White Sox infielder Danny Mendick explains why baseball still brings him child-like joy

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(670 The Score) White Sox infielder Danny Mendick is an unlikely story, as he was once a junior college transfer to UMass-Lowell who was selected by Chicago in the 22nd round of the 2015 amateur draft. He then fought his way through the minor leagues to reach the majors in 2019.

Mendick has had to battle for his place with the White Sox, and it hasn’t come easy. But the pressures of playing the game don’t get to him. The 28-year-old Mendick explained that mindset during an interview on the Bernstein & Holmes Show on Monday.

“Today, everything gets looked at as there’s pressure on things,” Mendick said. “You want to win, and yes, winning is very important and that is the most important thing. But also this is baseball. I got different things in my camera roll on my phone where I’ll go back and I'll look at videos of when I was a kid of just hitting balls and just smiling the whole time. I got a video that I always look at – it's me when I was, like, two years old. I used to have this thing, like a little sprinkler and the Wiffle ball stayed on top of the water. And you’d hit in.

“You’d look at that and you’re like, ‘Man, I play this game because I love it, because I want to have fun.’ Now that I'm at the highest level and I've achieved what I wanted to achieve, that doesn’t change. You still got to have fun with it.

“I’ve talked to a lot of guys about it and they say they don’t remember their strikeouts. They remember the home runs they’ve hit and the times they’ve had with the guys. That's the one thing I always try to keep in perspective. Just to understand that I do love this game and I want to win, but I do want to have fun and make memories as well.”

Mendick has played a key role for the White Sox over the last three weeks after star shortstop Tim Anderson suffered a groin injury in late May. Mendick is hitting .272 with three home runs, 14 RBIs and a .758 OPS in 100 plate appearances across 29 games this season.

The White Sox open a three-game series against the Blue Jays beginning Monday night at Guaranteed Rate Field. Anderson is expected to be activated from the injured list.

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