The JP4 Foundation took some time over the long MEA weekend and sat down with longtime Blizzard player, Charlie ‘Bubba’ Horton.
Bubba is currently a 2017 Minnesota Gopher commit. Bubba stands tall on the mound at 6’3” with great velocity from the left-side and a swing-and-miss type slider. Adam Barta, Blizzard Baseball Academy owner, knows Bubba has what it takes to play ball professionally.
“Bubba has professional talent on and off the baseball field. His work ethic is such that it is with certainty that he will have the ability to play professional baseball after college. The Blizzard program has been blessed to have had almost 40 players play professionally and Bubba has all of the attributes that those players had – work ethic, dedication, determination and a relentless pursuit of being great for his teammates.”
Yes, Bubba is a brilliant baseball player, but more importantly Bubba is a commendable young man. Barta continued to talk about Bubba’s characteristics off the field.
“Off of the field, Bubba is a kid I would have babysit my son. I don’t know how to give a bigger compliment than that. I trust him and his ability to make good decisions. He has great wit and humor to go along with a very caring side. He is always thinking about others and what is best for the people around him. He is sharp as a tack in the classroom and if decides not to play professionally, he will have the ability to run a company someday.”
We asked Bubba a series of questions ranging from baseball, to donuts, to life lessons… enjoy!
Bubba on the Blizzard…
Q: What does being a part of the Minnesota Blizzard mean to you?
A: Being a part of the Blizzard isn’t like any organization I’ve been a part of before. While most kids are from different places, we all have the same unbreakable bond with each other formed from day one of tryouts. The Blizzard is like a second family to me, and it gives me the opportunity to play the sport I love while representing the classiest and most prestigious club in the state.
Q: What has the Blizzard program taught you about baseball?
A: The program has made me into the player I am today. Barta and Jesse have fine-tuned my motion, helped to solidify my mentality on the mound and taught me how to throw my best pitch, the changeup. Without the Blizzard, there’s no telling who I would be as a player, and I would not give up my experience for the world.
Q: What has the Blizzard program taught you about life?
A: The Blizzard program has taught me to value every life I come in contact with. I’ve learned to become compassionate, and to treat everyone as best I can, with the utmost respect, because you never know who they are or what they are going through. The Blizzard family has had to unfortunately deal with tragedy, but it brought our program closer together than ever before, and I believe that we have the best chemistry out of any team in the state.
Q: What is your favorite Blizzard memory?
A: My final fall league game this year (senior season). In the final inning with one out, I was playing in left field when Cam Kline jogged out to me and told me that he was replacing me in the field. To be honest, I didn’t know what was happening at first. I thought back to think if I had done anything wrong and nothing came to mind. It wasn’t until my teammates came up to me and hugged me on the field that I realized Barta had taken me out of my final game, and gave me one last chance to embrace my teammates. I am beyond grateful that he did that, remembering that it was my final game while in the midst of the seventh inning. It was my favorite and most emotional Blizzard memory by far.
Q: What has been your favorite field to play at?
A: Wrigley Field. I was extremely blessed to have the opportunity to not only play a game at Wrigley, but to also pitch there. Just warming up in the bullpen, I looked around to take in the surroundings. It was breathtaking. Throwing off that mound is the coolest thing I have ever experienced, and it is a memory that will last a lifetime.
Q: What do you wish the Minnesota Blizzard offered more of?
A: Honestly, the Blizzard has done so much for me; I can’t think of anything that they haven’t done for me. They’ve been so accommodating for various circumstances for me and many others that I can’t ask for anything else. Except maybe keeping the facility in Rogers.
Q: Anything about you that your next coach should probably know?
A: I can play in the outfield if necessary. (This is a joke)
Q: As a future Minnesota Gopher, what do advice do you have for younger players?
A: Listen to what your coaches have to say. Had I not done that, I doubt I would even have the opportunity to play college baseball. I would also advice younger kids to follow your passion. Whatever that happens to be for them, pursue that and make their dreams into a reality. I always wanted to be a pitcher, and I worked at it (and still work at it) to become the best player I possibly could be.
Bubba on life…
Q: What is one thing you want your parents to know?
A: I am extremely thankful for the support they’ve given me throughout the years. They were the ones that discovered the Blizzard, and let me stick with it when I wanted to keep playing. They’ve been fantastic role models for me, and they deserve to know that.
Q: What can you not be found without?
A: My wallet.
Q: What fast food restaurant would you own and why?
A: Subway, it smells the best.
Q: What could you teach me how to do in the next five minutes that not many people know?
A: I could teach you how to throw a disc designed for disc golf.
Q: What do you want your day to look like when you are retired?
A: I want to be able to wake up whenever I want, have my personal chef prepare me a meal, and then I will spend my day at my private country club with various activities suited to my personal preference. Then I’ll take my wife to dinner, because that’s what gentlemen do.
Bubba… well, just more questions for Bubba.
Q: A penguin walks into this room, red Mohawk, and sunglasses on. What does he say to you and why is he here?
A: He says, “Hi, I came from a journal prompt in Jack Nilles’ class,” and he is there to take some bp.
Q: How many donuts do you think would fit into this room?
A: At least 12.
Q: Who would win an arm wrestling competition on your team?
A: Probably Erik Holloman. He’s a running back so he’s pretty strong.Q
Q: Does macaroni belong on pizza?
A: The only thing that belongs on pizza is meat. This is America after all