McALESTER — Third base is traditionally called the “hot corner” because the third baseman has less time to react to a grounder than a shortstop or a second baseman. That might intimidate some third basemen, but not Buffs senior Brandon Green.
Thanks to practicing with his father, Green’s long since got over any fear of the ball.
“He starts with a real ball; he throws it and it hits me square in the face,” Green said Wednesday. “He goes, ‘Nope, we’re going to start with a tennis ball.’ And after thousands of times getting pegged in the head with a tennis ball, I finally learned how to catch it.”
Born in McAlester, Green said he played T-ball as a young boy, but he didn’t really fall in love with baseball until watching his first game: Game 7 of the American League Championship Game Series between his beloved New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox in October 2003.
The Yankees won on a walk-off home run by third baseman Aaron Boone. Green said he told his father the next day he wanted to play baseball.
“I remember my dad going crazy, and I saw it and I went crazy too,” Green said. “It was just a quick love for the game.”
Green started playing baseball in the third grade, practicing by himself when he wasn’t playing. He played on a Little League team in McAlester and on a travel team coached by McAlester junior high athletic director John Homer, then started playing for Frink-Chambers in the sixth grade.
Always a pitcher, Green alternated between the mound and second base his first year playing, then moved over to first as a fourth-grade player. He stayed there until his sophomore year at McAlester High School, when he moved to third.