Congratulations are in order…

article by Publisher Keith Madison

article by Publisher Keith Madison

Most high school baseball teams’ seasons are in the record books; travel baseball teams have issued equipment for summer competition; and tournaments at the college level are either complete or currently wrapping up.

Congratulations are in order for every athlete and coach who competed on a field and to every parent who endured called third strikes, extra inning games, freezing early season temperatures, dirty uniforms, rainouts and too many fast food restaurants. Even with multiple challenges, baseball continues to be the greatest game.

Let’s face it, baseball is an American sub-culture. We have our own unique uniforms, a very interesting diamond-shaped playing field and even our own language. Recently, I was watching a college game on television; while listening to the color commentator, I laughed out loud thinking about what a “non-baseball person” must think about some of the terms used to describe the action during the game. Have you ever listened to a professional baseball scout describe a player’s abilities? It’s comical to think about how a “civilian” may react to the baseball “lingo.” It’s a great game.

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Butch Thompson interview

butchthompsonCoaching journey…

I’m from Mississippi so it’s been pretty neat being here at Mississippi State. It’s kind of come full-circle, because I’m from Amory, Mississippi. I’ve just been fortunate to be around great people, I know three of the four head coaches I’ve worked for have been national coaches of the year.

The first one was Brian Shoop at Birmingham Southern, who I probably spent ten years with as a player and a coach. He’s now an assistant coach at UAB. He’s probably been the biggest influence on my life- not just with baseball, spiritually as well- he’s been kind of like a dad to me. I think he’s one of our best coaches in the country. He prepared me, and when we won the 2001 NAIA National Championship, I had the opportunity to go to Georgia with David Perno, and that was all because of Coach Shoop and Daron Schoenrock, who was my pitching coach in college.

I was at Georgia through 2005 and had a chance to go be with Tom Slater at Auburn from 2006-8 before coming to Mississippi State with John Cohen.

You can trace everything back to one degree of separation: John Cohen played at Mississippi State and Brian Shoop was an assistant at that point under Ron Polk. John and I had never worked together until I got here, and I’m just thankful he gave me the opportunity to come back home.

Every “break” that I’ve caught is from being around really good people, because of relationships and people being good to me. In business or any other profession, it’s about being around people that are better than me. Les Brown is a great motivational speaker, and he said “if I’m the smartest man in the group, I need to get a new group,” and I’ve never been the smartest in my group!

Pitching philosophy… Continue reading

The best drills in baseball

godwindrillCliff Godwin, Ole Miss

Played at East Carolina University; has prior coaching experience at UNC-Wilmington, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, LSU and Central Florida

“Here are a few drills our guys do every single day before they ever have a live pitch thrown to them:

1. Fungo swings- toss up the ball and hit 10-15 balls with a fungo to get loose. Try to hit line drives.

2. High tee drill series- set tee up away to start with and go “no-low half” where you’re eliminating the lower half where you’ve already taken your stride and both your feet are on the ground. You can either have your hands in a normal position or put them out on their front shoulder (front shoulder load).

The whole basis of the drill is to eliminate the lower half and produce three head-high line drives over the opposite-field infielder’s head. [Our players at Ole Miss] have to do three in a row and that’s what I really take pride in, getting our guys to do that, because anybody can produce one line drive and move on to the next step, but it’s not consistent. Once they do that, they take swings regularly off the high tee away and do three in a row there. Then we move the tee to the middle and finally to the inner half, repeating the same sequence: Continue reading

From the Bleachers, Spring 2012

“INSIDE PITCH is an outstanding new magazine developed by Keith Madison, the former baseball coach at Kentucky, who had an ABCA Hall of Fame coaching career and who is an even better person. This unique publication covers a number of different angles in every edition with a variety of interviews, video and mechanical breakdown instructions, rules discussions and other cutting edge ideas and articles from high caliber people.

