Back in 2020, when the baseball season was canceled, many people thought we might have seen the last of Casey Opitz at Arkansas. But the Diamond Hogs catcher decided to return for one last year in a Razorback uniform.
Now that the 2021 season has come to an end, does he feel he made the right decision?
“Oh absolutely no doubt about it,” says Opitz. “Being able to come back here and be with the guys, and me getting to work with my brother every day, it was just a dream come true. I wouldn’t trade this season for anything.”
But one of the main reasons for his return was to improve his hitting.
Opitz says he feels better about how that went this year. However, he didn’t finish with the exact number he had planned. Adding, “At some point it’s about winning the games.”
And the Razorbacks won a lot of games. 50 to be exact.
Arkansas relief pitcher Kevin Kopps played a major role in many of those wins. So what was it like catching for one of the best pitchers in the country?
“It was easy. It was real easy, everything worked. That was the fun part for me. Whatever he wanted to do, didn’t matter who was hitting, we could beat them. So I’m blessed I was able to be a part of that.”
But as many fans says, it’s Opitz who is the true heart and soul of this Arkansas team.
“It kind of leaves you speechless. People saying that, it’s obviously, I want to be looked at as that by the fans and the guys. So that was awesome for me to keep seeing that. Just being able to be that spark. I was whatever this team needed, I could give it.”
But Opitz says there were so many people that gave back to him as well during his time at Arkansas.
“I just want to say thank you to everybody. Everybody in the media team everybody on the coaching staff the fans everybody in Arkansas. Thank you for taking me in just a kid from Colorado getting to come here and be a part of this big family so thank you guys.”