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What’s up Cardinal nation and baseball fans??? My name is Jordan Swagerty and I’m a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals organization. I was drafted in the 2nd round in 2010 after playing at Arizona State University (Go Sun Devils!).

I’m excited for the opportunity to blog about the everyday things that you may not hear about. I did a blog two years ago when I pitched in the Arizona Fall League (see links on right hand column) and enjoyed the experience. It has been a while since I have been involved in my normal baseball routine, so I’ll give you a recap of what happened.

Last year, when I was feeling on top of the world, I suddenly had to get Tommy John surgery. Let’s just say the least of my worries was the huge scar it left. Although it was a very low time in my life, I have had a lot of positive things that have come out of catching a bad break in the 24/7 life of baseball and I’d like to share them with you!

I was coming off a good season in 2011 and ready to start the 2012 season. I had an exciting opportunity to be at the big league camp and was ready to get the ball rolling. The only problem was I had a bone spur in the back of my elbow that was causing stabilization on my ligament in my elbow. I threw two bullpens in camp and was shut down. I originally thought I would just be out for a couple of weeks. That was not the case by any means. I would need surgery not only to file down the bone spur but also to reconstruct my UCL. I left camp and flew to LA to have my surgery done.

Now the fun part of rehab begins! When you think of being in rehab it might not sound like a lot of fun but I guess it could depend on who your physical therapist is and who the guys around you are. I got to rehab in Phoenix, Arizona, right by where I went to college. Already a positive, I had a lot of my core group of friends around me which helped keep my mind off the first few weeks of this new life I was about to start living and conquering.  Luckily, the PT facility I was at housed one of the best therapists, Keith Kocher. Not only is he a cool guy but he also shares a passion of mine; hunting and we were able to talk about it every day during my PT session.

The PT facility had about ten other rehabbers that also played baseball, which helped a lot of us become close since we were all in the same boat. It wasn’t always fun doing the exercises and lifting the light weights to get healthy again but I knew it had to be done to get back to where I wanted to be.

The next thing that made the last year of rehab do-able is I found many new hobbies. One that I never thought I would enjoy doing is reading. I read books that had to do with business, such as Rich Dad, Poor Dad, The ABC’s to Real Estate Investing by Ken McElroy and Millionaire by Halftime by my dad Presley Swagerty.

I also found out I really love going to the shooting range and firing off a few rounds.

The last thing and maybe the best is I did get two new puppies with my girlfriend, named Harlow and Oliver. Let me tell you, coming home to the pups is the highlight of my day. You can even follow them on Twitter @HarlowandOliver and Instagram!

Oliver on the left, Harlow on the right

Oliver on the left, Harlow on the right

Now it’s back to baseball time here in Palm Beach, Florida.  The games haven’t started yet but man, I’m eager to get rolling. It feels great to be back with the guys again. Being away for a year makes you feel a little distant when everyone else is still playing. I’m back to facing hitters again and getting to compete, which is something that has always been instilled in me.

As Zig Ziglar says, “attitude not aptitude determines your altitude” which I would say accurately described my past year of sitting on the bench, if you will. We will all go through adversity in our life but it’s how you handle it which really molds your character. Rehab was not the best process but I would say it has made me grow in every aspect of my life.

If you want some daily updates on the season or what I’m up to, follow me on Twitter @jordanswagerty. I am always up for comments, suggestions for the blog or maybe you just want me to touch on a subject, just let me know! God Bless! #SWAG