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Involvement with respect to your son playing baseball beyond recreational levels

September 30, 2011

Laguna Hills, CA – There are plenty of theories that circulate in and around the game of baseball throughout all levels of participation. The ideas shared here on this platform were used during my son’s play and driven by providing every opportunity available during his development. The shear hope for his sincere enjoyment during his path of playing baseball was not left for chance, but rather constantly monitored through a parental involvement. The idea of taking a walk with your son during a baseball career was described in an earlier article. When is it time to stop the parental involvement? Should a parent meet with the high school coach about playing time? Does changing schools help a player get into the college or professional levels? How does playing club, or travel, baseball impact an amateur career? These are just a few of the ideas to be addressed about involvement with respect to your son playing baseball beyond recreational levels.

The concept of stopping a parental involvement with your son playing baseball is near and dear to my heart. The answer is quite simple but also very difficult to follow. Never stop being a parent to your kids… ever. Support and involvement can cause a cloudy area about athletics and more specifically baseball during the wrong stages of a young man’s career. Continue to support their participation with your involvement from a distance. There is no value in coaching your son from the backstop or the stands. Let the coach try to aid your son’s development as a man, a teammate and a player. Surely some coaches are better than others as with players on the field. If you can help your son’s ability to play the game by catching, throwing and hitting the baseball that is great but there are more important things to do as a parent. A very dear friend of mine that continues his professional baseball career as a scout once told me that my son did not need another coach to play he simply needed a supportive Dad from the stands and nothing else. Truly the best advice I could have received when my son entered Laguna Hills High School at the age of 13 years old. Parental involvement never ends from the citizen perspective, but clearly has limits during baseball.

When should a parent face a high school coach about playing time? Never is clearly the best answer here unless you want to start issues that will never be resolved. I always enforced the belief in my son to talk with his arm, glove, bat, legs and intellect to play the game. Work harder than everyone else at throwing, catching and hitting the baseball and any competent coach should place the best players in his line-up to win some games. If the coach does not place your son in the game have your son ask the questions about areas he needs to improve for a better chance to play after the hard work. Feel free to stand behind him during his conversation with the coach for support but let him do the talking and ask the questions. If the coach does not give him the respect to ask the questions then you might just have to step in and help buffer the situation to allow your son to talk. Respect is a two-way street between the coach and player but keep in mind the egos that are tested by all entangled in this equation. The distant approach is typically implemented during the wrong stages of their son’s amateur career. More parents seem to become obsessed during the high school, college and even the professional levels of baseball. The ideas of confrontation during the later years of playing the game can be devastating to a baseball career. Support is the key without engagement for the player to compete for the spot on the roster or line-up card. Actively participating with a coach about your son’s playing time will get him nowhere within the game real fast.

Many families change schools based on coaches, roster spots availability or reputations associated with certain programs. This is really a family choice and the merits come from a variety of positions on this concept. The same can be said about the wide diversity of opinions for signing a professional contracts out of high school versus college. Some players are ready to move on while others are not.  There are pros and cons associated with changing schools for the benefit of baseball development due mostly to education and athletic ability. Some coaches teach the game better than others, just as some players have raw tools to play the game and some need help to improve. If your son can play he should be on the field no matter where he goes to school. College and professional scouts will more than likely find him playing and if not there are plenty of simple suggestions to increase your chances of finding the right college or university to further a career. There is a plethora of advice and practical approaches to keep the uniform on until the player is ready to take the cleats off. Changing schools does not always work as intended but sometimes it will serve a true value for the player’s growth and opportunity to play baseball beyond the recreational levels.

