Off Season, 
The Series

Professional Baseball Pitcher & 
Hunting Outfitter Archie Bradley

From the cold cover of the blind, Archie can hear the slow, deep breaths of his hunting crew. He and his comrades fasten their gear as the sky lights up and a crisp wind sends chills down their spines. He’s hunted here for years, but Archie swears he’s never seen a sunrise quite as beautiful.

Their moment of peace is interrupted by the whistle of ducks overhead, sending a shot of adrenaline through the hunters’ veins. It’s a feeling Archie only gets in two specific places—either right here in the blind, or at the pitcher’s mound during a big league game.

Between pitching in the on-season and hunting in the off-season, Archie keeps life in balance while chasing the next thrill.

Finding Balance

Archie comes from humble beginnings. Raised in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, he had his sights set on baseball 
from age four, working from little league through the minor leagues and into Major League Baseball beginning in 2015.

When he finally made it to his first big league game, Archie felt like he was living out a childhood dream. 
But the love of the game was soon matched by the pressure that comes with huge crowds and major league expectations.

The mental aspect of the game is huge, Archie explains. You’re playing 162 games in 170 days, so if you’re not feeling good physically, or if you’re pitching badly and the fans are booing you, the pressure is intense. You have to be able to focus mentally by finding things that help you rebound and come back to the real world.

For Archie, the secret to staying focused is staying in touch with the outdoors. That’s why he purchased 500 acres of Oklahoma wilderness in 2017. Here at Crash Landing, Archie’s off-season sanctuary, the fresh air and open spaces provide everything he needs to win the mental battle that comes with being a professional athlete.

My connection to the outdoors is about as important as any relationship, Archie explains. The way my brain’s wired, I can’t shut it off. It’s just nonstop. But when I’m outside, I don’t have a timeline. I worry about when dinner is and when the sun goes down, and whatever happens, happens.

Most of all, being immersed in the outdoors helps Archie keep things in perspective.

It can be hard to 
understand that baseball is not everything. It’s a big part of what I do and who I am, but the ranch allows me to focus on other things and remember that baseball is just a game.

Nothing quite like it

As Archie Bradley jogs to the pitcher’s mound, he can feel the excitement beaming down from his team, his family, and the tens of thousands of fans watching his every move. There’s nothing like it—except for the anticipation of the hunt in the off-season.

Archie runs a hunting outfitter called Crash Landing Outdoors that guides duck hunts deep in the Oklahoma wilderness. It took 
him years of work to build a successful business, but every time he feels that rush in the blind, he knows it was well worth it.

Hunting is the only thing that comes close to the energy and adrenaline I feel from striking someone out on the big league field, Archie explains. It’s about the build-up to that moment when you stand up and shoot—all the scouting, the set-up, the waiting. It all comes together for that moment, and you get rewarded for it.

Archie’s success with Crash Landing Outdoors is linked to the community that has stuck by him since the beginning. Now, they’re all feeling the benefits. What started as a side gig has become an impressive operation with a growing staff of over 10 full-time employees and a dedicated hunting lodge.

We've taken a recreational sport and turned it into a business, and now I'm helping provide a living for some of my friends, Archie says. It’s amazing seeing them grow into the next stage of life, starting families, all while doing what we love.

Spending time outdoors has also afforded Archie the space to reflect on what’s most important—his wife, friends, and family.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized all the sacrifices my parents have made for me to help me reach this point, Archie says. Telling them their son was going to be a big leaguer was one of the most memorable moments of my life.

Archie recalls a moment that stands out over several years of hunting—a feeling of genuine joy and connection with his father.

My favorite hunt was out with my dad, Archie explains. Wasn’t a big deer he shot, but it made me cry a little bit. Just realizing my dad’s getting older and thinking about everything he’s sacrificed for me, going back to the hours, the miles, and the money he and my mom put into my youth baseball career with no promise of success.

Hunting has afforded Archie more than an adrenaline rush. He gained the space to reflect on his journey and connect with his past.

Sitting in the blind 
with my dad shooting that deer, everything came back to me—all those things he did to get me here. I’ll always cherish that.