Liberty County native Richard Lovelady said he is working out daily despite the shutdown in major league baseball’s typical spring training. Lovelady, a graduate of First Presbyterian Christian Academy is currently with the Kansas City Royals and living in Arizona near the team’s spring training facility.
Lovelady said he and his teammates stay in constant communication with the team trainers and are given daily workout routines.
“We have a lot of teammates that are still here in Arizona,” he said. Lovelady noted players do get their workouts done in a safe manner. He said the team gym is closed but they workout independently with whatever equipment they have at home and sometimes the ball field based on the programs designed by their trainers. He said he isn’t training to get stronger but instead to clean up any weak areas that came up during the earlier part of their spring training, prior to the shut down.
“At first it seemed kind of hard to still have that competitive drive but when you realize this is like a reset, especially for guys just coming in to spring training, this is like a reset to get back on top of things,” Lovelady said.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the sports world hard shutting down and cancelling spring training games between MLB teams for the foreseeable future.
“It’s weird for the first couple of weeks to turn on ESPN and not even see any sports being played,” he said. “It is weird for a lot of people. A lot of people’s jobs was in covering sports…you know what are they doing right now?”
But the left-handed hurler said he understands the serious nature of the current coronavirus pandemic and shared that it has stricken some members of his family.
“My grandparents have come down with the coronavirus,” he said. “My aunt got it as well because she is a nurse. She is taking care of them.”
“We are worried about them, but they are in great hands,” he said. “You always think it’s not going to be me or my family. But it’s crazy how quickly something like this can spread and affect your loved ones. Even though you think they’re okay and they don’t go out and socialize…it is a terrible time for everyone.”
Lovelady said he got a chance to play in front of his grandparents, Charles and Shirley Brua, in August of last year.
“It warmed my heart. I love to play in front of them,” he said.
Lovelady said family is important and he said he was blessed to be able to bring them all together last year for another milestone in his life, his wedding in September 2019 to Maddie.
But he said life hasn’t changed much in terms of his day-to-day routine in staying focused on his throwing, agility drills and running workouts.
“That’s what I’ve been doing Monday through Friday so if they say, ‘hey let’s get the ball going,’ I am still on top of it,” he said. In fact, Lovelady said that for the past two post-baseball seasons, he has hit the ball field every day to stay focused.
“It has really helped me stay ahead and be ready to compete for a spot every spring training,” he said. “That is the mindset that I’ve had and the mindset I’m going to continue to have.”
Lovelady said the current shutdown is a good time to focus on the details of the game. He said it helps him be reflective and prepared for what might come ahead but also stay patient.
“Obviously, everyone wants to go back to playing baseball as soon as possible,” he said. “But the biggest concern is that we all have families or kids or elderly people that are dealing with this crisis that is going on. It would be great to play, but if it’s not…if this isn’t all handled or taken care of as far as being able to play without being worried about getting sick then there is no point even discussing getting ready to play any time soon.”