The last area of this article will focus on the popular decisions during an amateur career to play travel, or club, baseball and the potential result of involvement. From a development standpoint, playing on a club team can greatly aid a player and baseball opportunity. The research and time needed to insure your son’s improvement should not be underestimated otherwise you are merely allowing someone to take your money without results. Simply writing a check to play in tournaments or on the weekends will not guarantee improvement if your son does not put in the necessary effort to work on his own. Keep in mind that a few talented instructors throughout the country, and world for that matter, really can help your son improve but there is no magic wand waved over their head walking in and out of the dugout. Your high school team should always have first priority to take part and be very careful trying to add travel baseball during school activities set by the coach. Within the Southern California area there is a growing tendency to play for a club organization over high school and college. Tremendous debate has been triggered over this propensity to ignore the challenges associated with playing in high school and college. There seems to be family logic involved with some of these choices but others are being held to rattling rumors of handling the rigors of college and, or, professional competition based on these growing trends. Only time will tell if this path has merit for being a successful college or professional baseball player with any true substance and value. Now if your high school does not have an off-season program and there is no interest of playing the other sports in season than by all means play baseball during the fall and winter. The paramount suggestion about travel baseball is buyers beware. I am a firm believer that the best programs are the least expensive, or even free to take part. Prime example is the reigning 2011 Connie Mack Champions the Midland Redskins for Amelia, Ohio. My opinion comes from personal experience of my son’s development while associated with the Midland program during the two summers he spent away from home learning how to compete and play without Dad making out the line-up card. Don’t forget the importance to take some time off while conditioning the body and mind for another full season of baseball in school.

There are a heap of concepts related to amateur baseball and a yet a very limited number of stories that can successfully account for playing Major League Baseball as a career. The story has not fully been written within the Lamb household during our experiences associated with the professional phase of John Lamb playing the great game of baseball. There are two things most certain as a foundation for a player’s development. Support and involvement seem to be the common denominators for many if not all the paths to the big leagues. Knowing when to back off and just be a supportive parent is critical for the player’s success on the diamond.

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What can a parent do?

September 5, 2011

Baseball has an infinite number of stories about the players, personnel, coaches and fans whom are associated with the game. One thing that is common among all the unique stories is having parents during the path of participating with the game. I realize the common thread is obvious, but the job of parenthood is key to success as a citizen first and athlete second. There are multiple positions affiliated with the game of baseball throughout the many steps of participation on the field. Surely there are some instances of tragedy where a child loses a parent, or maybe both, but the relative or friend that steps up to help the child assume a very important role in their life. So what can a parent do to help their son play baseball? Try to take a walk with your kids in the game of baseball.

I will never claim to have all the answers but being the father of a current professional baseball player in the Kansas City Royals organization and a scout for the Florida Marlins I do have a small clue about the game of baseball. Routinely I’m asked questions about things associated around the great game of baseball. Some ask about youth ball, some ask about the high school challenges, some ask about playing college baseball, some want advice about improving their son’s skills and many more want to know about the path of their son playing in professional baseball. What is the most important thing a parent can do for their son around the game of baseball? What should a parent do about extra instruction? When should a parent leave the dugout and let someone else control their son’s participation on the field? The examples of questions go on and on covering a huge variety of topics. There all good questions but I’m reminded by a comment my grandfather made to me when I was very young… the only stupid question is the one never asked. It’s very obvious that many parents have no clue about the game and steps to play for a long time and that is fine. Sound advice for the baseball parent can be discussed in many ways, but for the purpose of this article I will address the key ingredients to help any parent with their challenges around the game. I have made mistakes during my walk of being a parent but hopefully some of these experiences can be beneficial during your journey. Take a walk with your kids in the game of baseball and you just might be pleasantly surprised.

Photo credit James Lamb

Wait for your son to ask you about playing the game. Take them to games and hope they catch the bug and desire to play. It will happen sooner or later if your son wants to learn how to throw, catch or hit. Don’t rush this step of the baseball career. If you already missed this important step, or ignored the obvious, it will eventually be exposed and unlikely they will be a fan of the game. Not the end of the world by any means but I see players in the high school level, and even college, that illustrate major resentments. The further I dig or see it becomes extremely obvious the player does not play for the right reasons. Way too much work is necessary for baseball success and the desire simply must be from within the person not someone else. The best approach to baseball starts early through desires from the player not the parent. Parents cannot do the work needed for the player’s opportunity to play the game at the highest level, nor can they write a check for their son’s chance to be in the show. Don’t force the game on kids!