The high expectations for a Keith Madison publication or production may have been exceeded already and my only disappointment is that he has a quarterly magazine that has not yet progressed on to monthly or bi-monthly. It is a GREAT resource for all levels of baseball players, coaches or families.”

– Joe Roberts, Armstrong Atlantic State University; 2010 ABCA President

“Received my first Inside Pitch. Loved it! The ‘Larry Doby story’ was great.”

– John Borie, Louisville, Ky.

“I’ve followed the game for over 65 years and I’m sure Inside Pitch will make you a better coach, teacher of the game, player and fan; and, unlike most other sports publications – a better person.  A great magazine.”

– Rex L. Bailey, Retired (Weak arm, bat and glove, but love the game), Lexington, Ky.

“As a former player for Coach Madison, I am grateful to have played for someone who taught and led by example on how to play baseball the right way and used the game of baseball to teach valuable life lessons. I’m so excited that Coach and his staff are now sharing this type of knowledge and perspective with others. Inside Pitch is a resource for anyone that loves the game of baseball and wants to continue to learn to play ball at the highest level, as well as be encouraged by the many positive examples of baseball coaches and players that teach and play this great game.”

– Manny Cervantes, Assistant Coach, Oklahoma Christian University

“What has been missing has now been provided in this great new magazine for the baseball fan and advocate. Articles undertaking intricate aspects of baseball and affiliated issues of the game authored by authentic experts; witnesses of living the faith filled quality whole lives; perspectives by worthy leaders and entertaining captivating stories are all present. No sports fan should ever miss an issue. Thank you for providing such a fresh new approach through “Inside Pitch.”

– Carroll Land, Former Head Coach, Point Loma Nazarene University, Former President of the ABCA, NAIA Hall of Fame, ABCA Hall of Fame

“What a great concept Keith Madison has put together with Inside Pitch…I have been coaching for 26 years- 21 at the Division I level- and I feel that this magazine is exactly what college baseball has needed over the years.  It gives a fresh perspective of what goes on behind the scenes in college baseball, but at the same time covers our national pastime from different angles.  For me personally, I really enjoy the interviews given by my colleagues, and getting a chance to learn from them…”

– Tim Montez, Associate Head Coach, Jacksonville University

“I finally found a place where real baseball people are breaking down the game…great interviews, very informative analysis, interesting stories…a must read for any baseball junkie.

-Tim O’Neil, Scout, Minnesota Twins

“Inside Pitch is exactly what the baseball world has been waiting for. The information contained in Inside Pitch is informative and thorough. There is something for everyone who is a player, coach, or fan of the greatest game ever invented. Beyond baseball, Inside Pitch includes features that emphasize character and volunteerism, which I find to be particularly encouraging.”

– Rusty Stroupe, Head Coach, Gardner-Webb University

“Inside Pitch is a welcome addition to the baseball community!  I look forward to reading it each month.  The combination of personal interest stories, performance enhancing tips, and focus on all levels of baseball make it a must read.  Two copies of every issue go in our locker room and our players love it.  Keep up the great work.”

– Jan Weisberg, Head Baseball Coach, Birmingham-Southern College

“Inside Pitch is a great baseball magazine. The detailed information included is a must for any coach at any level. This magazine is first class, and I’m already looking forward to the next issue!”

– Justin Cunningham, Central Christian College Head Coach

“Inside Pitch gives a unique perspective inside the careers of players and coaches at all levels. The magazine is an encouraging and uplifting look inside the game! It’s a true blessing to the game of baseball.”

– Andy Phillips, University of Alabama Assistant Coach, former MLB player

“The quality and content of this magazine is impressive. Good, crisp, well-written articles that relate to those who care about more than just the x’s and o’s of the sports. Looking forward to the next edition!”

– Tom Roy, former professional player and college coach, President of UPI

“Inside Pitch is one of the best magazines for covering college baseball that I’ve read. I get excited every time my new copy comes in the mail. It’s a must-read for everyone that follows college baseball.”

