MANKATO — When Cody Fick played for the Mankato MoonDogs in 2009 and 2010, it wouldn’t be uncommon for him to be talking to other players, trying to learn from them or give some advice, based on his experiences.
So it shouldn’t be a surprise to see him on the MoonDogs’ coaching staff this summer, trying to get started on what he hopes will be a long career of teaching the game.
“For whatever reason, I always seemed to find myself in a leadership role, and I welcomed that with open arms,” Fick said. “I like helping people. If somebody has a problem, maybe I can help them. I enjoy being around the game, and this keeps me satisfied.”
Fick was an infielder for two summers with the MoonDogs, but after his college days were done, he was drafted by the Philadelphia organization as a pitcher.
“I didn’t enjoy pitching like I enjoyed playing in the field,” Fick said.
So he went to spring training with the Phillies in February as a catcher, but he
was released at the end of camp. When MoonDogs manager Mike Orchard asked Fick to join his staff in Mankato this summer, it made a lot of sense.
“I’m 24 years old now, and that’s pretty old to be just getting started on a playing career,” he said. “But it’s pretty young to start coaching.”
Fick is the team’s first-base coach, and he also helps with defensive alignment and opponents’ scouting reports. However, he is able to give his opinion on other topics, too.
“Even when he played, I thought he’d make a good coach,” MoonDogs manager Mike Orchard said. “It’s been a really easy transition for him.”
Fick said he feels comfortable with the MoonDogs, even though he’s just a couple years older than some of the players. He said he’s tried to incorporate a lot of tactics from each of his previous coaches, starting with his uncle in high school through his playing days under Orchard.
“This is a good opportunity to see the other side,” Fick said. “I can see how Orch’s mind works and continue to learn from him. I’ve got my foot in the door here, and I’m grateful for the opportunity. Hopefully, I can turn this into a career.”
Fick said he hopes to get an opportunity to coach at a college some day. He’s spent time in a professional organization, and he prefers the way the college game is conducted.
“I want to help kids who have a goal of getting into professional baseball,” he said. “That’s the time of my life that I enjoyed a lot, where you can do a little more teaching.”