Former Mount Si baseball standout Tanner Simpson recently joined the Munich-Haar Disciples of the German baseball Bundesliga, but the professional league’s season is currently on hold until May 9 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Simpson, 23, said in an email that things are going well and the players are now training individually to practice safe distancing.
“My family and friends are supportive, and we are all trying to keep a good spirit about everything,” he said.
Trish Simpson, Tanner’s mother who lives in Snohomish, Face Times with him each day and said that he’s been biking, running and plans on learning German from the woman he rents a room from in Vaterstetten, a Munich suburb. Tanner left for Germany on March 9 and is joined there by an American coach and liaison.
“He’s doing OK — it’s day to day just like over here. He’s in constant communication with his coaches, and pretty much like everything over here, everything’s kind of put on hold,” Trish said.
Tanner said there have been a few cases of COVID in the area, “but all the right steps have been taken to keep things safe and sound.”
“The team has been really super diligent in making sure that the boys practice social distancing,” said Trish, noting that she and Tanner’s dad, Steve — who lives in North Bend — are trying to remain optimistic about the scenario on their son’s first trip abroad and wants him to stay physically and mentally healthy.
The team features mostly European players, with a few Canadians and one other American, Tanner said. Disciples teammate Will Thorp, who played at Lewis-Clark State College a few years before Tanner, researched Tanner and asked if he wanted to play overseas.
The 2014 Mount Si graduate earned a scholarship out of high school to Columbia Basin College and in 2016 transferred to Lewis-Clark State College on a another scholarship. He graduated from Lewis-Clark with a bachelor’s degree in sports media in 2019.
Playing at Columbia Basin and Lewis-Clark taught him how to stay composed in the face of adversity.
“I learned how to play without fear. And most of all, I learned how to be a great teammate. Also, my success in the classroom prepared me for life off the baseball field and provided me with necessary life skills and knowledge,” said Tanner, who played for the Western Canadian Baseball League Okotoks Dawgs’ championship team in 2019. It was their first title in 10 years.
Tanner considers himself lucky to play for some outstanding Snoqualmie Valley select coaches and best friends and teammates who all prepared him for the baseball journey ahead. The players constantly pushed each other to better themselves. Additionally, some of his best baseball memories were reaping success at Mount Si.
His ultimate dream is to play baseball for the Seattle Mariners, a team he’s followed since he was a youngster.
“In order to get there, I have to stick to the process and continue to better myself every day, not only as a baseball player, but as person as well,” he said.