Arik Sikula was one of the most dominant relievers in the Florida State League for two consecutive seasons with the Dunedin Blue Jays during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He finished his career in a Dunedin uniform with a cumulative 1.89 ERA in 67 appearances and led the FSL in saves (31) in 2014. Sikula was recently selected by Blue Jays fans to be a member of the All-Dunedin Team, an all-time greats roster of the top players to put on a Dunedin uniform over the last 40 years.
Strike 1: You received overwhelming support in the fan vote and appear next to some very impressive names on the All-Dunedin Team. What does it mean to you to still have such strong fan support and be recognized with so many greats?
To be named to the All-Dunedin team means a great deal to me. I take pride in interacting with fans, kids, and my teammates. I was the kid growing up watching baseball games and thinking how great an autograph would be from one of the players. Now, being able to talk to kids and fans about the game and my experiences within and outside the game is a pleasure for me. To have continued support means I meant something to people. That makes me feel special and maybe to some I was the guy that I once idolized. Its surreal. To be recognized alongside some of my friends, and the greats on the list is the most unique accomplishment I have received. This is the first type of award like this for me, and Im still suprised. My focus during my two years in Dunedin was on improving myself as a player, my team, and the fans. I never knew this was even a possibility, and I am honored to be a part of such a talented group of guys. Only if we could get these guys on the field together.....
Strike 2: You spent 2 seasons in Dunedin. What were your favorite memories from your time with the D-Jays?
I have many great memories from Dunedin, but by far the best are my teammates. The '14 team that won the first half championship was the hottest team I have played on. We won a lot, and the vibes after the game in the clubhouse provided entertainment for everyone watching! That team was special to me because that group had so much fun together on and off the field. The Dunedin facilities were spacious and it felt more like a kids playground than a minor league clubhouse. Playing alongside Danny Barnes and watching him go about his work on the field was something that stands out to me as something that helped my career. He is focused! Being able to play with him, Justin Jackson, Blake McFarland, Daniel Norris & others really helped bring out my creative side off the field which helped me feel comfortable and lead to me excelling on the field.
Other memories - Rain, everyday.
Strike 3: Since your last season in Dunedin in 2015, what have you been up to both on and off the field?
After being released in 2015, I played a season in the Atlantic League before putting baseball on the back burner to pursue business. I opened my own business buying and sellling houses. After five months of work, I realized I need to get back to my love of baseball and travel. I played a winter league in Australia where I was named team MVP and our team won the South Australia Baseball League title. My next stop was in Quebec City for the Capitales of the Can-Am League. I was named pitcher of the year for my team and our team won the championship! This winter I will be playing in Colombia, South America where I am looking to win another championship!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.