Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed doesn’t consider donning No. 13 an unlucky move.
He was given the number when he was traded to the Diamondbacks and that’s what he’s sticking with. After all, Ahmed considers himself lucky he landed on the Diamondbacks who traded Justin Upton and Chris Johnson for him. He made his big-league debut on June 29, 2014, and it was then he began his life in Arizona.
“It was the number offered to me when I was called up,” Ahmed says. “I didn’t really care because I was going to the big leagues. If it was a number like 75 or something I might have changed it. Thirteen is alright,” he says.
After four years in the Grand Canyon State, Ahmed and his family, which includes wife, Amanda, and 2-year-old son Jackson, are feeling comfortable. Ahmed has gelled with his team, too. The D-backs’ undeniable chemistry pushed it into the 2017 postseason run, which he missed after injuring his hand and wrist.
He has renewed drive this season, which has been a rollercoaster ride.
“Scoring 12 runs every day (would be) great, but it’s not going to happen every day,” says Ahmed, the team’s dugout after beating the Reds 12-5. “We just kept adding on and adding on and that’s what good teams do. We didn’t settle, and we continued to battle and score runs throughout the game.”
Ahmed is willing to do whatever it takes to win. He would even follow in the footsteps of Daniel Descalso or Mark Grace and give pitching a try, if manager Torey Lovullo asked.
“I pitched all throughout high school and college and I am definitely ready if he needs me,” Ahmed says with a smile.
Socially, Ahmed loves Arizona, but the Massachusetts native does miss the chilly New England weather. Arizona’s extreme heat and its topography were initially tough to digest.
“At first it was kind of unreal to see because I am used to seeing all green and hills and valleys and only a little bit in front of me, but in Arizona I can see on and on forever and that was really crazy,” he says.
He’s a fair-weather sports fan, though—or he’s playing it safe.
“I’m still a Massachusetts kid at heart, so if the Celtics are playing well in the NBA, I’m rooting for them,” Ahmed says. “I do enjoy rooting for the Arizona teams and watching the Cardinals, especially in the offseason when I’m at home watching football. I would say I like all of them.”
The Ahmeds enjoy hiking Camelback Mountain or visiting the Phoenix Zoo or OdySea Aquarium with Jackson. For date nights, they dine at Talking Stick Resort’s Orange Sky or Kitchen on the Street, a not-for-profit that gives its profits to organizations that help feed kids. Both restaurants are in Scottsdale.
“Orange Sky is a great place to watch the sunset from the roof of the hotel and have a nice dinner,” he says.
Although always a New England kid at heart, Ahmed has started to call Arizona his home.
“I love both Massachusetts and Arizona and am happy to call both places my home.”