In this new segment from your friends at the North Side Sox Podcast, we invite you to get to know the guys of the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, the White Sox Low-A affiliate in the East League.
We’re especially excited to bring you a hometown guy for our inaugural episode: Ballers third baseman DJ Gladney. The 19-year-old (soon to be 20) was drafted by the White Sox in the 16th round in 2019 out of Illiana Christian High School in Lansing, Ill.
DJ is also an alum of the ACE (Amateur City Elite) program, run by the White Sox, which encourages the participation of underserved youth from Chicago (and the suburbs) in baseball. The ACE program offers the support, structure, and exposure young talent may not have access to, and also aims to help reverse and correct the trend of reduced participation by African-Americans in baseball.
We asked DJ:
- To bring us into his day-to-day as a young minor leaguer — traveling, workouts, pregame rituals, and Zaxby’s and Mortal Kombat on days off
- His experience being mentored and coming up through the ACE program
- To reflect on his game, and what kind of player he is, and what he’d like to become
- What it was like growing up as a White Sox fan, and his favorite player as a kid!
- His thoughts on the big league club, and some reflection on Andrew Vaughn’s admiration from 2018
- What it was like having his career disrupted by a global pandemic, and how he stayed sharp for the 2021 season
We also asked him about any hobbies he might have picked up in 2020, and he shared that he writes and records his own music — experimenting with Pro Tools for beats, but writing flows with some allusions to baseball. For your listening enjoyment, we’ve linked some of his tracks below.
The White Sox org has a triple threat in Gladney: a power bat at third base, aspiring actor, and hip hop artist? We have a feeling we’ll see DJ on the main stage soon, in the big leagues and/or behind the mic.
Listen below, on our built-in Megaphone player:
You can follow @NorthSideSoxPod and host @scuriiosa on Twitter for more updates; follow DJ Gladney @djglad11.