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Time to relax with a baseball prospect is well behind us

January 31, 2012

Laguna Hills, CA – Our family had their recent visit with the Kansas City Royals farm hand during the month of December and the first week of the new year. In many ways just as similar to the thousands of other professional baseball families spread throughout the world during these past holidays. The only difference this time was that none of his other teammates came by the house to visit. Years past has not only given our family the opportunity to see John Lamb but some of his fellow Royals farm hands during the holidays. No Michael Montgomery, Tyler Sample or any of the others this year. I have no intention of attempting to rationalize the lack of their visit, nor hold any ill will. Our family’s time to relax with a baseball prospect is well behind us since John was ordered back to the spring training complex early. The Royals organization simply wanted him to start throwing a baseball again. This development for his rehab, after the June 2011 Tommy John surgery, has been welcomed with open arms and excitement by John, family, friends and followers of his infant professional baseball career.

Photo credit - John Owen

I just happened to be with John when Scott Sharp called and informed him of the Royals asking for a return to Arizona and continued rehabilitation from the surgery. As many baseball fans know the process of rebuilding the structural integrity of the elbow has extended many baseball careers. Since my son is still fighting for a big league roster spot this concept of giving him a “new” elbow could very well turn out to be a fantastic step in his young career. All the cards rest on his side of the table now. Only time will tell us all the overall success of this procedure on John. No player wants to see the disabled list during a professional baseball career but injuries are a part of sports. Starting to throw the 5 ounce baseball is merely one of the many steps through this rehabilitation process that hopefully will return my son to the game he loves and a chance to help his team win ballgames.

One of the many things accomplished during this past visit home was John signing his fan mail from the past season. We are amazed at the amount of mail he receives during a season, especially knowing the obvious level of his professional career. Reading the letters triggered a variety of emotions but none more prevalent than enormous pride. His willingness to acknowledge their simple requests brings tremendous comfort to the family knowing that he understands the value in the baseball fans. Some may not agree but I offer a simple reminder that John Lamb, like many other professional baseball players, has been urged never to sign blank cards.

Simple advice about the use of mail to receive an autograph from a ballplayer would include the following:

Photo credit - Colleen Lamb

1) Send your mail to the Spring Training facility of the Major League club whom controls the player’s current professional contract. Sending your requests to the minor league teams could only delay the process of the player receiving the mail.
2) Use a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope with your address placed in the top left corner of envelope also. This may help to insure delivery if you neglect the proper postage on your return envelope or package. Keep in mind minor league baseball players will not pay your postage with their own low wages. Most are not “bonus babies” whom play professional baseball.
3) Adding a brief letter to ask for an autograph is appreciated but not a necessity!

Without any doubt John Lamb was much more excited than the rest of the household over this critical evolution to this off-season routine a few weeks ago. The days fly by when we have him around the house and his early return to Arizona has surrendered some sadness but much more joy knowing he is throwing a baseball again. The only ones that have maintained their mild state of depression are the household dogs. Nightly, both continue to sniff under his bedroom door waiting for his return. Since John was a little boy all he talked about was playing Major League Baseball and now the opportunity still presents itself. The time to relax is clearly behind all professional baseball players now. Many families, friends and fans continue to watch the calendar waiting for the start of Spring Training in the hopes their favorite team will have success during the 2012 season. I can assure you all the Lamb family is doing the same.


One Comment
  1. February 27, 2012 17:14

    G’Day! Baseballprospectdad,
    Thanks for the above, Teaching a hitter to time a baseball is difficult. There are many variables that are hard to figure out. First of all, timing is based on good vision. Hitters who do not have great vision are at a disadvantage when trying to time a pitched baseball. Also, some hitters naturally have better hand-eye coordination, which is also necessary for good timing. Developing great timing is one of those things that if anyone ever figured out the key to getting and keeping it, they would become an instant millionaire. Additionally, good timing can be there one day and disappear the next day, or even from one at-bat to the next. I do know the best way to attain and keep good timing is to develop a good repeatable, compact swing. Many of my articles and in my book deal with developing a compact swing because of the value in having one. It makes sense that the more compact the swing, the longer the hitter can wait on the ball.

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