How Eddie Van Halen inspired this Marlin

July 26th, 2022

This story was excerpted from Christina De Nicola's Marlins Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

When Marlins No. 4 prospect  isn't mashing baseballs or manning the outfield, you might just find him behind a piano playing the beginning of Piano Sonata No. 16 by Mozart.

"I do when there's [a piano] in front of me and when it doesn't say, 'Don't play me,'" Bleday said. "I usually get all that playing in the offseason before I come back to some baseball."

Bleday began taking lessons in elementary school because his older brother and sister were. But the youngster didn't like sitting on the bench practicing for two hours, so he gradually got away from it. He then picked up guitar in middle school thanks to his father.

"Once I heard Eddie Van Halen play guitar, I'm like, 'Oh, I kind of want to do that,'" Bleday said.

The 24-year-old Bleday would eventually return to the piano. These days, he plays by ear and looks up videos on YouTube rather than reading sheet music.

Just don't expect a jam session, which would include "Black Bird" by The Beatles, in the clubhouse or on the road. Bleday, who made his Major League debut on Saturday, is in full baseball mode.

"It's a good little escape," Bleday said. "I just love music, and I think playing an instrument is something everyone should learn how to do. If you've got downtime, might as well do it."