The latest edition of the New England Baseball Journal podcast includes interviews with former Boston College pitcher and current Seattle Mariners starter Justin Dunn along with his college coach, Mike Gambino.
Dunn, a first-round selection by the New York Mets in the 2016 MLB Draft, has made a commitment to using his platform as a Black professional athlete to speak out about issues of racial injustice and police brutality.
“Personally, I just got to a point where enough was enough,” Dunn said. “This has been happening for so long and I’ve always had my own opinions. But because of the stage I was at in my career and always thinking about what other people would think … or that it would take away from the game, I didn’t want to jeopardize that.”
Dunn talks about his experience as one of the lone African American baseball players on just about every team he’s ever played for, including The Gunnery Academy in Cheshire, Conn., and Boston College.
“I was always (the only African-American) of an entire team or one of two,” Dunn said. “You didn’t really say (African American players), especially in college in the ACC. I maybe saw two or three African American players in the entire conference in my three years there.”
Dunn’s college coach, BC skipper Mike Gambino, is the second guest on the podcast. He talks about his experience coaching Dunn and how proud he is to see his former pitcher on the precipice of fulfilling his lifelong dream of playing a regular role on a big league roster.
“Justin’s a special kid,” Gambino said. “You spend a little time with him and his family, and you just realize how much you want to be around him. We did run into some things when we were playing at other ACC programs with fans at times. It was devastating to us that we had to deal with that nowadays. We would work through it. I’m proud of Justin for a million reasons.”
Check out the full episode above, and if you’re not a subscriber you can check out our plans here.