Baseball's 'Most Interesting Pitcher' Lives in a VW Bus

Meet Blue Jays' Daniel Norris
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2015 2:05 PM CST
Updated Mar 8, 2015 11:04 AM CDT
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Daniel Norris warms up before facing the Baltimore Orioles in an exhibition game March 5 in Sarasota, Fla.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)
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(Newser) – What is it about Daniel Norris that would prompt ESPN the Magazine to anoint him the "most interesting pitcher in baseball"? It probably has something to do with the 21-year-old rising star living in a beat-up VW camper he calls Shaggy in a Walmart parking lot during spring training in Florida. That's not because of money—the Toronto Blue Jays gave him a $2 million signing bonus. It's because "he has always lived by his own code," writes Eli Saslow. Norris lives as simply as he can, and even with that big account, he worked 40 hours a week at an outdoors shop in his home of Johnson City, Tenn. He doesn't drink, has never tried drugs, avoids TV, loves solo hiking adventures, and keeps a thought journal he writes in at night with the aid of a headlamp.

"It's like a yin-and-yang thing for me," he says. "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." When the season starts, Norris will move out of the camper and into a home with two teammates. The bushy beard is gone, too. "There are some things that I'm just going to have to get over," he says. "I guess I'm going to have to figure out where and when to give in." Click to read the full profile. (Read more Toronto Blue Jays stories.)

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