Allow them to be kids. Let them enjoy playing the game of baseball. This directly ties into the previous point I know but if parents don’t have a sound grip on a foundation for the game of baseball there will be some serious challenges around the dinner table. Even if the only time you use the table is during the holidays. Kids need to be kids as long as possible and cannot be expected to be perfect on the baseball field. The game of baseball is failure based during half of the game. The offensive side is the glaring example of failure associated with baseball and must be accepted during the early years of playing. Parents that expect more hits, less strike-outs, more wins or higher expectations than the statistics of average big leaguers are setting their kids up for some serious challenges in baseball and in life. I can say that in retrospect I too was a victim of high expectations during my son’s playing youth baseball. I realize it is difficult to allow our kids to fail with dignity but if we, as parents, push too hard… our young men will likely have years of therapy in their future due to our high unrealistic expectations during their youth. The games your son plays during the ages of 5 to 17 will not impact their careers of playing for a long time, but the negative reaction to possible failure during those games could keep them from wearing a uniform quicker than necessary. If you allow them to fail with integrity, I guarantee you will see them succeed around the game. It is imperative that the kids are allowed to be kids during the early years of playing baseball. The longer they can play with fun in their hearts the higher the likelihood they will be in love with the game enough to survive the challenges ahead. Don’t forget their kids while they play!

Let them experience other sports during their youth. Don’t be in a hurry to have your son play 100+ games a year. Way too many kids are simply playing too much baseball during their youth. This approach to playing baseball is an epidemic now in some areas of the United States where the weather permits games and tournaments to be scheduled practically year round. The ideas of missing out on baseball development are driven by good marketing from a bunch of ill-advised people and corporations. Some players in the professional level are falling victim to a growing statistic of arm problems before their careers are complete and in certain circumstances a player’s career comes to an abrupt halt due to injury. Recently, I have struggled with this situation via hindsight of my own son’s amateur baseball career. John went down earlier this year in a Double-A level game with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in the first inning against the third batter. Maybe he played too much during his youth, and maybe he didn’t, but this Dad will always wonder if the amount of youth games really contributed to the Tommy John surgery before his 21st birthday. Parents should force their boys to rest or simply play another sport to help occupy their minds away from baseball during the typical off-season periods of baseball. If you live in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas or Florida try to pretend there is snow on the ground during the winter months and you might not need to endure the agony of watching your son‘s career stop against a huge brick wall. My son played youth basketball and even flag-football in trying to rest from the game, but his desires to play baseball usually won the household battles especially the closer he got to graduating from high school. The hundred plus game schedules should be a goal for a baseball player not part of the process for obtaining the professional opportunity of the game. Plenty of other things can give their bodies the much-needed rest.

Keep being involved with your son playing the game of baseball. Having been a coach for many years now throughout all levels of youth baseball following my son’s desire to play the game, I am still blown away by the number of parents that treat their son’s practice, games or training as nothing more than a form of childcare. It’s not necessary to be at every practice or game but the more the merrier, at least until they become high school players. Pushing your son’s out of the car at their practice and running errands prevent chances of assuring he’s really learning how to play the game, or more importantly, having fun. If he’s not having fun he should be doing something else to find his passion and genius in life. I played for a few real crappy coaches during my youth but my love and desire to play the game was my personal driving force to work hard and compete for a line-up spot. You’ll never know about your son’s desires if you’re busy getting your nails done or working your brains out to help your boss pay his mortgage. By watching your kids practice or play you’re giving yourself a chance to make sure their desires to take part. Popping into a practice without announcement will give you a clear perspective of their experience and it will have enormous benefit when your son finds you there taking part of their enjoyment, or lack thereof. Your son’s may lose their desires to improve if you’re not part of the experience needed for them to improve and develop during their amateur days of playing the game. I realize the huge challenges parents have to mange time in our fast paced economy and lifestyles but you really should make an effort to be actively involved with the baseball stuff. If you’re too involved your son will let you know that you need to back off. Over involvement is really very common during the wrong stages of a boy’s baseball career, but that is another article for another day. Keep staying involved during their baseball until they make the high school team, at least.

What can a parent do? Try to take a walk with your kid in the game of baseball. The experiences from walking side by side around the game will be life changing for everyone involved. Although a potential love affair with the game may create other obstacles down the road of life all of which depend on the level of involvement with baseball, one thing can be said for sure and that is a true respect for the game will be created. If a relationship is fully allowed to blossom the benefits are unlimited by the amount of jobs associated in and around the game. Parents can have a profound impact on their kids both in and out of the ballpark. Being a good human being only adds to the true value of any ballplayer at any level. Talent, hard work, a dash of luck and tremendous humility can open many doors and reciprocal affair with baseball. I’m always looking forward to yet another unparalleled baseball story ingrained by all the individuality of the greatest game on earth.

