Recently, Seattle Sports Union had an opportunity to talk with another local boy playing for the Everett AquaSox and living his dream, playing in the Seattle Mariners organization. Aaron Stroosma grew up in the area and has brought his infectious work ethic and positive mindset to the Sox. He joined the team midway through the season, and hasn’t looked back.
SSU: So you went to Sedro Woolley High school. Did you live there your whole life?
AS: I was born in Bellingham, and lived there till about 4th grade, then we moved to Mount Vernon, Big Lake…went to Sedro Woolley High School and live there now…can make the commute.
SSU: Oh wow! So then you went to Seattle University?
AS: So then I went to Bellevue College out of high school, then Liberty University for 2 years afterwards. I tore my labrum my freshman year, so I got surgery and I red-shirted (saved the year of eligibility). So I was then able to transfer to Seattle U as a 5th year senior. I played there all last year.
SSU: So you graduated from there, and what, get a call randomly one day?
AS: Yeah, so I didn’t get drafted. I thought I would, but it didn’t happen. So my dad’s a fisherman up in Alaska, and I went fishing up in Alaska with him. I was up in Alaska there for about 2 weeks fishing. I’d given my pitching coach at Seattle U our Sat-phone number in case a scout wanted to call me.
So yeah, they’d been trying to get a hold of us for like an hour while we were out of cell service and my dad comes up and says “It was the pitching coach, they’re trying to sign you.” So he called me and simply asked me how quickly I could be in Arizona.
We quit fishing a day early and drove the boat in, and I flew out the next morning to Seatac, met some friends at the airport who provided me with everything they thought I might need and I flew on to Phoenix. Then I was in Phoenix for like 4 days and flew right back to here.
SSU: Quite the whirlwind trip!
SSU: So did you have a favorite team growing up? Was it the Mariners?
AS: Oh absolutely the Mariners, yeah.
SSU: So living the dream now? Playing for the team?
AS: It’s great! It is a dream. I’d talked to the Mariners throughout the spring, and I’d hoped I’d be with the hometown team. The location here in Everett is wonderful. This is like the best case scenario, haha. I played with the Bellingham Bells, college summertime ball, so now to come down here, and hopefully make it down south one day is great.
SSU: Have you always played Outfield?
AS: I played Shortstop in High school. Then I played 1B and 3B my first year at Bellevue, then moved to Left Field and I’ve stuck there since.
SSU: Did you play any other sports growing up?
AS: In high school I played basketball and football. I could have gone to Eastern and played football, but I only played my junior and senior year, and my senior year I was having a really good year (in baseball). When baseball goes bad I sometimes wonder what if, but now that I’m where I am, I’m living the dream and doing what I always wanted to do.
SSU: Is there a player you try to emulate, or admire?
AS: Ooooh, guys come and go all the time…its tough to pick one. Right now I like Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, those outfielders. I love Giancarlo Stanton, just the raw power. I love watching the power guys. Billy Hamilton steals….and I love to steal bases. Growing up watching Ichiro, Edgar….I wouldn’t say I like one guy…I like the whole spectrum of talent.
I think as a baseball player you start to appreciate the individual things that guys bring to the game. I’m a baseball fan, really.
SSU: I would hope so! Haha.
AS: I don’t own anyone’s jersey though, haha.
SSU: What do you have planned for the offseason coming up?
AS: I really want to play winter ball. If I’m able to, I would love to go somewhere and play if I have the chance. I would love to travel, too. I’m not sure if that’s going to happen or not. But if it doesn’t, I dunno. This year I lived at the fishermen terminal and my dad’s boat and I went to Seattle U. So I could either fish or I dunno. I’d like to move around as much as possible, but also stay with a routine. I can use Seattle U to work out at, so we’ll see. Somewhere I can keep a routine but hopefully stay busy and make some money maybe.
SSU: Just out of curiosity, do you fish for all species?
AS: My dad fishes salmon. There’s some fisheries in California for squid that I’d be real interested in. But yea, my dad fishes salmon.
SSU: 20 years down the road, when your baseball career is finally over, is that something you’re going to go into?
AS: Absolutely! Depends on how long this lasts of course. If this lasts forever maybe not, but yeah I love it up there. It’s hard, the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it’s so rewarding. Yeah you get away from everything, you’re in Alaska on this little boat and I think it’s great for my mind. Real active competitive atmosphere, you’re on a team with your boat. I love it up there.
SSU: Do you have a favorite sports movie?
AS: Hmm…rookie of the year maybe?
SSU: Weird how that’s the hardest question we ask people…it’s meant to be a cool softball question at the end and everyone really has to stop and wonder.
AS: [Laughs] Yeah it is! I don’t know, I like a lot of sports movies. Oh, you know what, I like that documentary on Netflix about Pelotero, about the Dominican baseball league and how they come up. Of course there are the big ones, Rookie of the year, the Rookie, Friday Night lights, Remember the Titans of course. All the classics.
SSU: Do you have a nickname?
AS: Not really, people just call me “Stroos”.
SSU: Yeah, that’s what we were yelling earlier!
SSU: You’re an incredibly positive person, and we admire that. Do you get that from you mom or dad?
AS: I’d say both. I appreciate that. I mean my dad fishes, so that’s just like baseball. You’re going to strike out more times than you get hits. But I definitely learned the grind from a young age from him. But my mom is so positive, especially this!
Thank you to Aaron for taking the time to talk with us! We wish him nothing but the best in the future and hope he achieves his dream!