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Meet Daniel Norris, the Major League Baseball Player who lives in his van

by Elizabeth Murray / / Source: TODAY

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Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Daniel "Dino" Norris has the freedom to live almost anywhere, after being called up from the minors to the Toronto Blue Jays roster in September 2014. But the 21-year-old pitcher, who can throw a fastball in the mid-90s, prefers a simpler life, living in his 1978 Volkswagen Westfalia microbus.

Norris, a Tennessee native, spends most of his off-season in the pale, yellow-beige van, which he's nicknamed Shaggy.

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"It's not hard for me," Norris told NBC's Kerry Sanders on TODAY. "It's just easy, that's the reason I do it, because of how simple it is and how easy it is, and it's no big deal to me."

Norris said that his lifestyle stems from his parents, who taught him the difference between what you need and what you want. And it's also a chance to embrace his life motto: "On the road to nowhere fast."

"My road to the big leagues was fast; that was the plan," Norris said. "But every time I travel in this, I don't have plans. I'll put in $20 in gas, and wherever I run out, I stop for the night."

And when he stops for the night, there's music, but no television or 24-hour sports channels. In other words, no distractions.

"When I can simplify outside of the fair and foul lines, that's so much less to think about off the field," he said. "Then all of my focus is put on the baseball field."

But what is simplicity for Norris can be confusing for others. On Twitter earlier this week, Norris said that he was mistaken for a homeless man by a stranger who spotted him sleeping in his van outside of a Whole Foods.

"Some people call him weird; think he's a little out there," said one of Norris' teammates, fellow pitcher John Anderson. "I think he's awesome."

Norris will continue living through major league spring training, which he arrived for in Florida earlier this week, to compete for a spot in the Blue Jays' pitching rotation this season.

This article was originally published Feb. 21, 2015 at 10:37 a.m. ET.

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