PawSox first baseman Josh Ockimey has a routine that suits him just fine. Only on this occasion, we’re not talking about the pregame steps the slugger takes in preparing for that day’s game.
Like clockwork, Ockimey is a man with a firm plan the moment he gets out of bed during the baseball season – from the first day of spring training until the final game.
The first thing he does each morning is text his father Michael. After that, Ockimey takes to Twitter to express a succinct thought.
Good Morning ⚾️
— Josh Ockimey (@JoshOckimey) May 23, 2019
The post reads “Good Morning” with a baseball emoji serving as the bookend for two words in which the first letter of each is capitalized. Since his high school days as a Philadelphia lad, Ockimey has made it a point to begin each day with a simple message via social media. Last July while he was based in Double-A Portland, Ockimey created a new Twitter account but made sure to reprise a familiar habit that speaks volumes about his grounded approach of turning the page following the previous day’s results, whether they included two home runs or four strikeouts.
“Good morning … it’s just a reset and a new day for baseball. It’s just something that’s stayed with me throughout the years,” said Ockimey. “Good day or bad day, the next day always has the chance to be a good one. It’s a new day to go forth.”
For Red Sox fans who follow Ockimey (his Twitter handle is @JoshOckimey), they are undoubtedly fully aware that his up-and-at-’em mantra represents the full range of his Twitter interaction. You won’t find any outlandish posts that run the risk of becoming twisted like a pretzel. You’ll only find a steady stream of “Good Morning” tweets that usually prompts a half-dozen to a dozen likes along with a comment or two in which folks wish Ockimey a good morning.
It’s short. It’s sweet. It’s simple. It’s Ockimey’s way of announcing to the Twitterverse that he’s awake and ready to get after it with his glove and bat.
“Every day isn’t going to be a good one,” said Ockimey, “but it’s a new one so let’s get after it. You’ve got to start over every day.”
A fifth-round pick of the Red Sox in 2014 who won’t turn 24 until after the season, Ockimey is in his first full year with the PawSox. He was promoted to Pawtucket for the final month of the 2018 season after posting a .254/.370/.473 triple slash line along with 15 home runs and 59 RBI in 90 games for Portland. In 117 games between Portland and Pawtucket, Ockimey swatted 20 homers and drove in 71 runs, both totals ranking second among Red Sox farmhands.
This season, Ockimey has emerged as a dependable power source in the middle of Pawtucket’s lineup. As the PawSox embarked on a seven-game road trip that begin this past Tuesday night in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Ockimey has bashed a team-leading 11 home runs ranking him near the top among International League leaders. The left-hander already has three multi-HR games while his .598 slugging percentage represents a substantial upward spike from his career .422 mark.
“Just going off the things that’s made me successful throughout the years but not forgetting the little things that got me here,” said Ockimey. “I tell myself to not overthink it. Just go up there and be as simple as possible.”
It didn’t take long for Ockimey to realize the challenges that go with playing first base at McCoy Stadium. From trying to decipher wind-aided pop-ups in expansive foul territory, to communicating to his fellow PawSox infielders to throw the ball to first base on a hop should the sun as it sets pose an issue to see clearly, Ockimey has made noticeable gains in relative short order. After making six errors in 166 innings with the PawSox last season, this year Ockimey, in 216.1 innings to date, has only committed one error.
“Sometimes, you think the ball doesn’t have a chance to stay [within McCoy’s playing surface]. It can lead to some anxious moments, but just like dealing with the sunlight, it’s just really about understanding my position and where I need to be,” said Ockimey. “Defense is something I definitely take a lot of pride in.”
The same can be said as the sun rises during the baseball season and Ockimey is once again spreading “Good Morning” wishes on Twitter.
The PawSox take on Syracuse Friday, May 31st at 6:00pm ET on YurView, Cox channels 4 and 1004 in Rhode Island.