Boston Red Sox outfielder Darnell McDonald has signed on as a professional athlete representative of the high performance apparel company Respect Your Universe (RYU). McDonald has joined the ranks of other RYU representatives like 2011 Mr. Olympia Phil Heath and UFC welterweight Jon Fitch.
When first approached by RYU, McDonald did his research on the products they offer. “If I were going to start a company it would be like [RYU]. It’s a match made in heaven,” says MacDonald. He found the fact that their apparel is made from recycled materials intriguing, but it was the company’s powerful philosophy that really resonated with him and was a motivation to join the campaign.
RYU is an official sponsor of the UFC and promotes the core principles of respect, strength, honor and sustainability. RYU claims that McDonald is the perfect representative for their “Warrior Ethic” when it comes to athletics. Even before signing, McDonald carried himself with a warrior-like attitude.
McDonald is unique because he has incorporated Mixed Martial Arts into his training sessions, which helps him with flexibility, focus, and, most importantly, discipline. “You have to be focused one pitch at a time and utilize visualization,” says McDonald about his training.
He is a big fan of the MMA and is specifically focusing on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in order to elevate his game. “I appreciate what they do. I understand what it takes to compete at a level like that. It’s something I try to draw from to help me in my sport,” says McDonald.
McDonald’s love for baseball began at a very young age when he was growing up in Colorado. “Baseball is something my father got my brother and I involved in as soon as we could pick up a bat,” says McDonald.
From there McDonald worked his way up to the major leagues, with the Baltimore Orioles drafting him in 1997. He has built up his professional career playing for teams like the Minnesota Twins and the Cincinnati Reds to finally land a spot as a utility outfielder for the Red Sox in 2010.
McDonald is ecstatic to finally be a part of the Red Sox organization. “It’s a dream come true. It’s something you dream about when you’re a little kid playing in the backyard,” he says. McDonald loves the history and the fans that flock to Fenway to support Red Sox Nation.
As a representative of the RYU training apparel, McDonald will not only be wearing the products during training, but also living up to the standards the name represents. He will have press conferences and make appearances at fashion promotions. McDonald said that his favorite article of clothing to wear in training is RYU’s lightweight and comfortable hooded sweatshirts.
It is not just McDonald that is working hard for the 2012 spring training and upcoming season, the whole Red Sox organization is focused. The team is working hard on speed and agility while mixing in weight training and leaving the downfalls of last season behind them.
“We have obviously made changes in the off season. Personally you look back and think about what you could have done differently. You have to learn from your mistakes,” says McDonald. With the implementation of new gear and intense training, Darnell McDonald is doing his part to help the Red Sox strike back.