Welcome and Introduction

General Posts

To be honest, I don’t really understand blogs. (Yes, I understand the irony). There are too many things about them that don’t make sense. I have so many questions. Who am I writing to? Why shouldn’t I just keep a journal? Are my stories or thoughts even worth sharing?

Most of these questions I cannot answer right now, but I will try my best in a bit. What I can tell you is I will be honest with everything that I write. That does not mean I will share myself completely. I consider myself a private man. Sure, I post on Twitter and Instagram, but if you follow me, you will notice that I rarely post about what I am currently doing or stories that I experience on a day to day basis. Most of my posts are simply a random thought, something inspirational, a Bible verse, or a funny picture (possibly selfies with animals). I do this purposefully. Those social media outlets are quick and fun, and in my opinion, you should not judge one’s character on 140 characters or a picture with a caption. Relationships must be built and grown in order to get to truly know someone. And only then will you be able to determine the kind of man or woman they are: whom/what they live for and what their purpose in life is. I am someone who loves relationships, but I do not seek relationships with everyone. Casting a wide net would simply make me have shallow relationships with many people. I’d rather dig deep. This blog is letting you dig a little deeper.


Who am I writing to?

Honestly, I don’t care who reads this or who doesn’t read this. If just one person can learn from my experiences, both mistakes and successes, to live with more wisdom and do the right thing in a culture that is confused about what is right and wrong, then I know that this will have been worth it.

I assume most of my readers are baseball fans. If that is you, I would like to welcome you to this blog. Many of the stories I share will be from my baseball experiences. I think you will enjoy most of them, and I hope you do.

Some of you may not know anything about baseball. I also welcome you to the blog and I apologize for baseball stories. There will be many of them, I am sure. But there will also be stories from every facet of my life. I think we will have some fun with it.


Why shouldn’t I just keep a journal? 

I do. Some of the things I share here will be from my journal. Most of what is in my journal will not be shared. Like I said, I like my privacy.


Are my stories and thoughts even worth sharing?

Only time will tell. I believe that we can learn from each other and that sharing thoughts and experiences can benefit others. With that being said, all my thoughts are shared through my worldview and perspective. Nothing I say will be purposefully offensive, but I am sure I will say things that you will disagree with or find difficult to accept.

As far as the content of some of my stories, I think many of you (especially the baseball fans) will enjoy the little tidbits of insight into the life of a professional baseball player.


Other orders of business:

1. Many of you will have questions about things I write. Leave a comment. I will answer a few of the good ones the best I can.

2. Check in often. I will announce all new posts on Twitter, so if you’d like, you can follow me @MAppel26.

3. Share with others. Remember, sometimes the best way to learn is to share experiences, even if they are not your own. Again, if even one life is improved because of my thoughts, this will have been worth it.


These are the reflections of a first rounder.


12 thoughts on “Welcome and Introduction

  1. Mark –

    Very excited to see you are starting a blog. I was thrilled to peruse your autographed cards on Ebay recently and notice that you interject random verses throughout. I regularly look them up as a little daily devotional.

    Also, I was very impressed by your attitude throughout some of your injuries last year. It’s always fun to see a player smiling and enjoying the game even through some challenging times. Keep up the good work and know that you have an avid fan and new dedicated reader from this Cubs fan!



  2. Looking forward to your entries. I have 3 boys and need all the help I can get in life, as well as baseball. Oh yea…stay away from Taylor Smith. I do have a question, why did you choose Stanford over a Texas college (like UT). Thanks!!!


  3. Looking forward to it.

    Good luck in your start Monday.

    On days you’re scheduled to start, do you have a strict “gameday” routine, or is it like any other day until you get to the park?

    Have a great season!


  4. Mr. Appel,
    I am a 14 year old Astros fan and ever since we’ve drafted you I’ve been a huge fan you. I was really excited to find out about your blog because as fans any way to connect to our favorite players (and for younger fans, our role models) is greatly appriciated. I can’t wait to read your posts/stories. May God bless you on your road to the majors (hopefully it won’t be much longer :D) and good luck on Monday against the Braves.


  5. Great to see another Astros pitcher blogging! I’d like to know what it’s like to share a clubhouse with so many well educated ball players from prestigious universities. Is it a more academic environment?


  6. Cool that you’re taking some time to connect to fans, we need to turn Houston back into a baseball town!!

    Question: As a pitcher, if you were facing a lineup like Houston’s this year with lots of power and potential for lots of strikeouts, how does that affect your pitch strategy? Try to get more ground balls to avoid homers or just try to fan everybody?


  7. Mark,

    Love that you’ve started a blog, it’s always cool to hear about baseball from a current player’s perspective. I’ve been a fan of yours since your Stanford days. Not just for the strikeouts and wins, but because of the class, humility, and love for Jesus. You’re one of the nicest and most genuine players that I’ve ever met. When you were signing autographs or answering kids’ questions you made them feel like they mattered. Thanks for being a good role model and God Bless! Hoping to see you pitch in the big leagues this year!

    Matt Spillar


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