Rain delay at Angels’ camp is nothing for Buffalo native Steve Geltz.

Steve Geltz

After a light overnight snowfall, the forecast calls for a high temperature of 24 degrees Fahrenheit tomorrow in Buffalo, New York, and a low of 17. This information isn’t relevant to the Angels, though it will be posted on an 8.5-by-11-inch paper on the clubhouse wall tomorrow morning.

It’s a practical joke, one that rookie pitcher Steve Geltz must oblige every day. Geltz is from Buffalo. Manager Mike Scioscia discovered this while assigning hazing rituals earlier this week.

“He asked me where I was from,” Geltz recalled. “He said, ‘what’s it like there?’ I said cold.”

And so the idea of Geltz researching the daily forecast for Buffalo was born.

Weather was an issue in Phoenix today. The rain and cold forced a number of teams, including the Angels, to hit and pitch indoors. While players and media grumbled about the weather, Geltz offered a dose of perspective.

“Fifty-two isn’t exactly cold,” he said. “I beg for 52 in the winter.”

Today’s routine was a familiar one to Geltz, who grew up pitching off rubber mounds laid atop the hardwood floors of indoor gyms. He persevered and played on travel teams from age 12 to 18 before playing collegiately at Buffalo State. The 25-year-old right-hander had a fairly easy claim to being the best pitcher in the area.

“In my high school days,” he said, “I saw two or three guys who threw 85 or more.”

In Buffalo, the level of youth competition is higher in more traditional winter sports like hockey or football. Geltz said there were times when he was tempted to quit baseball and try something else, but “I always had such a passion for the game.”

Last year Geltz became the fifth player from Buffalo State to reach the majors, a validation of his perseverance through college games played in wind and snow with temperatures in the teens. If nothing else, he’s got stories to tell in the bullpen.

“People ask me all the time how I grew up playing baseball in Buffalo,” Geltz said.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.