Oklahoma baseball: Pitcher Jonathan Gray's clubhouse antics, demeanor endear him to teammates

Jonathan Gray is being projected as the No. 1 on No. 2 pick in the MLB Draft and is shouldering a major share of the Sooners' hopes for a long postseason run. He just doesn't act like it, instead carrying on as the pride of Chandler.
by John Helsley Published: May 8, 2013
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photo - UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA / OU / NCAA TOURNAMENT / NCAA BASEBALL TOURNAMENT: Oklahoma pitcher Jonathan Gray (22) throws a pitch during an NCAA college baseball regional game against Army in Charlottesville, Va., Sunday, June 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff) ORG XMIT: VAAS101
UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA / OU / NCAA TOURNAMENT / NCAA BASEBALL TOURNAMENT: Oklahoma pitcher Jonathan Gray (22) throws a pitch during an NCAA college baseball regional game against Army in Charlottesville, Va., Sunday, June 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff) ORG XMIT: VAAS101

“I'll bust out a dance move,” Gray said, “just to make people laugh.”

On the field, Gray busts out some nastiness on opposing hitters, drawing high praise from Golloway as a competitor.

He's got the goods — size, strength, all the pitches and impeccable control — that have MLB general managers at the top of the draft reportedly deciding between him and Stanford's Mark Appel, who was picked No. 8 a year ago, but decided to return to school.

Gray is tied for the Big 12 lead with eight wins, leads the league in innings pitched (89 2/3), strikeouts (104), opponent batting average (.166) and ranks second in earned run average (1.20).

That's the stuff that has accompanied Gray's rise up the MLB draft boards and confirms the competitiveness.

Yet it's the other stuff that endears Gray inside his own clubhouse and offers another side to his team captain tag.

The dancing and the shenanigans. The same ol' stuff he was doing back in Chandler, where he hung out in the woods, hunting and fishing and generally goofing off. Shooting up zombies alongside Overton on the Call of Duty video game.

“Technically, we aren't roommates, but we really are, because I'm over there 24/7,” Overton said.

“We laugh and tell jokes all the time. Maybe 30 minutes out of the whole day we're not laughing. We definitely play a lot of video games in our downtime. We might yell at the TV a little bit. It's all fun.”

So, can Gray really dance?

“He's a great dancer,” Overton said. “A lot better than me.”


by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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