– Greg Goff, Campbell University head coach

“I’m always trying to expand my knowledge base, and was delighted to be introduced to Inside Pitch magazine. I was instantly impressed and captivated with the depth of the articles.  Each article/interview had information that I will be able to use within my own program.  Simply put, Inside Pitch is a great resource for baseball coaches at any level.  I look forward to future editions and learning more about the game I am passionate about, baseball!”

– Gary Adcock, California Baptist University head coach, NCCAA champions

Inside Pitch is absolutely the best “baseball guys (and gals)” magazine I have ever looked at. It will help people of all ages increase their knowledge of the game and is extremely worthwhile to look into.”

-Larry Redwine

“With all of its recent technological advances, I was really looking for a way to ‘stay ahead of the curve’- no pun intended- with what is going on in baseball today. Inside Pitch does a great job of informing its readers of the innovations that our game is undergoing. I love it!”

-Drew Robinson

“The only thin i reed most of the time is my stats. But i reed the furst ishue and i can no put it down. Es the smartest thing i ever reed. Definitlee no semi pro!”

-Domingo Ayala (

 “I just downloaded the app in the iTunes store and it is UNBELIEVABLE! I spent all day going through the content, links, and other features of the first issue of Inside Pitch. I can’t wait until the next issue comes out!

-Matt Reynolds

I just finished reading my first copy of Inside Pitch.  What a great magazine.  It reminded me that everything Keith Madison touches turns to gold.  I had the pleasure of coaching with Keith for only one season at Kentucky but I learned a great deal and that time helped turn me into the coach that I am now.  He is a great leader and has so much influence in the coaching profession.  I have no doubt the magazine will be a huge success.

-Scott Malone, Head Coach at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

I want to let you know how impressed I am with the magazine! It was a pleasure to read and also conveyed just the right message. Thank you for helping us not only become better coaches but more importantly, better people. It is an honor to serve the ABCA alongside such men of quality.

-John Casey, Heads Coach at Tufts University

“I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Coach Madison over the past two years on baseball/mission trips with SCORE international. When I heard that he was starting a magazine, I was pumped. From the people he knows in baseball and the things he stands for, there’s no question that Inside Pitch will be a huge success. I think that it’s going to instantly become one of the best resources for all levels of baseball players, coaches, and families everywhere. I can’t wait to read it!”

-Andy Pettitte, New York Yankees

“I could not be more excited about Inside Pitch. As a former swimmer and tennis player, I had no idea about how much went into being a baseball parent until my son starting playing. Different kinds of gloves, rules about bats, recruiting regulations, what terms like ‘showcase’ and ‘travel ball’ meant- it’s been a challenge to learn just what I need to know to give my son the best opportunities.

With Inside Pitch, parents now have a place to go for all of this information. I’m looking forward to this magazine being a fantastic source for up-and-coming players and parents!”


“I’m excited and thrilled that Keith Madison and his staff are publishing a new, fresh and relevant magazine for college, high school and travel coaches. Inside Pitch will not only be an asset for coaches at all levels, it will be a great resource for baseball players and their parents. This informative magazine will provide coaches, players and parents with “cutting edge” articles and coaching tips.  There is no other publication in the marketplace that shares the knowledge and insight that Inside Pitch provides. I only wish that this magazine could be weekly instead of quarterly!”  

-Ron Polk, ABCA Hall of Famer

“Keith Madison and I have been friends for over 30 years.  His is an outstanding coach and even a better person.  He is a college baseball Hall of Famer who left a very successful coaching career to join SCORE International, and now devotes his time and life to spreading the Word to thousands of young people.  With the new publication, Inside Pitch, thousands more will now be reached. We are excited about Coach Madison’s work, the new magazine and the great things that will continue to happen though SCORE International.”

– Dave Keilitz, Executive Director, ABCA