Konnor Griffin reflects on time playing in Taiwan with USA Baseball

Griffin played in the World Baseball Softball Confederation U-18 Baseball World Cup earlier this month
Konnor Griffin played for USA Baseball U18 in Taiwain earlier this month
Konnor Griffin played for USA Baseball U18 in Taiwain earlier this month(Patrick Johnstone/WLBT)
Published: Sep. 24, 2023 at 2:25 PM CDT
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FLOWOOD, Miss. (WLBT) - Earlier this month, Konnor Griffin and the Team USA U-18 team competed in Taiwan in the World Baseball Softball Confederation U-18 Baseball World Cup.

“Doing what I love, getting the opportunity to represent my country, represent Jackson Prep, it was an awesome experience,” Griffin said. “Just definitely an honor playing for my country.”

By being named to the team, Griffin was also highlighted as one of the 20 best baseball players in the country. He played alongside the top high school players in the US, and was coached by former MLB players like Michael Cuddyer and LaTroy Hawkins.

“I was just trying to ask them a lot of questions, I’m trying to soak in everything they say, because they have a lot of knowledge of the game, they played it for a long time,” Griffin said.

While Griffin gained a lot of valuable experience on the field, the trip was much more than that for him.

“It was definitely an experience playing teams like Japan and Chinese Taipei. Those teams bring a lot of energy. There were a ton of fans. When we played Chinese Taipei, there was a band going in the stands, people yelling, beating blow-up sticks and stuff like that,” he said. “It was definitely different, nothing that we see over here in the US, but definitely something I can tell a lot of people one day that I experienced, that got to play for all those people.”

Speaking of fans, there are more Konnor Griffin fans across the globe, after he met and signed autographs for fans at the game.

“That was awesome,” Griffin said. “There were hundreds of Taiwan citizens that wanted autographs from me, my team, our coaches. They showed their love for sure.”

After nearly a month away, between the try-out for the team, travel, and the tournament itself, Griffin is back home and back at school for his senior year at Jackson Prep.

“It is kind of weird, because I’m back to reality,” he said. “Baseball’s officially over for the summer, so I’m just doing school right now, and just trying to get caught back up. But I’m definitely glad to be back.”

He may be back to his normal life, but Griffin did not take his time playing overseas for granted.

“I took it in as much as I could,” he said. “Before every at-bat, I kind of just looked around, soaked it all in; that I was playing for my country in Taiwan, competing for a gold medal. I was just trying to have fun and try to win for my team.”

Now, Griffin’s attention turns to the spring, and finishing his senior year strong.

“My main goal right now is just to go win that last championship for Prep, give it all I have for me and my boys who I’m going to be playing with,” Griffin said. “Just take it one game at a time, just try to enjoy it, because it’s my last season. I’m just going to take it all in.”

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