TAMPA, Fla. --- New York Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi grew up in Alvin, Texas, which is the home of the all-time strikeout king, Nolan Ryan. If you grow up in Alvin, there is little choice but to be inundated with all things Ryan Express, beginning with the Expressway that bears his name.
Most children grow up wanting to be the next Nolan Ryan, few even come close. Eovaldi, 26, is not the next Ryan, but he is a vital member of the Yankees' rotation.
In 2015, his first year in the Bronx, he finished 14-3 with a 4.20 ERA. In his final 14 starts, he was 9-1 with a 3.43 ERA.
Eovaldi is quiet, polite and shy. He is never going to be the personality or the pitcher that Ryan was, but he does have his preferences, which is what we asked him about in this Mound Visit.
What is your favorite movie?
I'm a big fan of Step Brothers.
I like comedy movies. I like Will Ferrell.
What is your favorite type of music?
I grew up listening to country and rock and roll. When I got to high school, I listened to rap. I still listen to all that.
Who is your favorite country singer?
My wife is a big fan of Carrie Underwood. She grows on me.
Who are your favorite rappers?
I'm a big fan of Drake.
What is your favorite type of food?
I'm a big fan of steak. I can't pass up on a steak.
What other sports do you like besides baseball?
I like basketball and football.
Who are your teams?
I'm a big fan of the hometown teams, the Rockets and Texans.
You grew up in Alvin, Texas, home of Nolan Ryan. You met him last year. How big is Nolan Ryan in Alvin?
Eovaldi meets his hero, and the pride of his hometown of Alvin, Texas, Nolan Ryan pic.twitter.com/5WklszvhRW
— Marly Rivera ~ ESPN (@MarlyRiveraESPN) June 27, 2015
He's huge. Growing up, you go into any restaurant, McDonald's, the local restaurants, there is Nolan Ryan stuff everywhere. The entire place, there are jerseys, balls and bats, photos, everything. There is the Nolan Ryan Expressway.
One day there will be a Nate Eovaldi Expressway?