Welcome to Inside the Game #008. Last week in the we sat down with Kirby Craft of the Washington Nationals for installment #007, you can find that here.
This week, we had the opportunity to speak with Corey Tremble, Medical & Rehab Coordinator for the Detroit Tigers. Before starting his career in baseball, Corey earned his undergraduate degree from Florida Southern College / University of South Florida.
Check out the interview below and let us know what you think in the comments section.
PBATS: When did you decide that you wanted to pursue a career in athletic training?
Corey Tremble: I have to say the moment I wanted to become an athletic trainer, especially in baseball, was early on in my life. Growing up right outside of New York in New Jersey, I watched Gene Monahan run out on the field all the time to tend to the Yankee players. I always thought that would be a really “cool” job to do and once they signed Tino Martinez to take over for Don Mattingly, I figured my playing days were over. After working with my high school athletic trainer and going through an ATEP program, my internship with the Detroit Tigers and Doug Teter (Assistant Athletic Trainer in Detroit), is where I learned to love working baseball and knew this was for me.
PBATS: How did you get your start in baseball?
CT: I was an over confident/naïve senior at Florida Southern College and had the honor of interning with the Detroit Tigers on their minor league side of Spring Training. From there I loved the atmosphere so much, I became a stray cat that Doug Teter couldn’t get rid of. What was supposed to be a 2 month internship turned into a two year experience that I still look to as the foundation of my career. After going to grad school, Kevin Rand (Head Athletic Trainer – Detroit) called me and said I was coming to work for the Tigers at the end of May of that year. I’m glad he didn’t give me a choice and everything has worked out well from there.
PBATS: What is your favorite part about being an athletic trainer?
CT: I think every athletic trainer would have to put “getting an injured guy back on the field” as their main reason for going to work. I would agree, but in baseball it has that much more substance behind it. Unlike other sports you can see a radar gun reading or watch a trot around the bases and that alone gives you even more pride in what you’ve done. Their success, because of the work you put in with them, makes the long hours and stressful moments all worth it.
PBATS: What is your favorite memory from working in baseball?
CT: There are so many to choose from as even athletic trainers who work a year can rack them up, but my most fond memory is winning the Florida State League Championship in 2012. A week prior to the play-offs I was named the Medical/Rehab Coordinator, so I knew my days were numbered with a club and in the dugout, and it came down to a game 5, which we won. Winning is what playing baseball is all about and being a part of a team that does it is special.
PBATS: What are your goals for your career in athletic training?
CT: From where I currently sit, my goals are like many others, to reach the Major Leagues and work with the best of the best on a daily basis. Part of me hopes to have the opportunity to reach that goal and possibly become a head athletic trainer for a club one day, but working in baseball was my goal all along, so this is all just icing on the cake.
PBATS: What are some of the most interesting parts of your job that most people might not be aware of?
CT: I wouldn’t say any of the medical/rehab coordinator jobs are “interesting”, but with the ever-changing landscape that is professional baseball, administration work like – the Therapeutic Use Exemption process, insurance, and pre-draft reviews are all aspects I wasn’t really aware of when I took the job. Like everything else for athletic trainers in baseball, you have to make adjustments and learn on the job.
PBATS: What is a typical day at the park like for an athletic trainer?
CT: For my position with my club, my day begins like most athletic trainers, EARLY. After making sure the players at the complex on rehab are through their day, that’s when the team playing at the complex becomes the next responsibility to over-see. From there, it is usually another 4-5 games at night that have to be monitored for injured players to alert the organization. The phone is always on and my computer is never far away.
PBATS: What are your favorite things to do in the off-season?
CT: For the medical coordinator, there really isn’t an off-season. I like to call it the “less-season.” But when I do find some time to myself I try and spend it with my wife or playing the guitar. Family sometimes gets the back seat to baseball during the Championship season, so when there are no games to be played, I try and make all my free time devoted to that.
PBATS: What advice would you offer young people, college students or anyone looking to get their start in athletic training and the game of baseball?
CT: The most important advice I was given for working in baseball is you either have to learn to love it or learn to hate it. It isn’t a job that you can be one foot in with. It has to be a passion and a calling, not just a job. There are many sacrifices that athletic trainers in baseball must make, maybe more so than other settings, so knowing that going in helps. Also, there are few jobs where you can look around and know that everyone in the place wishes they were in your seat. It is a special setting that gives back constantly, but you have to want it.
A huge thanks to Corey for taking some time to join us for Inside the Game #008. Please let us know if you have any specific questions that you’d like to see answered throughout this series.