Every year when Ian Desmond blew out the candles on his birthday cake, he closed his eyes and wished one day he would make it to the big leagues. Drafted out of high school by the Expos in 2004, it took six years in the minors for Desmond to make his dream come true.
On Thursday afternoon, Desmond talked about his baseball journey in taking questions from fans at the ESPN Zone in downtown Washington during the first Nats Q&A of the season.
After the talk, Desmond signed autographs and took pictures with those in attendance.
Desmond mentioned that he really started to believe in himself during his Arizona Fall League assignment in 2008 and that he stayed motivated during his minor league days by knowing his day would come eventually.
His day did come last September and the team finished the year strong with Desmond on the field.
In spring training, he earned the starting shortstop position though his playing time continues to be shared with Cristian Guzman and Adam Kennedy.
"I was over Adam Kennedy," Desmond joked while explaining that he feared the signing meant he'd be demoted.
Now, the two are close friends who have a lot more in common then he might have guessed.
"He's looking out for me," Desmond said.
And, so are the rest of his teammates. That, he says, is unique this year and a big ingredient in the team's success.
"It's such a family bond with Pudge, Jim Riggleman and the veteran guys," he continued.
Check out the rest of the pictures on MASN's Facebook page.