"It's not all about the money, it's a little bit about getting out and it's a little bit about just trying to help people," the pitching prospect says

By Jason Duaine Hahn
June 09, 2020 08:39 PM
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TJ Sikkema
Credit: Wade Payne/AP/Shutterstock

A New York Yankees pitching prospect is keeping busy amid the coronavirus outbreak by delivering food with his girlfriend as he awaits the baseball season to start.

After being selected by the Yankees in the 2019 draft, T.J. Sikkema was set to show off his skills during the minor league season this year. But things came to a halt once coronavirus was declared a pandemic in March, leading to the postponement of large public gatherings that put all professional sports leagues on hiatus.

With the start of the season in doubt, Sikkema returned to his native Iowa and took up a side hustle: food delivery via DoorDash with his girlfriend, Amanda Brainerd.

"That’s my job right now," Sikkema, 21, told the Des Moines Register. "I’ve got to unlock the door when she gets out."

Though he's making the most out of the situation — and trying something completely new — Sikkema is disappointed he hasn't been able to step on the mound.

TJ Sikkema
T.J. Sikkema at the University of Missouri
| Credit: Butch Dill/AP/Shutterstock

"I think it was going to be pretty big," Sikkema told the newspaper of the season. "It was going to be my first full year in pro ball. So, I think I had a lot to prove."

Sikkema said the two are pulling in $15 to $25 an hour from their deliveries, and it didn't take long for them to get a hang of the process.

"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," he told the Register. "But now that we have it figured out, it's actually pretty fun."

According to the newspaper, the money is mostly going to Brainerd, who will soon be starting a graduate program to become a dietitian.

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Sikkema still earns $400 a week from the Yankees and also has money left over from his $1.95 million signing bonus.

But driving around the city has allowed the couple to spend more time together, while also delivering food to people who may be nervous about venturing out into public during the pandemic.

"It's not all about the money," he told the Register. "It's a little bit about getting out and it's a little bit about just trying to help people."

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