able to be a better baseball player. In the grand scheme, it’s all you can do.”
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Derek Fisher’s Career Statistics
|2014 [-]||2 teams||-||Minors||42||155||31||48||65||5||3||2||18||17||1||35||17||4||.310||.386||.419||.806||1.27|
|2015 [-]||2 teams||-||Minors||123||495||106||136||239||21||8||22||87||66||1||132||31||7||.275||.364||.483||.847||1.03|
|2016 [-]||2 teams||-||Minors||129||478||71||122||214||21||4||21||76||83||7||154||28||7||.255||.367||.448||.815||2.00|
|Minors Career [+]||6 teams||Minors||378||1471||271||415||718||73||16||66||247||201||10||395||92||28||.282||.372||.488||.860||1.51|