Chris Narveson delivered three scoreless innings against the Reds this afternoon and is making quite a bid for an Opening Day roster spot. So let’s brush up on some trivia about the soft-spoken Brewers left-hander:
1. He has Wisconsin ties.
Narveson’s father, Bruce, is originally from Twin Lakes, Wis. and was a very good athlete for Dodgeville High School. Until several years ago, the family owned a restaurant in Dodgeville called Narvey’s. Bruce Narveson married Sally, who hailed from Wauwatosa, Wis., a suburb of Milwaukee next to Miller Park. Narveson has family that still lives there.
“When I signed with the Brewers, my mom’s side of the family was pretty fired up,” he said.
2. He goes way back with one of his competitors for the rotation.
The Narvesons eventually moved to North Carolina, and when Chris went for an official visit to Wake Forest University, the Bush family served as his hosts. Dave Bush was a catcher for Wake Forest and then converted to closer.
College was put on hold after the Cardinals made Narveson their second-round pick in the 2000 First-Year Draft, but Narverson promised his mother that he’d eventually get his education. Which takes us to the fact that…
3. He was busy this winter.
On Feb. 15, the same day he reported to Maryvale Baseball Park for Spring Training, Narveson completed an undergraduate degree from the online University of Phoenix with a major in business management and a minor in finance. It was a gratifying achievement, considering that he began working on his degree in 2003 and continued taking courses online, even in 2007 and 2008 while he was playing winter ball in Mexico.
“As long as I had Internet access, I could work on it,” Narveson said. “It took a little bit of discipline, but it’s a great feeling to know I have that degree hanging on my wall for when I’m done playing baseball. I would like to get my MBA, eventually. I like to challenge myself intellectually.”
For now, he’s focused on challenging himself physically.
Narveson has been in Milwaukee’s system for more than two years but he made his mark last September, when he was Milwaukee’s pitcher of the month with a 2.73 ERA, including a 3.38 ERA in four starts from Sept. 13-29. It put Narveson into the mix for 2010.
“This game is all about opportunity,” he said. “You have to seize it when you have it. They’ve treated me like family here, so I know that the opportunity is real.”
Beginning next week, the Brewers will have to make some decisions.