Copyright James Lamb. All rights reserved.

This article was posted late last night by a friend and baseball colleague that runs the MLB Reports site. Thanks Jonathan for asking me to write about this specific topic!

September call-ups always trigger some emotions

August 29, 2011

Laguna Hills, CA – The last couple of weeks, or months for that matter, have been somewhat dormant around the household about professional baseball. Surely from the standpoint about my son’s career with the Kansas City Royals club and his progress on the field have been very scarce. The September call-ups will always trigger some emotions around the Lamb house for many reasons. This time of the year usually offers some heated discussions about the grind of a long professional baseball season from both on and off the field issues. The game’s front-runners, disappointments, what-ifs, roster moves, injuries, off the field contracts, Major League Baseball pennant races, Minor League play-offs and the preparation to a short off-season are merely a few of the topics that can ignite extra feelings under our roof and many others I’m sure within the industry of pro ball. Rarely does a day go by without baseball being discussed in the house but this time of the year simply magnifies our thoughts from Orange County.

As many already know, John Lamb continues his rehabilitation assignment from his ‘Tommy John’ surgery back in June. It’s soothing to share he has indicated progress is moving smoothly down the long path of recovery. Not one day goes by without popping in to check on his teammate’s progress from the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, or the other affiliations within the Royals farm system. Some sadness comes from inability by my son to contribute towards another Texas League Championship at the Double-A level. It is very easy to dream of what if this, or that, could have happened but it really serves no purpose for digesting a difficult situation. The Naturals have a talented team and the Lamb family wishes them all well during their push toward the end of the long season schedule.

All other topics of baseball discussions, this time of year, are off-limits here due to my continued contractual obligations with the Florida Marlins. I’ve been extremely blessed to have four consecutive contracts with the Marlins and there is no desire to jeopardize my personal integrity for the benefit of increasing blog visits, or tweets, over my opinions. This site, believe it or not, has already been criticized within portions of the industry for exercising a small voice to simply connect our family experiences with professional baseball in a tactful manner.

One of the driving forces behind sharing is to give my wonderful wife a small break from the regular baseball discussions around the house. However, it must be shared that recently there have been days during her summer vacation, when stepping out of the office at 5:00pm EST, the television has already been turned to the MLB Network for the Intentional Talk program with Chris Rose and Kevin Millar. I can only hope she doesn’t have a crush on either of the hosts and that she really enjoys the fantastic show. Behind every baseball man trying to survive in this great game stands a woman who can truly make or break his efforts. I’ve got a good one and I have no desire to let the seasonal spike of emotions force me to start looking for another.

Some top baseball prospects converge on California

August 3, 2011

Long Beach, CA – This coming weekend will offer a special experience for the family and friends of some high school age players from all across the country. There is a long list of talented baseball players that have participated in this showcase event which dates back to 1986. The Area Code Games have taken on many directions over the years and displayed the talents of multiple prospects. The simple fact that more than 500 Major League Baseball players have participated in this event remains the focus of all professional baseball organizations. The games begin on Friday following athletic evaluations at Blair Field, home to Long Beach State Dirtbags baseball. There will be a large number of college and university coaches in attendance right along side the management personnel and professional scouts of all 30 clubs. While some top baseball prospects converge on California there will be new stories from family and friends about their experience associated with one of the nation’s best buffet of talent.

The Athletics, Brewers, Rangers, Reds, Royals, Nationals, Yankees and White Sox will have the honors of sharing the dugouts with these talented players. There will also be a few other teams represented by various levels of club personnel to interact with the young men from around the country during the event. There is no chance for sharing any personal opinions about the players for obvious reasons but one thing is certain. I’m looking forward to seeing friends and colleagues from around the country that share similar passions and responsibility around the game despite my continued challenges of mobility from a spinal injury.

