Q & A With Mark DeRosa: American Grilled Guest Judge and Former MLB Player

On Wednesday, August 20, in an all-new episode of American Grilled, 4 grillers from Chicago battle it out in the shadows of one of the most storied baseball stadiums in America, Wrigley Field. Host David Guas brought in the "pros" with a special guest judge for this Major League Baseball-themed episode, former Chicago Cub turned MLB Network studio analyst Mark DeRosa. Before the grilling begins, we caught up with the former star for an exclusive one-on-one interview.

Q: Out of the 8 home stadiums you played in (ATL, TEX, CHC, TOR, CLE, STL, SFG, WAS), which was your favorite and why?
A: Wrigley Field. It was my first chance at playing every day [with the Cubs], and I loved knowing that so many Hall of Famers and greats had played on the same field and sat in the same dugout. There was no change to it.

Q: Outside of those 8 stadiums, which was your favorite to play in and why?
A: The old Yankee Stadium. Growing up in New Jersey, I’ve got memories of going with my dad as a kid to old Yankee Stadium, and getting a chance to play against the Yankees in that yard was surreal for me and my family.

Q: Favorite iconic food associated to the cities you played in (the teams you played for)?
A: My favorite iconic foods are from where I live now, outside of Atlanta. Growing up in the north, we didn’t have this, but I love Southern cooking -- fried chicken, grits, mac and cheese, biscuits and gravy, sweet tea. So good.

Q: Pregame meal?
A: I never really had one. Whatever they were offering, that’s what I would eat.

Q: Memorable hotels and restaurants from the road?
A: Joe’s Stone Crab in Chicago was my spot. I loved the Slanted Door in San Francisco and Momofuku in Toronto, too.

Q: Five items you can't leave home without on a long road trip?
A: My laptop, lotion (I’m always taking different kinds from hotels), a Tempur-Pedic pillow, golf clubs and a pair of sweats to lounge in.

Q: Pregame ritual?
A: I always showered right before a game. I didn’t like putting my uniform on all sweaty.

Q: After your retirement, what made you jump straight into working as a TV analyst?
A: It really began with my 2 cameos at MLB Network during the Postseason [in 2013 and 2011]. I have a love for the game and just getting a chance to work at MLB Network, I thought, “Wow, what a great place to stay involved in baseball.” They have a real passion for the game -- all the guys in the clubhouse watch it religiously -- and I felt like it was a great opportunity.

Q: What was your favorite city to visit and why?
A: Los Angeles. I loved playing in Dodger Stadium. We would stay out in Pasadena, CA, which was beautiful, and coming from the East Coast, I felt like I was on a vacation.

Q: Do you have time to sightsee at all when on a road trip, or is it straight from the hotel to the stadium?
A: If I had time off, my favorite thing to do was go to the pool if the weather was nice. I’m a water rat. If we were in Miami, I’d spend a few hours on the beach. If we were in LA or Arizona, I’d be by the pool. When I wasn’t an everyday player, I would play golf in the mornings. I like to be active. I didn’t like to sleep late and then go right to the field. Getting up and going out gave me energy for the game.

Q: Favorite family getaway?
A: Turks and Caicos. It’s a quick trip from Atlanta, only about a 2-hour flight. We’ve been there a few times.

Q: Favorite Guys Getaway?
A: A bunch of my buddies and me like to go on golf trips. We’ll go down to Tampa, FL, to play -- I’ve been fortunate to play a lot of gorgeous golf courses. We’ll also go on fishing trips up to Lake Oconee or Lake Lanier in Georgia.

Q: Favorite hometown attractions, restaurants, activities, etc.?
A: My favorite things to do around Atlanta are golfing, going to the Georgia Aquarium and going to concerts. My wife and I love going to outdoor concerts at Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, and we’ll go see concerts at the Gwinnett Center and Philips Arena, too.

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