Washington Nationals’ pitcher Drew Storen is a new resident of Eau Gallie

Drew Storen could have bought a home anywhere. He could have had a history-laden house in the leafy suburbs of Washington D.C., where he works, or a modish townhome in the hills of northern California, where he goes to school. He could have returned to Indiana, where his family is prominent, and bought a whole farm.

But when one of Major League Baseball’s stars-to-be finally decided to purchase a home, he chose Melbourne. The 23-year-old relief pitcher for the Washington Nationals, who was one of baseball’s most talked about signings in 2009, bought a condominium unit in Pineapple House in the Eau Gallie Arts District, about a 20-minute drive from the Nationals’ Spring Training facilities in Viera.

“I love the sunshine and the view of the river, and it’s an area that has character,” says Storen. “I also like that it’s within walking distance of Squid Lips and other restaurants, like (Bonefish Willy’s) up Pineapple Avenue. I like to walk.”

He is not unaware of Eau Gallie’s arts community, either. “The (Brevard Art) museum is there, and I saw an art show while I was in Melbourne not long ago. I like that. It’s interesting,” says Storen.

Storen, the son of Indianapolis radio sports journalist Mike Patrick and the nephew of ESPN personality Hannah Storm, is nearly as famous for his intellectual pursuits, as he spent his offseason working toward an engineering degree at Stanford University.

His professional life in Washington should be interesting too, Storen’s credentials having been established in 2010 with quick promotion from the Minor League and then a 4-4 record with a 3.58 earned run average and 52 strikeouts in 55.1 innings pitched.

And what did baseball’s top young reliever learn in his rookie year? “Be humble. Don’t say a lot. Ask questions if you don’t think you know what to do. Pay attention.”

Storen, who maintains his humility about the process of buying and furnishing his first home, says he will return to Melbourne whenever he can, certainly during Spring Training, which runs from February to April for pitchers and catchers.

“It should be fun to come back to Melbourne,” he says. “I’m really lucky.”

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