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Jackson: Trying to find a groove
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10/01/2004 3:32 PM ET
Jackson: Trying to find a groove
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Conor Jackson was selected in the first round of the 2003 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. A third baseman at Cal-Berkeley, Jackson moved to the outfield when he became a professional. In this, his first full season, the 22-year-old hit .345 with 11 homers and 54 RBIs, to go along with a .438 OBP and .562 SLG in 67 games with High-A Lancaster. He hit .301 with a .367 OBP and .456 SLG in 60 games after a promotion to Double-A El Paso. He's a member of the Scottsdale Scorpions for the Fall League season.

Hey there!

We've gotten a week of games under our belt. We started games on the 5th. It's pretty exciting. You go out there, and as much fun as you want to have, you want to make it competitive, too.

We were out there and we were playing and I had a couple of buddies on the other team I knew. It was the first night game and there were some butterflies and the adrenaline was pumping. After that, I'm just trying to get comfortable with the routine and sticking with it. The competiion is definitely top cailber. You hear about it but now I'm seeing it in person.

The outfield coordinator for the Diamondbacks -- Lee Tinsley -- is our hitting coach for the Scorpions. It's a good situation since he knows me pretty well and knows the things I have to work on. When BP's going on, he'll come to me and help me work on the things I need to work on. He knows me better than anyone, since he's the one who's taught me how to play the outfield from day one.

At the plate, I started off pretty comfortable, pretty hot, but the last couple of games I've been struggling to get a hit and I can't seem to find a hole. But I'm not really worrying about it or pushing too hard.

I have to tell you, this town is pretty crazy. There's definitely a lot of things to do. They sat us down and told us about security concerns, especially in regards to what happened last year with Dernell Stenson. They're pretty cautious on what we can and can't do. If we're going out, we're going with a big group of people. It's been good so far.

And now, on to your emails. Thanks to everyone who's sent in questions. Talk to all of you next week.

Kirsten writes:
I'm a huge D-Back fan and I would like to learn more about their players in the minors. I read the article on the Diamonbacks site about you and had a few questions for you: Who is your all-time favorite player and why?What's the hardest thing about being a professional ball player? Do you prefer outfield or third base? And...can I have your autograph if I go to one of your games?

Conor responds:
I'd probably have to go with George Brett as my favorite player. I kind of grew up in his era. I grew up watching the way he swung the bat. That was always appealing, even though he's left-handed and I'm righty. When I was in Little League, I was a Royal. That's what I grew up with. And, of course, I used to be a third baseman.

The hardest thing is definitely the every-day grind, getting used to injuries and knowing whether to play with pain. Trying to figure out the difference between pain and injuries is tough. Being out there every day, trying to find something good to eat late at night after the game, then waking up the next day and doing it all over again is a challenge. It changes when you get to the show because the accomodations are a little nicer.

I like the outfield. I can't really say I miss third base. Outfield is something I've gotten used to. I've never questioned whether I should be playing third. I've had no worries about it. They told me it was the quickest way to the big leagues. I said that's fine with me. I've learned to like it.

And of course you can have an autograph. I'll meet you by the dugout!

Chad writes:
How do you view interacting with fans? For instance, signing autographs at a game or reading the letters people send you. Do players actually read their fan mail and sign autograph requests themselves?

Conor responds:
Yes, most players do. It might take us time to get it back because sometimes you let it slide. But we should do it all the time. That's the biggest reason we're playing, for the fans. The thing we don't appreciate are the older guys waiting for you after the game with two sheets of cards and they end up on Ebay the next day. The best is when you open a letter and you get a card from a kid who says your his favorite player. That's the best part of the game. You become kind of a role model.

Cheresse writes:
I'm just curious, does your social life take a "strike" since you focus so much time on baseball? Is dating even an option?

Conor responds:
It's tough. You definitely try to go out and have a good time. It's one of the only ways guys can keep themselves sane over the course of the season. You need to go out and stop thinking about baseball a little. You just want to forget about it and the best way to do that is to go out with a group of guys. Dating wise, it is tough. But a lot of guys do it. Personally, it's a tough life because you're always on the road. It's pretty much phone relationships. But most guys are married or have a girlfriend and make the best of it.

Send Conor an email!

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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