A few of the things I normally do during the year include conducting baseball clinics and hosting college baseball teams in the Dominican Republic, speaking at various baseball functions and spending time with fellow ABCA Board Members at our board meetings in Omaha (during the College World Series, of course) and at the American Baseball Coaches Association Convention. All of that has changed during 2020. Certainly, I have missed seeing the wonderful young baseball players in the D.R. and my friends on the ABCA Board and all of my other baseball buddies at the Convention.
One thing I will not have to miss during this pandemic, the dynamic speakers we all have learned from over the years during the ABCA Convention and baseball clinic. Craig Keilitz and his staff at the ABCA have put together a phenomenal virtual baseball clinic like the world has never seen before. The ABCA made the decision in September and had the format, video production team, studio set up, speakers’ flights scheduled and cameras rolling by mid-October. Let’s borrow the phrase, “Operation Warp Speed!” Congratulations to Craig and his staff for pulling this off exceptionally well. This is a great opportunity for coaches all over the world to hear from a few of our best and brightest coaches.
This year, I have read more than I have ever read in my life. There have been some good novels along the way, but I have also enjoyed biographies about Mickey Mantle, Paul McCartney, Daniel Boone, Bob Dylan, James Madison, George Washington and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. All of these very successful men had something in common; they were passionate about their chosen careers and they were relentless in pursuing their goals. They were all imperfect men with insecurities and weaknesses in their lives. Some even made major mistakes along the way and had character flaws that perhaps kept them from becoming even more successful in their chosen fields of endeavor, but the passion and competitive drive remained. For the most part, they believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that they could achieve their goals. They believed in themselves. As coaches and leaders, it is imperative to believe in yourself and to relentlessly pursue your goals.
Another good “read” that I’m looking forward to is this edition of Inside Pitch. There probably will not be any more mention of Bob Dylan or Daniel Boone in the magazine, but you will enjoy learning about Northwestern’s Spencer Allen and also getting some tips from Luis Lopez on a competitive two-strike hitting approach. It will also be fun to catch up with a true legend in our game, Ron Polk. There’s more, much more, including a very informative Frame-by-Frame sequence of Freddie Freeman’s classic hitting style. So, put your feet up, grab some peanuts or Cracker Jack and enjoy the latest edition of Inside Pitch!
P.S. We welcome you to contact us if you would like to hear from or about someone, or about a certain aspect of the game.