MLB star Daniel Norris “focusing on baseball” after unforgettable 2015 season

JOHNSON CITY (WJHL) –  For Daniel Norris, life these days is about one main thing: preparing for the 2016 season with the Detroit Tigers.


“In my head, I expect to be the best pitcher in the world and that’s what I’m working for,” Norris said.

It’s not that Norris is not engaged in other things in the last few weeks before the start of spring training.

In fact, this weekend he’ll lend his time to help a Johnson City family pay tribute to their late son.

Norris will be the featured guest at a fundraiser on Saturday to raise money for a project called “Jacob’s Nature Park at Sinking Creek”.

The park would serve as an outdoor learning center named after Jacob Francisco, a Johnson City boy who died of E coli infection. His family is spearheading the project in cooperation in cooperation with the Boone Watershed Project, which is working to restore Sinking Creek where high levels of E. coli have been detected.

Jacob Francisco. Credit:
Jacob Francisco. Credit:

The City of Johnson City ruled the 28 acres of land undevelopable and designated the area for a nature park.

The Francisco family reached out to Norris to help with the event.

“I was touched by it,” Norris said. “I thought that was really cool and it was a no-brainer to say yes.”

The event is called “Support the Dream with Daniel Norris for Jacob’s Nature Park at Sinking Creek.”

It will be held Saturday from 5-9:30 p.m. at the East Tennessee State University’s D.P. Culp Auditorium.

VIP ticket holders will have a chance to meet Daniel Norris before the main event.


At the event Saturday, News Channel 11’s Kasey Marler will be on-hand to speak with Norris.

The 2015 season was an amazing one for Norris.

Traded to the Detroit Tigers after learning he had thyroid cancer, Norris said he’s now in excellent health and is ready to put the health scare behind him.

“I feel 100 percent,” Norris said. “I feel very fortunate for everything how it ended up. I’m just looking forward to 2016 honestly. It was definitely a whirlwind of a year, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”


Copyright 2015 WJHL.  All rights reserved.

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