Back in the game: Former Cincinnati Reds player Blake Trahan among those being honored in a new History of Baseball in Southwest Louisiana exhibit

Published 4:10 am Sunday, June 4, 2023

After achieving his childhood dream of playing major league baseball, Kinder native Blake Trahan is back in the game, serving as head coach at Lacassine High School. Trahan played part of the 2018 season with the Cincinnati Reds and is among the major leaguers being honored in the History of Baseball in Southwest Louisiana exhibit opening today at the Brimstone Museum in Sulphur.

Trahan said his success was spurred by an attitude at a young age that stressed improvement over recognition.

“I think with all good athletes, the goal is to win and be good,” he said. “Most good athletes don’t thrive on accolades or being a star. It’s ‘how good can I get? What is my potential and can I get there?’”

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The strong work ethic didn’t take away from Trahan’s joy of competing.

“At the end of the day, it’s a game,” he said. “Even guys who are getting paid, who are at the highest level, that’s their secret – they keep it a game and have fun with it.”

After being a multisport star at Kinder, Trahan starred in baseball at UL-Lafayette. After a strong first season, a chance at a professional career seemed realistic.

“I was a freshman All-American and got to play for the USA Baseball Collegiate Team,” he said. “That’s when the dream started to show itself. But like everything, it was hard work. I never stopped to take a breath, it was always work and ‘What can I do to make myself a better player?’”

Trahan was drafted by the Reds in the third round of the 2015 draft.

“It was special, it was the day all the work you put in with your dad and whoever else helped you along the way paid off,” he said. “After getting drafted, as a competitor, you feel like you didn’t go high enough. You get motivated from that and get right back to work.”

Trahan reached the majors in 2018, appearing in 11 games.

“My first game with the Reds was the last of a three-game series in St. Louis. My parents drove up. I did not play in that game. After the game, on a flight to Pittsburgh, they told me I would be starting the next game. My parents were already driving home and had to change route to get to Pittsburgh.”

They made it in time to see Trahan collect his first major league hit.

“At that point it’s just baseball, you’re going through your normal routine and trying to win a ballgame,” Trahan said of making his debut. “It is tough. You are trying to stay focused, but your nerves are through the roof. It took more than a few innings to settle down. It’s a special moment.”

After finishing the season with the Reds, he spent the 2019 season with the AAA Louisville Bats and went to spring training with the Reds in 2020. Training camps were shut down due to Covid. When baseball resumed, Trahan elected to retire.

“It was tough to do something your whole life, then decide to call it quits,” he said. “It’s a big life adjustment. I felt called in a different direction and felt God had different plans for me. At this point, I’m thankful for my career and happy to be raising a family and living a family life.”

Trahan spent two years away from the game before taking up coaching.

“I was back in school, finishing my degree,” he said. “After graduating, I took the coaching job at Lacassine.
After being away from the game, I felt I wanted to be in it again, to be around kids again and to be in a team atmosphere again. I knew that being a coach I would be able to impact many lives, not just developing baseball players but developing young men. Baseball is a way to do that. Most good coaches, their goal is to help their players in life.”

Trahan led the Cardinals to their first-ever trip to the quarterfinal round of the playoffs this season.

“I enjoy being around the same group of kids every day,” he said. “It’s powerful to be part of a team again. I get to be around the same 15-20 kids every day and try to help them in different avenues of their lives. The team atmosphere is what most guys miss when they retire. You can get that back being a coach. You get a chance to go through a journey with that group of guys.”

He said baseball teaches valuable life lessons.

“You learn to handle adversity. Baseball is a tough game, you can do a lot of things right and still fail. It is a lot like life. Life eventually is going to give you adversity. Our response to adversity is going to dictate the outcome. Baseball is a great teacher of that. A good player is going to be able to make adjustments and be able to respond to a failure on the field. It’s the same thing in life, a good person is going to be able to respond to adversity. They are not going to let adversity beat them. They are going to continue to stand up and push back.”