Interview with Chris Mezger, former USC Trojan, Best Pitcher of the 2012 French Final Series, Eurocup Final Four pitcher.

It was my pleasure to interview Chris, a humble big man standing at 6’10″ (2.09 m), former USC Trojan and soon to be veteran of not only European baseball, but of some of the top baseball Europe has to offer. Chris recently signed for the 2013 season with UVV, a club in the The Honkbal Hoofdklasse, the highest level of professional baseball in the Netherlands.

Chris played with the Rouen Huskies of the French Elite league in 2012 where he dominated on the mound, effectively using his unorthodox delivery and his giant body to deceive batters. Chris was named the best pitcher of the French elite final series as he lead his club to their 9th french title in 10 years. He also was a major contributor to the club’s success in the 2012 European cup as they made it to the final four, the first time any French club has done so. Chris’s fondest memories were not of the final four but of the Rotterdam round of the Cup that got them there, a round where he got the win in a huge upset over the DOOR Neptunes, one of the top Dutch clubs and most successful clubs in all of Europe. He also had a stellar relief appearance in a big win over the 2012 German champions,  the Buchbinder Legionaere Regensburg.

Chris’s Background 

  • From Boulder, Colorado.
  • Played four years at USC in Los Angeles, mainly as a reliever with a few starts.
  • After graduating in 2011 he played briefly for the Roswell (NM) Invaders of the Pecos League.
  • In the fall of 2011 started to look into European ball after shot in the minors with the Seattle Mariners didn’t work out.
  • Signed with Rouen Huskies of the French Elite League, currently ranked 7th in European Baseball by Mister-Baseball.
  • Dominated the French elite league during the 2012 regular season: 18-10.68 ERA146 IP164 K
  • Lead the Huskies to both the French title and was voted best pitcher of the final series.
  • Lead his team to the Final Four in the European Cup.

If you would like to read more about Chris’s experience and French Baseball, check out this article written by the NY Times.

Topics of Discussion in this Podcast

  • How Chris found the  jobs in France and the Netherlands.
  • What was included in his contract in France and what his duties as an import were.
  • A typical week as an import player for the Rouen Huskies.
  • The experience of living in France and how he took advantage of the opportunity.
  • The level of competition in the french elite league and the importing of players to France.
  • Winning the French elite league and being part of the first French team in history to make it to the final four of the European Cup.

I would like to thank Chris for contacting me and offering to help others fulfill their European baseball dreams and at the same time help promote the game of baseball in Europe.

Best of luck in Holland!

Mezger SIgns with UVV
Mezger SIgns with UVV
Link to NY Times Article on Chris
Link to NY Times Article on Chris