A new ‘Last Airbender’ fan, a ‘big fishing man’ and a surprised southerner on his first trip out West

Summer is officially in full swing and for many sports fans, that means baseball.

The Alaska Baseball League features college players from all over the United States. While a few of the players in the league are from Alaska, a great majority are from the Lower 48.

This week the Anchorage Daily News is talking to a few players from each of the five ABL teams. We asked them what they’ve liked about Alaska, what they miss from back home and what else they’re into. Today we talked to a trio from the Anchorage Bucs, and Sunday we will hear from players from the Chugiak Chinooks.

Alex Champagne

Champagne is a 19-year-old infielder from Arizona State University, but he is transferring and is undecided where he’ll go next going into next season.

Hometown: Littleton, Colorado

Q. What are you most excited to do in Alaska when you aren’t playing baseball?

A. Going on hikes. It’s beautiful. Just because I’m from Colorado, I’m kind of used to the mountains but this is something different.

Q. What will you miss most about your hometown/college town while you are in Alaska?

A. Family and same thing with college, I miss all my buddies but I got my new family here so it works out.

Q. Favorite MLB player or team?

A. Colorado Rockies. Ever since a few years ago, Francisco Lindor. I love the way he plays and he has fun doing it and that’s how I play.

Q. What made you want to participate in the ABL?

A. I thought it was going to be a great opportunity. I felt like there was going to be some good baseball up here, good competition and Alaska is the place to be and a place on a lot of people’s bucket list.

Q. What preconceived notions did you have about Alaska before getting here?

A. I thought it was going to be cold but now I didn’t even know about the sun either. That was an adjustment for sure at first but I love it here.

Q. Favorite genre of music?

A. Country. I know he’s not necessarily country but Thomas Rhett is my favorite artist.

Q. Favorite series to binge watch?

A. One series I watched with my roommate back at ASU was “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” I really enjoyed that and I had my thoughts at first like “I don’t know about this” but I started watching it. My first time watching it was last year.

Garrett Angelim

Anglim is a 20-year-old outfielder from the University of Nebraska going into his redshirt sophomore season.

Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska

Q. What are you most excited to do in Alaska when you aren’t playing baseball?

A. I’m a big fishing man so I want to catch some salmon and hopefully bring a big 50-pound bag home.

Q. What will you miss most about your hometown/college town while you are in Alaska?

A. I really missed not going to the College World Series this year. That was a big thing being from Omaha so I miss going to do that but summer ball is part of the game coming up here to play baseball.

Q. Favorite MLB player or team?

A. Kansas City Royals and Alex Gordon. He is retired now but has always kind of been my idol since he’s from Nebraska.

Q. What made you want to participate in the ABL?

A. It’s more up to our coaches’ discretion, they pick a couple choices but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing.

Q. Thoughts on being in Alaska for the first time?

A. The views are unreal and weather is kind of crazy and the sunlight is too but it’s cool to be up here.

Q. Favorite genre of music?

A. Country for sure. I’d have to say Morgan Wallen as my favorite artist.

Q. Favorite series to binge watch?

A.”Game of Thrones” is really good. I love that show. I wasted a couple months on that show last year but it was worth it. Everything about that show is right up my alley and I couldn’t stop watching it.

Chandler Brooks

Brooks is a 21-year-old right handed pitcher from Winthrop University but is currently in the transfer portal going into his senior season with two years of eligibility left.

Hometown: Gaffney, South Carolina

Q. What are you most excited to do in Alaska when you aren’t playing baseball?

A. I’m ready to go on some hikes and go see some stuff. It’s flat where I’m from. There aren’t any mountains and stuff like that so I love that. I love some sightseeing.

Q. Favorite MLB player or team?

A. Atlanta Braves and Gerrit Cole. I try not to model my game after one specific person. I try to watch a good bit of videos and play with some stuff and see what I like but he is definitely somebody that I really like watching.

Q. What made you want to participate in the ABL?

A. One of my baseball advisors texted me and was like “You should go to Alaska.” I’d heard of that league but I didn’t know about going across the country like that. He told me he had played here before and it was the best summer of his life and he wasn’t lying. I’ve really enjoyed it so far so props to him for getting me here.

Q. What preconceived notions did you have about Alaska before getting here?

A. This is my first time traveling west of Texas. It’s very surprising and I like it. I was expecting igloos and stuff like that.

Q. Favorite genre of music?

A. I’m everywhere. I love some rap, I love some country, I love some R&B, I love everything. Favorite artist right now is Morgan Wallen.

Q. Favorite series to binge watch?

A. “Friends” and “Ozark.” “Friends” is old but is something I can watch whenever I don’t have to really worry about keeping up with it because I already know what’s going on. It’s so relatable to me being around all my close friends and some of the stuff they do.

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