Questions and answers with Craig Lewis a former professional baseball player, Australian Olympian and coach.
1. (NH) What do you consider to be your top five baseball career highlights?
(CL) Top five highlights:
- Winning an Olympic Silver Medal
- Signing with the New York Yankees
- Being awarded the Junior College Player of the Year Award (Dick Howser Trophy)
- Participating in the Junior College World Series
- Winning the Australian Baseball Helms Award
2. (NH) What were some emotions you felt leading up to the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games?
(CL) Emotions felt:
- Initially apprehension, as I was trying to rehabilitate a fractured right ankle that I injured while playing in the US just seven weeks prior to the Olympics
- Once selected on the team (which was a relief after passing a fitness test), I was extremely excited and proud to be representing Australia at an Olympic Games
- Outsiders had no expectations for the Australian team, however we were confident about the mix of experience and talent that we had on our squad
- Also the anticipation about competing on the world stage
3. (NH) What was it like participating in the Opening and Closing Ceremony as an athlete?
(CL) Tiring - the thrill of entering a stadium full of cheering people for an event which is broadcast to hundreds of millions of viewers became fairly subdued after about 4 hours of standing up. I can understand why the majority of athletes that had an event the following day didn't march
4. (NH) What are some of your fondest memories from playing baseball at the Olympics?
(CL) Fondest memories:
- Standing on the podium with an Olympic medal
- Rubbing shoulders daily with some of the finest athletes in the world
- The general Olympic Village experience, which included being able to take my (now) wife through the village
- Being involved with such a determined and passionate baseball team
- Collecting your team uniforms, Olympic uniforms, training gear and other general walk out gear
- Talking to Australian (Olympic) ambassadors such as Peter Brock and John Eales
5. (NH) What are some initiatives you feel could further cultivate baseball interest in Australia?
(CL) Cultivating further interest:
- I believe showcasing MLB games such as the upcoming series in March (2014) at the SCG will help generate further interest in the game
- The state baseball development programs and national baseball academy are a great initiative
- There's probably greater opportunities in running programs for schools, however this requires funding and resources
Please refer to this link to see Craig Lewis's professional career statistics and the following link to see his Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games statistics
For all my baseball themed books please refer to these links:
Aussies World Baseball Classic Experiences from 2006 to 2017 and also available from United States Amazon
Aussie Baseball Musings and also available from United States Amazon
Aussies in the Majors and also available from United States Amazon
Boomerang Baseball and also available from United States Amazon
The American Dream: From Perth to Sacramento and also available from United States Amazon