In October of 1974, I received a letter that no professional baseball player wants to receive. I was informed that the Cincinnati Reds no longer needed my services. I was disappointed, of course, but not devastated like I had been three years before, when the Montreal Expos told me the same thing. The second time I was released I accepted it and knew it was time to start a “life after baseball.”
After 40 years of playing and coaching the game, it continues to be a huge part of my life through publishing Inside Pitch, serving in leadership with the American Baseball Coaches Association and helping combine baseball and mission work through my work with SCORE International. God took the heartbreak of the ending of a playing career and turned it in to a lifetime of blessings through opportunities that I had could have never dreamed of as a young player.
Little did I know what a firm grip baseball had on me! After a year away from the game, I was drawn to it once more…as a coach! After a few years of coaching maturity, I realized that even though playing was incredibly rewarding, it was even more fulfilling to teach and coach the game that I love.
Every coach has a story. Each story is unique and every coach is blessed with an opportunity to impact players and grow the game. The coaches and baseball gurus who contributed to this issue of Inside Pitch are sharing a part of their story and they are giving us a glimpse into their heartbeat and their passion. It’s one of the many reasons I enjoy being a small part of this magazine.
On behalf of our staff at Inside Pitch and the American Baseball Coaches Association, thank you for reading!