Mike Rabin, the next Justin Timberlake? He likes to think so, but his teammates are inclined to think differently. In singing contests, the amateur crooner likes to belt out ballads despite the ridicule, yet he does not mind. Rabin enjoys amusing himself and others, especially during the baseball season, where one’s performance has its peaks and valleys. The junior outfielder realizes that although winning is important, baseball is just a game he is fortunate to be able to play at the collegiate level.
What would you consider your hidden talent?
“I personally like to think I’m a good singer, but everyone thinks I’m the worst. I’m really terrible, but I like to sing to just joke around and the guys always make fun of me about that.”
Do you participate in singing contests?
“We had a “Roommate American Idol” contest in our house and we all sang, “I Believe I Can Fly” and Derek Kinnear and Josh Newman were the judges. All of us were really bad and I didn’t win, but I still say I was the best.”
Teammate Paul Farinacci said you are the most superstitious person on the team. Would you agree with that?
“I don’t have one particular thing I do every time. But if I get a hit, the next time I’m at bat I will do the exact same thing. I might put on my batting gloves a certain way or if I have a good game, I might get dressed in a certain order. A couple of weeks ago I accidentally had on shorts when I put on my uniform. I got a few hits in that game, so I started wearing shorts under my uniform.”
How do you stay motivated?
“Baseball is fun and no matter what level, it will always be a fun sport. You have to realize, even when you are playing badly, it’s just a game. That’s what drives me, we aren’t out working at a job like most people in college, we are out here playing baseball and having fun.”
Have you always been a fan of baseball?
“Actually football was always my favorite sport growing up. I always liked baseball, but I was never really a big fan. Even now if I’m watching TV, I’ll watch a football game before a baseball game. I preferred to play baseball though, because growing up I knew I could have a future in it.”
Although football was your favorite sport, did you closely follow any particular baseball team?
“I went to a few Reds’ games a year. I always followed them, but I was never a die-hard Reds fan, but growing up in Cincinnati it was easy access to the games, so I would always check them out every year.
Why did you choose “Wat Da Hook Gon Be” by Murphy Lee as your intro song?
“All three years that I have been here, I have always had a rap song and I like this song and the beat, but for some reason no one else likes it. After every game my roommates are always trying to get me to change songs. One of my roommates suggested coming out to Bon Jovi.”
What is the radio in your car tuned to?
“Depends when you catch me. Normally I’ll be listening to country, but sometimes I like to listen to rap.”
Did you choose to wear No. 25 and if not what number would you choose?
“I was given the No. 25, but if I could choose a number it would be 11 because growing up that was my and my brother’s number in high school, but I like 25 and will stick with it.”
What is Bill Davis Stadium’s best attribute?
“The fans. When this place fills up it’s amazing. In high school you basically play in front of your parents and that’s it. Here you’ll get thousands of people cheering you on. It’s a great atmosphere and they’re behind you all the time and that’s great.”
What was the toughest crowd you had to face on the road?
“Auburn was tough last year because of that regional atmosphere and how much was riding on it. But the toughest crowd I ever faced was at Mississippi State. It was the first game I ever started and their fans right over the whole out-field wall were heckling me the whole game. They’re great fans though because they may heckle you throughout the game, but they are your best friends at the end and they will invite you to come eat with them, so it’s all in good fun.”
How do you unwind after a day at practice or playing a doubleheader?
“It’s tough to unwind because after playing late and intense games it’s hard to go home and go to sleep. The good thing about having roommates who don’t play baseball is they help get your mind off the game, whether you have a good game or a bad game. My family is great too. They always come up and watch me play and if I have a bad game it’s easy to vent to them and if I have a good game they are always there to congratulate me, so all of that helps me unwind.”