Alaska Baseball

Meet the Anchorage Glacier Pilots: What they like about Alaska, what they miss from home and what they love besides baseball

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.

First, we talked to a trio from the Anchorage Glacier Pilots, and tomorrow we will hear from players from the Peninsula Oilers.

Nico Zeglin

Zeglin is a 22-year-old right handed pitcher from Gonzaga University going into his graduate senior season.

Hometown: Walnut Creek, California

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

A. I’ve been playing disc golf on the course at Kincaid Park. That’s been really fun so I’ve been doing that with a lot of my free time.

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

A. Probably In-N-Out, but I guess I should say family.

Q. Favorite MLB player or team?

A. I’m a (New York) Yankees fan and my favorite player is probably Aaron Judge. I didn’t know he played here until I got here a few days ago.

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

A. I never played summer ball before and my coaches said this was good competition so I was like, ‘alright let’s go to Alaska.’

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

A. I love the wildlife. I saw a porcupine the other day. I’ve never seen one in the wild.

Q. Favorite genre of music?

A. I stick to rap mostly. Sometimes rock, sometimes country but mostly rap. Kid Cudi is probably my favorite artist for sure. It’s just chill and peaceful and I like the rhythm that he raps with.

Q. Favorite series to binge watch?

A. I like “Peaky Blinders” a lot. It’s got a lot of plot twists, the actors are really good and I like a little bit of violence so that’s also good.

Ben Newton

Newton is a 20-year-old infielder from Fresno State going into his junior year.

Hometown: Albany, California

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

A. Just hike and sightseeing. I’m living with a host family that told me the spots to go look at to see nature and the wildlife around here.

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

A. My family is going to come out here soon but just seeing my family and friends.

Q. Favorite MLB player or team?

A. I’m a big (Oakland) A’s fan but the A’s aren’t too great right now. I’m a big Trea Turner fan.

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

A. To play out here on the same team as some great guys and just playing against good competition everyday. Ultimately, we’re trying to get prepped for our college season by just being able to come out here and play.

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

A. I definitely wouldn’t have guessed that Anchorage would be as big as it is.

Q. Favorite genre of music?

A. I fall back on rap for sure but I like to dabble in basically everything. My teammates say I look like Mac Miller so I’ve been listening to him a lot more recently.

Q. Favorite series to binge watch?

A. I’m watching “The Boys” with my roommates. We got hooked on that so we’re watching that every night. It’s a good mix between the real world and superheroes so you can’t really go wrong with that.

Grayson Sterling

Sterling is a 22-year-old outfielder from Gonzaga heading into redshirt senior year.

Hometown: Boise, Idaho

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

A. I love being outside. I can’t wait to get up in the mountains and go explore and check out what Alaska has to offer. We saw Portage Glacier the other day and that was sweet.

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

A. Definitely my family and friends. It feels like we’re so far away from them here. I’m used to my parents coming to a lot of the games and having a lot of support. They’re going to come up next month so it’ll be nice to have them here and show them around town.

Q. Favorite MLB player or team?

A. I’ve always liked the Yankees. I really like Cavan Biggio on the Blue Jays. I try to model my swing after him.

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

A. I’ve had a lot of teammates say that they really liked it and it’s really competitive and makes you a better baseball player.

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

A. I have a teammate at Gonzaga that’s from Anchorage so he actually told me quite a bit about it. Anchorage is a lot bigger city than I thought it was going to be.

Q. Favorite genre of music?

A. I really like country music and I really like lo-fi rap music. It’s like less drums and less instruments. I’ll put it on to study or go to sleep with just to have it in the background. I’ve been listening to a lot of Sammy Rash and The Kid LAROI.

Q. Favorite series to binge watch?

A. Right now I’m watching “Yellowstone” and I have not been able to stop that. I just like the Western feel. It reminds me of back home.

Josh Reed

Josh Reed is a sports reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He's a graduate of West High School and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

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