It’s not the type of fun T.J. Sikkema expected to be having this summer, but the Yankees minor leaguer is making the most out of a difficult situation. Instead of being on a field for his first full minor league season, he’s spending his time with his girlfriend helping to deliver food to those who …
It’s not the type of fun T.J. Sikkema expected to be having this summer, but the Yankees minor leaguer is making the most out of a difficult situation. Instead of being on a field for his first full minor league season, he’s spending his time with his girlfriend helping to deliver food to those who don’t want to venture out on their own during the novel coronavirus pandemic, working as a driver for DoorDash in Iowa.
“It’s fun,” Sikkema told the Des Moines Register.
The Yankees’ 17th-best prospect according to MLB.com, Sikkema was taken No. 38 overall in the draft last year and had notched a 0.84 ERA in 10.2 innings with Single-A Staten Island last year. He was preparing for this season with “a lot to prove.” Instead, the virus ended spring training on March 13, and Sikkema soon went home to DeWitt, Iowa. He’s done his best to stay in shape, working out and throwing bullpen sessions twice a week. In his free time, he makes extra money working with his girlfriend, Amanda Brainerd, driving her around to deliver food.
The idea came from his sister Taryn. She came up with the idea when coronavirus first hit, due to the closing of restaurants in the area.
“She kind of got us into it,” Sikkema said. “Amanda, one night, we were talking over dinner and she was like, ‘Maybe we should try that, T.J. — it’s really fun.’”
They go to different nearby towns to deliver food, with Sikkema driving and Brainerd doing most of the deliveries.
“He’s pretty good with directions,” she said.
They make roughly $15-25 an hour, which is mostly for Brainerd, since Sikkema is still getting paid $400 a week by the Yankees. Brainerd is still in school, taking graduate courses to become a registered dietitian. While he doesn’t have baseball, this has given him something to do, a chance to spend extra time with his girlfriend while helping others.
“It’s not all about the money,” he said. “It’s a little bit about getting out and it’s a little bit about just trying to help people. … The first couple of times were a little stressful just trying to figure out the whole directions thing and how it’s the best way to do that. But now that we have it figured out, it’s actually pretty fun.”