Alumnus Plays Minor League

Former PHS student Adam Cimber has moved up in his pitching career. Having pitched for multiple teams, Cimber explores his experiences playing baseball in college and reflects on his time as Viking.

Adam Cimber, 2009 Puyallup Viking graduate, made his first Triple-A appearance April 11 against the local minor league team, Tacoma Rainiers.
Cimber, who is currently on the San Antonio Missions and is also a former Washington Husky, has since been sent down to Double-A.
Cimber has found that there are not a lot of changes from high school to college to the pros.
“It is the same game for me now as it was in high school. Obviously we play nine innings every night as opposed to seven and we use wood [bats] instead of metal [bats] but you are still out there with your best friends, competing and having fun playing a game,” Cimber said.
Cimber points out the biggest difference between high school to the pros.
“I guess the biggest difference that stands out to me between professional ball and high school and college ball is the length of the season. We play 140 games a year, nine innings every night of the week,” Cimber said.
Baseball coach Marc Wiese explained how Cimber changed a lot from his freshman year to his senior year.
“He showed up as a 5 feet 11 inches, 100-pound ninth grader. He was a very slim, slender and very immature physically. He ended up growing to 6 feet 3 inches. He came into high school as a shortstop and his sophomore year we were a little thin on the mound, we had him throw some inter-squad games,” Wiese said.
Cimber transitioned nicely from shortstop to the mound.
“Cimber started pitching at junior varsity and he was getting guys out. He did not throw very hard but he had some great movement on his pitches and a good feel for pitching. We had him start a game and he threw a four hitter and there was no turning back after that for him,” Wiese said.
Cimber admitted there were some nerves before his first Triple-A game.
“Obviously there were nerves before the game but personally the mound is my comfort zone. I have worked hard enough outside the lines that when I get on a mound, it is freeing. It does not matter what level you are at, a mound is a mound and if you have worked hard enough and you truly believe you have, it is easy to just trust and attack,” Cimber said.
Cimber touches on the approach he takes to every game.
“I really just try to focus on my own game I try not to pay too much attention to what team is in the other dugout or who’s in the box. Obviously some guys have strengths and weaknesses and you have to be mindful of those but for the most part if you work hard and execute your pitches, you can get anybody out,” Cimber said.
Cimber has one person to thank for getting him involved in baseball
“My dad. Without him supporting me, pushing me, picking me back up and providing countless opportunities for me, there is no way I would be doing what I am doing today. If it was not for him, I honestly would not have showed up for the Puyallup High School baseball tryout my freshman year,” Cimber said. “I was so nervous and afraid of failure that I literally told him I did not want to go. But he knew what was best for me and drove me down to Heritage Park that day. I cannot put into words how thankful I am for everything he has done for me.”
Cimber was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the ninth round of the 2013 Major League Baseball draft.
“I was ecstatic. I am huge into goal setting and my number one goal my senior year at the University of San Francisco was to get drafted in the top 10 rounds. Hearing my name called in the ninth was one of the proudest moments of my life. I immediately called my dad and we both cried on the phone,” Cimber said.
Wiese suggested that Cimber reminds him of Dan Quisenberry, a former Kansas City Royals closer.
“Dan Quisenberry was a closer for the Royals in the 1980’s. The way Quisenberry pitched, submarine (style of pitching) and had a lot of movement on his pitches. Adam is more of a set up guy right now and throws a little bit harder but the style is very similar. Adam actually threw mid-seventies his sophomore year and when he left he threw mid-eighties. That makes a big difference,” Wiese said.
Cimber describes his routine each game and its importance.
“Around the fifth inning I head out to a quiet spot away from my teammates and go through a pretty regimented stretch routine that I have kind of pieced together over the past few years. I switch from relaxed and joking in the dugout, to a more concentrated game mode,” Cimber said. “Routines are huge at any level of the game but when you have got a game every night of the week for six months straight, routines are your life, breaking them can be deadly,”
Cimber reminisces on what he wishes he would have done when he was still in high school.
“I wish I would have trusted myself a little more. Having been through high school, college and a few seasons of pro ball, I have learned that things always work out one way or another for those who work hard whose hearts are in the right place. And not just in baseball, in anything in life,” Cimber said. “I wish I would have relaxed and trusted that idea, that process, a little more. I think 24-year-old Adam would tell 18-year-old Adam, you cannot control circumstances, you cannot control how you are treated by other people, but you can control how you respond. And if you put in the effort to do the right thing, you are going to look back six years from and realize how you are right where you deserve to be.”
Climber has had a lasting effect on the PHS baseball team, according to Wiese.
“He was the first person to get us to the State championship. He put us on his back when he pitched the semifinal against Tahoma and it was a great game. He really set that winning attitude that has carried on throughout the years that followed him,” Wiese said.
Cimber touches on what it was like to pitch against a home town team.
“It was extremely surreal. Like I said, I try not to pay too much attention to who I am pitching against but this one was a little hard to overlook,” Cimber said.
Cimber was astonished at the change in roles from when he was a kid at a Rainiers’ game.
“Growing up going to Rainiers games and being that little kid in the stands asking for autographs, then suddenly I am the one walking out of the tunnel while kids are asking for mine, as I am about to go out and pitch against the Tacoma Rainiers; it was an unbelievable feeling,” Cimber said.
Cimber considers his best pitch to be his fastball.
“My fastball has topped out at 93 miles per hour but I am consistently 88 to 90. With my arm slot [sidearm], it is not necessarily as much about velocity as it is about movement and depth. I have had a majority of my success by locating my fastball to sides of the plate,” Cimber said.
Cimber stresses the importance of baseball and its relationships.
“If there is one thing I have learned through my baseball career about life, it is that there is not anything more important than relationships. The friendships that the game of baseball has given me are by far the most rewarding aspect,” Cimber said.

“One of my coaches once asked me if I could remember my batting average from when I was 11-years-old. I said no. He then asked if I could remember who my best friends were on my team when I was 11. I immediately remembered all of them. Looking back, the most valuable things I own are the memories I have made with friends. Always put relationships first,” Cimber said.
When Cimber took the mound for the first time as a pro there was one thing going through his mind.
“JUST THROW STRIKES.’ Understandably I was a little more nervous when I got on the mound that day. It was actually a pretty easy transition from college to my first year of pro ball though; I played for the Eugene Emeralds, whose home field was PK Park, the University of Oregon’s baseball stadium. Playing for the University of Washington and the University of San Francisco, I had played there a few times over my four year college career, so it was all pretty familiar once I stepped on the mound to start my pro career,” Cimber said.