Bangor‘s Courtney realizes pro dream, signs with L.A. Angels
Will compete at minor league training camp this spring.
BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Bangor’s Justin Courtney signed with the Los Angeles Angels this weekend. From Bangor to UMaine to the pros. Courtney has earned the chance to live out his childhood dream.
“Just hit me with the other day I was like wow,” says Justin Courtney.
Justin has chased this dream his whole life.
“It just hit me, I was at the field throwing in some kid came up to me and was like hey your throwing pretty fast. Like what team are you with? And I was like oh I’m with the Angels,” says Courtney, “And then I was like wow! This is real.”
“It’s great when a kid has a dream, and they work hard at it, and it comes true for them,” says Bangor baseball coach Dave Morris, “So we’re just happy for him and excited for him. It’s been a great journey for him.”
Justin suffered a severe elbow injury in college.
“I was like man how does that happen? He came out a couple years ago and he threw out a scout day for us, because you know he was still trying to get signed, and he was 91 to 92 mph,” says UMaine head baseball coach Nick Derba, “You know the scouts left like, ‘look he’s a couple years removed, we need to see the Mid-90s’.”
He thought that dream might be over.
“I wasn’t satisfied with it. I had just come off of Tommy John surgery. I just felt like I had more too, more games to play, my arm still felt good. I just didn’t want it to be the end yet,” says Courtney, “And so, basically just kept pushing, kept pushing, and basically got connected with the right people, and off we went.”
“Told me this morning he was out with Tom house on the West Coast,” says Derba, “Got on a bump, 94 to 95 mph. Then he got another chance and popped 98. That is special. 98 is not something that’s walking around on trees.”
The ace at Bangor turned ace at UMaine has worked hard at it. His opportunity is here.
“I will be going to minor-league spring training in Tempe Arizona,” says Courtney, “With my age and experience, I am going to get a chance to play with one of the four full season teams that they have. However I perform through spring training will be what level I end up at.”
The possibility of reaching his major-league dream is real.
“He’s down there throw in 95 to 96 mph, and he’s throwing outs, in two years he might be in the big leagues,” says Derba.
“The Angels were the first team that was in on me in high school, they came up to watch some games at Mansfield, and fast forward now and that’s the team I’m with,” says Courtney, “So it’s just so cool, I don’t think I have stopped smiling the whole weekend.”
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