Scott Burke was the IronBirds' California boy. He grew up in Glendora, CA (an hour east of Los Angeles), attended UCLA, and was drafted by the Orioles in the 20th round this year. As a part of the Orioles organization, Burke will spend a lot of time out on the East Coast. We sat down with Scott to find out how he has adjusted to East Coast life.
What was it like growing up in California?
I grew up near San Bernardino, in Glendora. My family had a vacation area near the border of Arizona so we would always go dirt biking and wake boarding. It was great. Pretty much anything you want to do you can do. Snowboard, dirt bike, surf; you can do it all. The weather is 60-80 degrees every day, even around Christmas time.
What did you do outside of baseball at UCLA?
Golf and video games. I think I'm pretty good at golf but not outstanding; I usually shoot six or seven over par. There's actually this cool thing called board club at UCLA where you can go surfing and snowboarding in the same day. I never really surfed and I snowboarded once when I was five.
What was your East Coast experience like before being drafted?
I played in the New England Collegiate Baseball League in 2015, down by Springfield, Massachusetts. That was interesting, not sure if I got the best feel for the East Coast. The weather was decent but there was way more rain than we got back home. I definitely don't like the humidity.
What's the biggest difference you notice between home and the East Coast?
The greenery for sure. Back home it's pretty much streets, homes and buildings. Here you drive down the highway and you're surrounded by beautiful trees. You can also drive relatively close and find a lake or a big open area to enjoy nature.
How have you adjusted to the weather?
It's been interesting. I remember the first time it rained, it was 70 degrees and sunny the day before, so I assumed the next day would be the same. I got to the stadium and everyone said we might get rained out and I was like, "What?" I'd only been rained out once before and had a couple of rain delays.
What do you miss most about the West Coast?
I love that any day, any time, you can set up a tee time for golf and you know you'll be able to play. That being said, I think snow is pretty cool. I'd like to live somewhere where you get to really experience snow in the winter, but we'll see if that ever happens.
How was your experience living with a host family?
So great! I lived with the Karcher family. They had three pugs, two cats and a yellow lab. They are a were a great host family and I really enjoyed my time there.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.