When asked who inspires him most in life, Tyler Bugner simply responded, "My parents. They've been my biggest mentors and have taught me everything, to work hard in life."
Bugner's hard work has paid off, big time.
Bugner was drafted to the Colorado Rockies baseball team in the 21st round, making him the first Newman University baseball player in more than two decades to be drafted to the Major Leagues. He will start his professional baseball career with the Grand Junction Rockies, rookie affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.
Bugner flew to Colorado June 15 and will join his new team for his first game on Friday, June 17. And he's ready. Bugner has dreamed of this moment for a long time. He didn't think it would really ever happen. Then the spring of 2016 came, and he started to get some attention. Before he knew it, Bugner was visiting the Colorado Rockies' home base.
"My visit went really well, everyone was really respectful and I could tell it was a great organization," said Bugner.
The Andale native has played ball as far back as he can remember, and probably even longer than his memory will take him. He started T-ball at the age of 5, but picked up a bat during his young toddler years. And he credits his parents for being his biggest supporters.
"They've always been able to give me the best equipment that I needed in order to be successful. They've been there every step of my life, especially for baseball," Bugner said.
A junior at Newman University, Bugner hopes to continue taking classes online to finish his Bachelor of Science in Biology. "I plan on continuing my studies," said Bugner. "But I also plan on taking the fall semester off to get a feel for how pro ball works into my life and what my schedule will be like."
Bugner said he was with family and friends, past coaches and teammates watching the live stream of the draft on his computer. Needless to say, when the phone call came, the mood in the room became one of excitement and elation.
"There were a lot of high fives, hugs and handshakes," Bugner said. "This is just something I've always dreamed about. It's a dream come true."
Through it all, Bugner maintains a level of humbleness that is admirable. He continues to communicate how blessed he is and acknowledge how many people have helped him along the way.
"I would like to thank my parents, who've been my rock, and everyone that's supported me," he said. "All the coaches that have coached me, and teammates that have molded me into a great player. Hopefully I can have an impact on everyone I play with, too."