Baseball's Chris Nunn: Where Are They Now?
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Baseball's Chris Nunn: Where Are They Now?

Snow, sleet, ice and single digit temperatures may make it difficult to think about baseball, but some former Lipscomb players like Chris Nunn have been inside getting ready for spring training. Nunn, a relief pitcher, is returning to Peoria, Arizona in late February for his fourth spring training with the San Diego Padres where he has been a part of their farm system. He found some time between workouts to talk with Lipscombsports.com.

What years did you play at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?

"I came to Lipscomb in the fall of 2009 and got drafted in the spring of 2012.

"Jeff Forehand was the head coach. Chris Collins was the hitting coach. Tyler Shrout was the pitching coach. I also worked with James Ogden who was both a grad assistant and a volunteer assistant."

What influenced your decision to attend Lipscomb?

"I started looking at SEC schools. I was looking at Vandy and Ole Miss. I am from Memphis so I was looking at the University of Memphis. I visited Tennessee. I did all of this my junior year of high school.

"Brian Ryman called me and said he would give me a good bit of money to come to Lipscomb. I started looking it over. I am from a Christian family and went to a Christian high school (Harding Academy). I knew I would be around Christian people at Lipscomb and that was big for me.

"I also was going to have an opportunity as a freshman to play."

What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?

"For me, personally, my sophomore year it would be beating Stetson (9-3) when they were No. 14 in the nation.

"My freshman year my first start was against Youngstown State. That was fun. I had a lot of friends there at Dugan Field. I think I went 4 1/3 innings. I don't know if I got the `W' or not (Bisons won 8-2 but Alex Ross got the win in relief).

"Also my sophomore year we went to Ole Miss and I struck out all four of the batters I faced. That was cool."

Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?

"As far as setting an example it would be Jeff Forehand. We had a personal relationship, but it was more him being there when I needed him. I watched the example he set as a man. Looking back and knowing the type of person he is, and things he was going through, he sets an example every day. He has passion for the game. He responds like a Christian man should.

"No matter who you are you can see he is trying to do his best to make the program the very best it can be. He tried to make practice as serious as possible. He tried to leave a positive influence on us every day.

"James Ogden and I were really close during my time here. He went out of his way to help me grow. We are still close. I am thankful for him. He is like a big brother to me.

"Brian Ryman also set an example for me. He recruited me to come here. He tries to grow as a person every day and you can see that. I have never seen him handle himself in the wrong way. He tried to make us feel like we were big time players. He made us feel like what we were doing was very important.

What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?

"The friends I made here In Nashville and at Lipscomb. My Dad (Rick) lives about 45 miles from Nashville. We would go out there and canoe and camp.

"I also got explore Nashville with my friends. I spent a lot of time with my teammates, but I spent a lot of time with people I met in the dorms my freshman year. I have ended up staying really close to a lot of people I met here."

What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?

"Over the last five years I have thought of a hundred or a thousand things I learned here.

"When I left here there was camaraderie among the players. The team was first and you were second under Coach Forehand.

"In professional baseball, even if I am fighting with a teammate for the same job, I just try every day to care for them as a Christian and be a humble human being. Even though I want to beat out the guy beside me I want to care about them because they are on the same journey as me.

"I remember my first outing in Double-A last year for San Antonio. I was pitching in the new stadium in Tulsa. There were between 9,000 and 10,000 people there. I was amped up.

"I threw the eighth and ninth innings. I threw a perfect first inning. I give up a run in the next inning and I was really upset. I came back to the dugout and took in the fact I was in Double-A and just competed against some of the best players in the world.

"I was thankful for that. I have been healthy. I have been on track in my career. But I was always looking for the next thing. When I was looking around that stadium I thanked the Lord for putting me there.

"Coach Forehand and his assistants tried to instill in us that we needed to be thankful with where we are. In my Christian walk I am trying to do that more. I am trying to be more thankful for what I have been given."

Who was your favorite professor? Why?

"Phil Kinzer. He was a Bible teacher. He taught freshman Bible classes and he taught me later on when I was there.

"I had a friend pass away. Her name was Liz and she was in a car accident after my freshman year.

"We had his freshman Bible class together. There were probably 40-to-50 people in the class. He tried to reach out to everybody that freshman year. Liz talked with him a lot. I had him for a class later on down the road and I remember him stopping to pray with me and praying over me when I came back for my sophomore year.

"He was a great guy. They all care here, but he was my favorite.

"I liked Ruth Henry a lot. She helped place me in an offseason job. My first class with her was yoga. She put me front and center and made everybody laugh at me."

Where do you live now?

"I have been splitting time between Nashville and Memphis. My Mom (Diane) lives in Memphis.

"I have spent the last five years here in Nashville finishing up my degree. I have been finished since May of 2015.

"I am constantly on the move."

What was it like to be selected in the Major League Baseball Draft?

"It was fun. I had a pretty good sophomore year, but my junior year I was putting a lot of pressure on myself and trying to force things.

"It was challenging because I went a lot later (24th round) than I thought I would. I turned down some better offers earlier in the draft.

"It was hard for me to leave Lipscomb. I loved my teammates. I told Coach Forehand I had not accomplished what I wanted to accomplish here as far as having a dominating year and taking us to the Atlantic Sun Championship.

"I remember watching Rex Brothers, Caleb Joseph and Brandon McClurg in the game against Georgia they won the NCAA Tournament (in 2008). That was what I wanted to do but I had not been able to accomplish that.

"It (the draft) was anti-climactic for me but it has turned out great being with San Diego."

Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?

"I am in the San Diego Padres organization. I am going to my fourth spring training. My fifth season is coming up which is crazy for me to think about.

"I spent most of last season pitching for Lake Elsinore in high A ball. I am a seventh, eighth and ninth inning guy. It is tough, but it is fun. There is a daily and physical grind to be ready every day but I enjoy it."

"I also have a part-time job with Elite Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center here in Nashville."

Tell us about your family.

"I am single."

My email address is nunncj@mail.lipscomb. I am also on social media.