Obviously there are no guarantees with future draft possibilities attending this event. Some are surely going to be drafted but many others not present will be announced during the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. My son John Lamb had the fine fortune of participation back in 2007 with the Washington Nationals club following his Mickey Mantle World Series Championship with the Midland organization from Ohio. It is very safe to say that his involvement in the showcase event contributed to his current professional baseball opportunity with the Kansas City Royals. I’m very confident that many more Dads from this year’s Area Code Games will agree about the size of presence from professional baseball and the potential impact on their son’s professional career.

More than eight weeks ago

July 31, 2011

Laguna Hills, CA – It is very easy to spend some time throughout any day thinking about baseball if you love the game. Many people scattered worldwide do just that based on their unique relationship with baseball. Some, like me, have a professional attachment to America’s grand old game outside of being a fan of professional baseball. My son John Lamb (1-2, 3.09) and my current part-time scouting responsibility for the Florida Marlins in Southern California offer me a great reason to routinely think about baseball. It’s been a little more than eight weeks ago that my son underwent a ’Tommy John’ surgery with Dr. Lewis Yocum in his Los Angeles facility to repair his left arm. This professional baseball prospect dad continues to be grateful for the past, saddened by the present and optimistic about the future for my son.

Not one day goes by without thankful thoughts towards the Kansas City Royals organization and the blessings they have provided John Lamb out of Laguna Hills High School after the 2008 first year player draft. I told my son he had ‘a snow balls chance in #3!!’ getting his name called on the first day of that draft due in part having not played his entire senior season. With my wife Colleen taking the day off from work and John staying home from school we were all intent to watch and listen for the names of players we knew around amateur baseball. A new driving job and work schedule did not give me the real living room experience of the Royals 5th round selection, but my phone exploded within seconds of the official announcement on draft tracker. John’s first year of draft eligibility was more than a dream coming true on day one of the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft. His desire for a professional baseball opportunity became a reality and the Lamb family will always be very appreciative toward the Kansas City Royals organization.

Scar from the Tommy John surgery!

The sorrow within the household now is due in part to the obvious pause of John Lamb not contributing in the game he absolutely loves to play. Despite knowing that injury is a normal occurrence around sports it really hasn’t helped some cope with the need to wait for the rehabilitation process to run the natural course. Fortunately, my son has been down similar paths of disappointment in his life and remains very optimistic during his rehab work with the Royals. The left arm has had full range of motion for quite some time now and he continues to work hard towards throwing the ball again when the doctor indicates he is ready to begin. Routine phone calls and or text messages confirm that John remains positive with the current situation while on the ‘disabled list’ for the first time during his young professional baseball career.

No matter how much anger or disdain some may have for the current Kansas City season, I have tremendous optimism about the Royals future. The organization has assisted with my disposition by giving my son one of the best known surgeons in the industry to help with his return to baseball. I have no reason to change my posture of temperament with the times ahead for the club. Even though my son’s involvement with the Royals future may be in a holding pattern now, I am more than confident in his ability, desire and work ethic for a swift return to an active role with helping the organization win championships in the very near future.

The Lamb family will continue our love affair with the game of baseball and stay thankful for our continued experiences around the ballpark.

Silence of the Lambs for a few more days

May 25, 2011

Laguna Hills, CA – The earlier post of a few powerless situations around the game almost made me feel somewhat clairvoyant but for all the wrong reasons. The frailty of sports and injury which sometimes need to take pause from competition is truly the greatest powerless condition to any player, team, management, staff, family and the organizations fan base. By now many realize that my son has been placed on the disabled list for elbow discomfort following his last brief performance in Tulsa, OK against the Drillers. Professional baseball players make every attempt to avoid a status change which takes pause in their respective careers but this recent change to my son’s season literally brought tears to most eyes of family and close friends. Until further evaluations are performed by doctors appointed by the Kansas City Royals, silence of the Lambs will continue for a few more days. Our family has endured similar issues back in February of 2008 and until competent doctors have fully determined the basis for the discomfort and established a plan to treat the effected area of the arm it serves no value to speculate over the elbow discomfort.

John Lamb (1-2, 3.09) left his 50th start of his professional career last Thursday during a Texas League appearance after throwing just 7 pitches in the first inning. The household was holding breathe during the broadcast after the first pitch to the third batter in the first inning. The Northwest Arkansas Naturals, Double-A affiliate of the Royals, radio announcer Stephen Davis helped us breathe a little later during the broadcast with the clubhouse announcement about John’s condition. Trying to make every attempt possible to stay positive with my son during a call after the game I focused on the fact he ended the day with a strike, 1 strike out, 0 walks and 0 hits. Great work out of the bull-pen but not the length of time any starter desires during their professional baseball career. Rather than waiting for another start in 5 days John Lamb is taking pause for further evaluations.

