Jakub Janda did an interview with the Australian hurler Dushan Ruzic of the reigning Dutch champion DOOR Neptunus.
- 28years old
- Australian national team pitcher
- Played 3 years in Minor leagues
- Pitcher for DOOR Neptunus
Jakub Janda: Please describe your career since you started playing baseball to the present.
Dushan Ruzic: I became interested in baseball at the age of 16 when my older sisters started playing softball. Growing up in Darwin, Australia there were only 4 baseball clubs and the standard wasn’t that good. At the age of 20 I moved to Adelaide, Australia to pursue competitive baseball. From there I played at Australia’s highest level where I got selected for the Australian National Team, this lead me to 3 professional signings in America and 3 seasons in Europe.
JJ: How were you preparing for this season during winter? Did you change anything from previous offseasons?
DR: I haven’t had an off season for about 6 years, the longest I have gone without playing baseball is 2 weeks. Once I finish up here in Holland I will go back to Australia where I will get straight into it again. Playing in the South Australian Baseball League and also for the new Australian Baseball League that will be starting up in November. Baseball is all year round for me.
JJ: What do you consider your career highlight?
DR: My career highlight would have to be telling my parents I had been selected in the Australian National Team, also another highlight for me is having the chance to play for Australia in two World Baseball Cups and not giving up an earned run.
JJ: What has baseball taken from you and what has the game given to you?
DR: Playing baseball all year round means that I cannot have a proper job where I can work good hours and earn good money, also the personal side is hard due to moving every six months, meeting people and then saying goodbye. It is also hard being so far away from my family who are my support base. However, the game has given me so much life experience, I’ve seen a lot of the world, played at some of the highest levels and also learned a lot about the game of baseball. And it is all only possible due to the support of my girlfriend.
JJ: How do you like your own performance this season?
DR: I started off with good intentions, and found my mind wandering through the middle of the season, but I am now back on track and throwing the ball quite well.
JJ: What do you think about your club in this season? Have you fulfilled expectations?
DR: I think Neptunus has been outstanding this season with only loosing 4 games. As for expectations, we were wanting to be European Champions but this did not work out. Our next goal is to be Dutch Champions which we are on track for.
JJ: How many times in your career have you thought about quiting baseball?
DR: Quitting baseball is a big decision, which I haven’t come across thinking about yet.
JJ: Do you have any special practice or game routine?
DR: I’m not the one for game routines or special practices or even superstitions. I just go out to do the best i can.
JJ: Any funny story connected with baseball?
DR: I don’t joke around too much, I am a serious kind of guy.
JJ: If you could advise young players reading this interview, what would you address them?
DR: I would address the young kids to train hard and get as much as you can out of every practice.
JJ: Your future plans on the field?
DR: As of the end of the Holland series I will see where it leads me but I think next year is a going to be a great year for me.
Photo: (c) Ron Wikkert, www.eott.nl (top right), FIBS/Bartolacci (bottom left)