Fall 2016 From the Publisher: Getting back to passion

article by Keith Madison 

Recently, I was in the Dominican Republic with a group of high school and college baseball players competing and serving with SCORE International. As we were traveling on our bus from the hotel I saw a group of young baseball players on a dusty field with rags for bases playing with tremendous energy, passion and a sense of freedom I haven’t seen in a while. Continue reading

The anatomy of a mission trip

Dominican Youth ClinicSCORE International was thrilled to host the University of Louisville Baseball team on a recent short-term mission/baseball experience in the Dominican Republic. Dan McDonnell, his staff, players and several parents provided food to sugar cane villages, supported and befriended over 50 girls at Pasitos de Jesus (our girls orphanage) and played some very competitive baseball. Congrats to Dan and his team for getting out of their comfort zone for a few days to give back. For coaches or players interested in a once-in-a-lifetime baseball experience similar to this, please check out our website, CoachKeithMadison.com, or contact me directly at keith@scorebaseball.com.

-Coach

Inside Pitch: First things first- what are some of the logistics involved with organizing a mission trip for your entire program?

Dan McDonnell: “The first step is raising the money. As coaches at the end of last season, it was ‘make or break’ whether we were ready to take this thing on. The more we got into it, the more comfortable we felt, and I actually started to enjoy the process of raising the money for something you know will be life-changing for these kids.” Continue reading

Let’s play ball!

A “tip of the hat” to Craig Keilitz and his staff for once again organizing the largest and finest baseball clinic in the world. The 2016 version of the American Baseball Coaches Association Convention will not only have an incredible lineup of speakers with well over 4,000 coaches in attendance, but there will also be dozens of committee meetings, board meetings, a phenomenal group of sporting goods exhibits and some first class social events. Behind the scenes, coaches will be sharing ideas, debating philosophies and talking baseball “until the cows come home!” Continue reading

The ‘uni’

Each November I pull my baseball uniform out of the closet, pack it in a suitcase and then proceed on a journey that will take me to multiple baseball fields in the Dominican Republic. It’s a different feeling wearing the “uni” down there. Since I was eight years old, when I would wear the uniform, it would be for competition as a player or coach. I loved it. Now, the uniform is used to let young Dominican players know that we have a common bond: we all love the game.

article by Publisher Keith Madison

article by Publisher Keith Madison

Along with dozens of other American coaches, we attempt to share some knowledge that will help these talented young athletes become better “beisbol” players. The uniform, along with some knowledge and experience, gives the coaches from the “States” some credibility.

I think a lot about wearing a uniform. It’s been a privilege to wear it for over 55 years. Football coaches, basketball coaches and soccer coaches don’t get to wear uniforms. Some of them even feel compelled to wear a suit and tie instead! (Don’t you think it would be awesome to see John Calipari, Mike Krzyzewski and Rick Pitino wear basketball uniforms while coaching their teams? LOL). Continue reading

SCORE one for the good guys

by Tyler Madison

What’s a typical day like on the November Baseball Outreach?

In a few days, we accomplish much: after breakfast, we have a short chapel. Then we load the buses and travel to six different baseball fields within the Santo Domingo/San Pedro area to conduct free two-to-three hour baseball clinics. After the clinic, we gather and share our faith. Before we leave, we give away equipment to the kids. Most of them are very poor and some show up to the clinics without shoes, let alone a glove or a bat. Continue reading

Sweet (really!) Lou

AP photo

AP photo

Inside Pitch columnist Jeff Zurcher recently sat down with Sweet Lou, chatting about baseball, roots, and faith.

JZ: You were known as a great hitter.  What were your keys to hitting?

LP: God-given ability, you’ve gotta start there.  Good hand-eye coordination, good eyesight.  Then, you can’t have too much fear up there at home plate.  Look, it all starts with balance: You’ve got to recognize pitches so that you swing at strikes-makes it so much easier.  You gotta know the strike zone.  But look, you don’t want to get too technical with this.  It’s a lot like golf, but on a different plane.  You’ve gotta shift your weight.  You’ve gotta get off your back side to your front side to hit a baseball.  And it’s so much easier to keep your hands above the baseball and swing down on the ball.

And the most important thing…you’ve gotta have confidence.

When you were playing, who were the pitchers that you faced?

Nolan Ryan by far was the toughest on me.  He threw so hard.  He threw so hard and he was a little wild-maybe intentionally-once in a while.  When he threw the ball down and away from you…you couldn’t get to it.  In fact, he threw a couple of no hitters against teams I played on.  He was such a competitor.

Whose swings do you like today?

Look, I’ll tell you this…the years I played I saw some great hitters and in the years I managed I saw some great hitters.  I guess probably the most natural was Ken Griffey Jr.  He was effortless.  The ball jumped off his bat. He could hit for power he could hit for average.  Just a great, great, great swing, you know?

Other people…Alex Rodriguez: strong.  Edgar Martinez.  I had Barry Larkin [when Piniella managed the Reds] who just made the Hall of Fame; he had a wonderful swing.  Dave Winfield.  Reggie Jackson…strong, strong.  I used to idolize Ted Williams when I was young.  And when I played, I loved to watch Carl Yastremski.  Al Kaline, he was another guy who made it look so easy.  A lot of great hitters. Continue reading

‘Getting back’ with Trystan Magnuson

magnusonby Jeff Zurcher

There are days when Trystan Magnuson is like every other person who has ever taken a baseball, walked out onto a small hill, and tried to outmatch, outfox, or simply get out whoever who stands at home plate gripping some form of lumber.

Even though it seems like they’re few and far between, there are days where the 6’7″ Vancouver native does not have his best stuff. Often on those days, he says, his brain gets in the way:

“Those are the rough days.  Those are the really rough days…when you’re struggling against yourself.”

Sometimes in baseball, thinking gets in the way of doing and the mind overrules the mechanics. Interestingly though, Magnuson uses the very thing responsible for his struggle- his mind- to remedy the situation… and get back into a groove. Continue reading