It's the kind of big break that most of us can only dream about: a $2 million signing bonus. But rather than running out and buying a garage full of sports cars, 21-year-old Daniel Norris, pitching prospect for the Toronto Blue Jays, did something unexpected. He bought a mustard-yellow, 1978 Volkswagen Westfalia camper van and outfitted it with solar panels and a bed.
Not only was this his big splurge, but Norris is actually living in the van during the off-season.
He named the van Shaggy, after the character in “Scooby Doo.” He says that a love of nature and camping runs in his family, and when he's not pitching, he plans to take Shaggy out on the open road.
Norris documents his travels on Twitter. He looks right at home in the van--impressive when you consider his 6'2 frame.
"I love my teammates and family, but I'm not the kind of person who likes to be around a ton of people. I'm a thinker, I like to be alone with my thoughts," Norris says. "When I'm out there, it's just me, Shaggy, and God, and I can really connect with myself. It's very peaceful."
It’s incredible that a professional athlete, a man who can throw a fastball that reaches speeds of 95 miles-per-hour, would choose to spend his downtime kayaking, backpacking, and camping, instead of living the high life of his peers. Or maybe, the truly unusual aspect of this story is how unusual it seems to us.
Credit: Daily Mail | Daniel Norris