ILLUMINE COLLECT NEWS

Seeing a Light Through the Darkness

An Interview with Angels pitcher Ralston Cash

Interview by Jeremy Lux, article written by Eric Gasa

Before his 95 mph fast ball zips past your face, the first thing you might notice about LA Angels minor league pitcher Ralston Cash, is the mustache. On his official Instagram (@therealmustachecash) you can see the evolution of his much-adored facial hair, from hipster beard to classic handlebar and every length in between.

The mustache even bears the image of his organization, the Ralston Cash Foundation, which features a colorful graphic of a man’s face; man-bun on head, circular glasses, and a French mustache. But when it comes to baseball, life advice, or bigheartedness, there is much, much more to Cash than what meets the eye (or mustache).

Illumine Collect’s own Jeremy Lux had the chance to interview the newly signed Cash and share some words regarding Cash’s upbringing, career, and how to manage life’s curveballs.

“The one certain thing about life,” says Cash, “is uncertainty.”

The 26-year-old Georgia native who grew up in the small town of Habersham knows a thing or two about life’s uncertainties, gambles, and pitfalls.

 “You may spend all offseason putting in the most work you’ve even done, come into the season thinking you did everything right, when you’ve actually done everything wrong,” he continues.

Just as Cash’s baseball career was gearing up in 2010 he underwent a series of setbacks. 2012 was a particularly stormy year in Cash’s life; it was the year his father passed away from cancer, followed by his nephew’s passing, while the previous year he underwent a season ending surgery.

The sudden loss of his father motivated him to start the Ralston Cash Foundation, an organization that provides Christmas gifts to children who’ve lost a parent to cancer.

For Cash, Christmas and Santa Clause is a big deal, but giving is the bigger picture.

“Santa is not a specific person,” he says, “We’re all Santa. We’re all the ones who wake up and give the kids a break, a level of happiness.”

With the Ralston Cash Foundation, it’s about giving hope. Cash’s father Ralph, had been that hope for him, a figure that motivated him to be the athlete he is today; a passion that started with baseball.

Cash explains how his parents, despite being financially limited, would pay for pitching and batting lessons for him three to four times a week. Though you need talent to become a professional athlete Cash cites hard work and practice as just as important.

Today, Cash is a minor league pitcher with the Angels, a position that tops his list from the Dodgers, Drillers, and Orioles. But despite having some serious experience under his belt he still holds a sense of humility and humbleness with his career.

He recounts on an early memory he had with a heckler in the stands during a game.

“I used to get stuff from fans all the time just trying to be degrading and saying like, you know, really twisted stuff,” Cash explains, “of course when you go to fraternity night in Little Rock, Arkansas you’re gonna get some pretty messed up things said at you.”

It was Cash’s first pitching game of the year, back when he had very long hair, when suddenly “this dude in the San Antonio side, stands up and yells, ‘Who gave that lady a mustache?’”

Cash chuckles.

“He set it up with a little Spanish accent too, it was amazing,” he says, “I had to step off the plate, laugh, and re-find my focus. The guy nailed it. Everyone laughed…it was the greatest moment of being interrupted in the middle of a game. No harm, no foul, but it was great.”

From counting his luck and weathering the misfortunes, to giving kids Christmas presents and laughing at his own mustache, Cash keeps a level head and hopeful heart.

“In my career there is success and there is failure. That’s baseball, that’s life,” he says, “I mean, without the darkness you wouldn’t see the light.”

***

This interview is an excerpt from Illumine Collect’s Life in Motion podcast, a new series showcasing the lifestyles and lessons of people inspiring adventure and change. In it, Jeremy Lux further discusses Ralston Cash’s life changing journey to play baseball in Venezuela, his photography, as well as some of the other passions in his life. To hear the full interview and learn more about the Ralston Cash Foundation be sure to check out the Life in Motion podcast on iTunes.

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