Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Daniel Norris gives SEEN the inside scoop on what he loves most about his job, how he got hooked on photography and his favorite spots around Metro Detroit
By Chelsie Dzbanski
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your professional background. I’m a 26-year-old dirtbag from the mountains of Tennessee. Baseball is my passion and I’m fortunate enough to do that for a living.
2. Who or what inspired you to start playing baseball? This is one of those things that my only logical answer is that I was born with a passion for baseball. My family wasn’t really into sports, my dad built bicycles for a living, but somehow I ended up playing three sports in high school.
3. What is your favorite thing about your job? Easily the fact that I get to wake up everyday and chase a dream.. I’m playing a kids’ game and it all rests on the desire to get better. It’s a sport where hard work has the ability to pay off overnight, though sometimes it takes time.
4. Can you share some of your career highlights or moments you are most proud of thus far? Pride in sports is a slippery slope. I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily proud of anything I’ve done but I am able to recognize my passion and where it has taken me. Very grateful to be in the MLB.
5. What does a typical day/week look like for you? This answer varies with the time of the year — in season or off season. In season, I wake up, make coffee and basically find ways to waste time until I go to the field to workout or pitch. Off season, I wake up with the sun and the smell of coffee, surf, go to training, eat lunch and then head back out to the water for some more waves. (Tide willing.)
6. What was your biggest mistake or failure and what did you learn from it? We all fall short on a daily basis no matter who you are. It isn’t what you’ve done or haven’t done well. It’s how you allow it to help you grow.
7. How did you become interested in photography? Can you share some of your favorite projects? I’ve always had an eye for art. I credit my sister for pushing my creativity with it. A project I’m currently [working] on for Leica is something I’ve stoked on…a good opportunity to share a vision with an amazing company.
8. If you weren’t a professional baseball player what would you be instead? I don’t like to think about this but if I had to choose I’m sure I would be involved with something in the outdoor world. Pro surfer? Probably not but I’d give it my all.
9. Favorite place that you’ve visited with “Shaggy Norris” and why? Not the destination but the journey, right? Had a pretty epic road trip a few years back across the country with one of my best friends, Ben Moon.
Now onto some fun…
10. What was your first job growing up? I used to clean up dog crap in high school to buy new gloves. Other than that I worked a job at a local outdoors shop Mahoney’s…hiking, rock climbing & kayaking.
11. What’s currently on your playlist? Jack Johnson is my all-time favorite along with Ben Harper and Citizen Cope, but some deep stuff I’m into: Wilco, Johnny Cash, Sturgill Simspon, Whitney, and tons more.
12. What was your favorite TV show as a kid? As a kid I don’t really remember watching much TV, nor do I now but “The Office” is all-time.
13. Three things you can’t live without? 1. Bible 2. Family 3. Baseball 4. The ocean 5. Music 6. Coffee 7. Oh, wait…
14. Dream vacation destination? Been pondering a surf trip to Indonesia a lot lately.
15. Who would you love to photograph, living or dead? Jack Johnson. I’d love to take his portrait. He’s had a massive impact on my life.
Local Love Questions…
16. Your current favorite local spots for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Breakfast – Commonwealth. Lunch – Commonwealth or Whole Foods. Dinner – late night sausage and eggs from Owl on Woodward or Market in Birmingham has great salmon.
17. Your go-to for a good cup of coffee? Commonwealth is my daily cup of coffee. Shout out Nick at the coffee bar, thanks for enabling the addiction.
18. Favorite thing to do on a weekend in Metro Detroit? If this is a nightlife thing I’m out on that, haha. I like watching surf films at the crib or going for bike rides.
19. What do you love about Detroit? I love what the town embodies: hard work. It’s been rad to see it come back to life in a sense.
20. Favorite quote or words to live by? Just keep livin’.
Stay tuned for a special event coming this spring with SEEN Magazine and Daniel Norris!