Diamondbacks player Chris Owings ready for better season
April 10, 2018
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Arizona Diamondbacks utility player Chris Owings had a powerful start to the 2017 season.
With the game versus the San Francisco Giants tied at 5-5 in the bottom of the ninth on Opening Day, Owings slugged a single to bring in Daniel Descalso and win the game.
That kicked off what could have been his best season yet. In late July, though, he was hit by a pitch in the second inning of a game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Now, after two surgeries on a broken finger, Owings is preparing for a better season, which started March 29 at Chase Field. “I had to have another surgery on the finger in November,” said an optimistic Owings, during an interview over loud rap music in the Salt River Fields clubhouse. “I had a slow off-season, but I’m healthy now for Spring Training and excited to get going.”
Owings and his wife, Brittany, have called Scottsdale home since 2014. “My wife and I, in the off-season, go hiking – usually Camelback or Squaw (Piestewa) Peak – or we golf around here,” he said.
The couple primarily enjoys the area restaurants, especially Old Town’s Café Monarch, named one of America’s Top 100 restaurants.
“We randomly ended up meeting the owner of Café Monarch,” Owings said. “They ended up being our neighbor. It’s been awesome getting to know him. He has a new restaurant across the street now. It’s just as beautiful. It’s a nice night out and it’s relaxing.”
The 2018 season is Owings’ fifth. In 2014, he was named the starting shortstop over Didi Gregorius. Owings made his mark on the league, earning National League Rookie of the Month for April 2014. Two months later, he injured his left shoulder and had reparative surgery.
The 26-year-old utility player is joined in the D-backs organization by his younger brother, Connor, who was drafted in 2016. Connor had a kidney transplant, with an organ donated by their mother, on February 28. The younger Owings suffers from focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, which affects more than 5,000 people in the United States each year. Former NBA players Alonzo Mourning and Sean Elliott suffer from the condition.
Chris Owings’ talents extend beyond the field. Armed with a deft sense of humor, he has been dubbed the Diamondbacks’ in-house T-shirt designer. It was his idea to produce a Randall Delgado shirt that makes fun of his diet: The T-shirt features the reliever in uniform, surrounded by pictures of celery, broccoli and fruit, with the words “Mr. Organic” over it.
Owings was the man behind the David Peralta “Freight Train” shirt as well. “I started out in 2015, making a T-shirt for our batboy,” he said. “That was something fun to do. There was an article in the paper about him. His nickname was Batman because he had a beard. I came up with a Batman-themed shirt. I get ideas from other guys, too. It’s something fun. It brings the team closer together. I admit I need input from everybody else.”
As for his 2018 ideas? “We’ll wait and see when the season gets going – and if I get any good ideas from the team.”