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.It was about 90 degrees with the sun beating down on some carefree boys with no uniforms, playing a game they loved. Some were barefoot; some were playing without gloves; none of them seemed to care. They were very animated…laughing, gesticulating and competing all at the same time. I had so much fun watching them have fun. I was disappointed when the bus drove on past the field.
This brief moment of watching a group of boys play brought back memories of getting together with friends and playing a friendly but competitive baseball game with a guys ranging anywhere from age 10 to 16. Some days the sides would be uneven…six on one team, seven on the other. It didn’t matter, we figured it out and competed. Two older boys would always “choose up.” I’m not sure how to even describe that process without a bat in my hand, but most men over 45 can visualize it.
Part of my vision for Inside Pitch is to capture some of that passion for our game, put in print and then share it with you.
It’s evident to me that the American Baseball Coaches Association shares this passion for baseball. The ABCA has chosen to share this love for the game through a couple of new initiatives; “Calls From the Clubhouse” podcast and Twitter chat and the “West Coast ABCA Barnstormers 2016 West Coast Clinics.” Both are great concepts and will promote and enhance our great game in a positive way. To learn more, go to www.abca.org. And, while on their website, don’t forget to renew your membership to the ABCA and attend the largest (and best) baseball clinic in the world in January in Anaheim.
A common theme of this issue of Inside Pitch seems to be passion, energy and setting the tone for another great year of baseball on campuses across the nation. Rijo Athletics’ Troy Silva, Coastal Carolina’s Gary Gilmore, ESPN’s Chris Burke, Kentucky’s Nick Mingione, Alabama’s Greg Goff and a host of others in this issue have passion and energy in abundance! They will share tips and coaching points that will help us improve our game and have even more fun in baseball.