Tigers pitcher Doug Fister was one of the guest speakers at Thursday night's Fresno Grizzlies Hot Stove Gala.
Fister has no affiliation with the Grizzlies, nor the San Francisco Giants for that matter, but he is a valley native; he's from Merced and he pitched at Golden Valley High School, Merced College and Fresno State.
And he's actually being inducted into Fresno State's Wall of Fame on Friday night.
"To be considered a Bulldog, to be in that club with those guys is such an honor for me," said Fister. "Being able to be around the facility, the coaching staff, the players, that's just something you never forget.
"I'm still Doug Fister. Same small-town guy that likes to get his hands dirty wood-working and working on cars, and stuff like that. But I do get recognized and it doesn't go unnoticed."
Fister made his Major League debut in 2009 and hasn't looked back. He's been traded (from the Mariners to the Tigers), pitched in the postseason, hit in the head by a line drive and set the American League record for striking out nine consecutive batters.
But unlike several other players around the game, he's never been accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs.
"Not everybody is on it," said Fister on Thursday night. "And you have to take somebody's word for it. But they're doing a lot for testing, they're doing a lot for research and finding out exactly how to tell when those are taking place. And they're doing a great job at it. It may be a change for us and sometimes a little bit out of the way to give a blood sample or a urine sample and to do the testing. But in all honesty it's a good thing. It's cleaning up anything that could be a problem and it's guys who have not done it and the guys who want to keep the game clean, they have no problem with it. And that's kinda where we're at. And that's how we like it."