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Astros Collin McHugh

Collin McHugh - more than just a pitcher. (Photo courtesy of Houston Astros)

Collin McHugh – more than just a pitcher. (Photo courtesy of Houston Astros)

A MAN OF MANY TALENTS

Astros starter Collin McHugh once joked he was “the dumb jock of the family.” But he’s much more than a jock, and certainly far from dumb. The 27-year-old finds himself in the starting pitching rotation for the ASTROS, but still finds time to pen his own blog and even play a few instruments. Music is more of a family gene than baseball, he admits. McHugh’s brother and sister (Evan and Eryn) are songwriters in Nashville, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t dabble in music a little himself. One thing he packs on road trips? His ukulele.

Jayme: So your brother and sister are into music?

Collin: Both are songwriters. My brother does more of the acoustic, full key stuff and my sister writes with a bunch of different people – she does a lot in Nashville. I grew up playing instruments, enjoying music and ended up doing this (baseball)…

J: Do you play any instruments or have a good voice?

C: I played clarinet growing up. Once I got into high school I started playing a little saxophone and then drums. I picked up guitar and recently started playing the ukulele. It’s a nice little travel instrument for me.

J: What do your teammates say about that?

C: I don’t know – it’s a mix batch. Some guys see it and they’re like, ‘What is that – I don’t even know what that is!’

J: I’m not sure I know what a ukulele is.

C: It’s kind of a Hawaiian island string instrument – basically a little guitar.

J: Does it help you relax?

C: Yeah, I think for me anything that can take my mind off of baseball does. It’s something I’ve been doing for a long time – I’ve been playing instruments before I was playing baseball so it goes back a long way. It’s something I’m passionate about. Whenever I get a chance to play with other guys, to pick around at the guitar, it’s a good time.

J: Favorite music?

C: I’m probably more into toned down stuff. I enjoy a lot of types of music. I’m from Atlanta and there’s a big hip-hop influence in Atlanta so obviously I really like hip-hop and R&B. It’s hard to beat Outkast (they represent Atlanta). Outkast, T.I. and Drake. Other than that probably some singer/songwriter stuff I grew up listening to like Bryan Adams and Jeff Buckley. Let’s just say I like good music – hard rock is tough unless I’m in the weight room.

J: Have you checked out any Houston venues?

C: Last year I saw Ingrid Michaelson at House of Blues. I think Sufjan Stevens is playing on one of our off days – I’m going to try and see them.

J: If you could hang with any musician – dead or alive?

C: Probably Jeff Buckley – he’s kind of a freak. His voice is incredible, he’s a great musician, son of Tim Buckley and music is in his blood. I’d just sit and pick his brain. Obviously he’s not around anymore so it’s tough; he was in the prime of his career.

J: If you could only listen to one Pandora station the rest of the season?

C: That’s a good question! Right now I would have to say I am into the new Purity Ring album – it’s so good. I’d probably put it on that and rock out – it’s pretty solid.

Check out McHugh’s blog where he talks about life and baseball – www.adayolderadaywiser.com

This article originally ran in the May 2015 print issue (the music issue) of Local Houston Magazine. Click here to see the online version, or go roam around Houston and snag your free copy!