So for now, silence of the Lambs is due out of necessity until all the facts are in and announced through the proper channels of the Kansas City Royals. No matter how many personal phone calls, emails or texts we receive, just like the 2008 experience, we must respect the situation until decisions have been completed. Again, I’m very proud to have my son involved with the Royals organization and I have complete confidence in their desire to move forward with helping my son return to the mound. It serves no value to speculate around the current situation or feed into the rumors which are already out of the bag. There’s no dad that enjoys seeing their son take pause in a professional baseball career but many are forced to digest the powerless conditions of athletic competition. Our family has been down this dreaded path before and believe me it’s no walk in the park with or without roses.

Like life…professional baseball has plenty of powerless situations

May 18, 2011

Laguna Hills, CA – On this night before my son John Lamb (1-2, 3.12) takes the ball for his 50 professional baseball start for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in Tulsa, OK at ONEOK Field against the Tulsa Drillers, I am reminded of many things unsaid during the past couple of weeks. One thing I’m sure of is just like life…professional baseball has plenty of powerless situations during a player’s career. There are many more conditions not worth concern versus those that can be controlled. This can be shared across most sports for sure but maybe just a little more so in the failure base game of baseball. Maintaining vigilance against the items that can be harnessed is much more critical than spending one minute of concern about situations and decisions made by others. Teammates, conditions and opportunity are three areas worth mentioning with a topic of powerless challenges in professional baseball.

The Kansas City Royals have every reason to smile now with all that has been recently said about their farm system and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals are a prime example of this level of talent and respect within baseball. The Naturals stay near the top of the standings for team reasons and our family is continuously grateful to have their son on roster and take the ball every five days to the mound. The defending Texas League Championship flag at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, AR adds no mystery that all teams are going to continue every effort to take it away. The human reason of any team sport is engrained with some powerless situations during competition. Add a failure basis to the game and you can have volatile encounters with athletes, management, coaches, staff or fans when everyone wants to win. Teammates have good games, bad games and just average games but the most important thing to understand is simply pick up your team by simply doing your own job. Everything else falls into place when players limit their concerns to their own actions while playing the game. John Lamb is fully aware of his team role to throw strikes and field his position. As sure as the pain in my back, he wishes he could still swing the lumber, or lay down a bunt, to contribute but those thoughts only stay in his dreams now. Expect nothing less during the Naturals’ Thursday night work against the Drillers, Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies organization from the left-hander trying to help his team win another game. Teammates open doors to long-lasting friendships and blessed experiences shared by only a select few during a professional journey.

All the levels of professional baseball have been affected by weather during the 2011 season. More games have been postponed or delayed this year than ever before and many have influenced the general routines of players and pitchers. This is obviously not worth any ounce of concern. It is merely another perfect example of the necessary adjustments that professional baseball players have to make on a regular basis during a season. Work still has to be completed to support condition and rhythm of the game to compete with or without the skies cooperating. Most if not all professional level organizations have been challenged beyond belief to work consistently this spring. This year has brought more awareness of meteorology than ever before around minor league ballparks to decrease damages. Playing in the diverse weather conditions in the country is part of the development needed by ball-players. The sooner they can figure out the challenges associated with climate the quicker they can move on too much more important hurdles surrounding the game.

The basic opportunity of playing professional baseball comes with talent at various ages for young men. Once a player signs that contract the opportunity for advancement comes from forces never worth concern. Show up, work, develop, execute and repeat the process for as long as your locker has gear. Being a good citizen in the communities you play and good teammate is foremost but John Lamb has never missed a day around a ballpark to, if nothing else, just watch and learn from other’s success, or failure. Every day around the yard can offer a valuable experience to any baseball player that uses the time wisely for future opportunity in the game. Sure the goal by most that have ever played the game is to be a “big leaguer” but statistics point towards far more never reaching that goal. Some players will endure hundreds, or thousands, of games during their careers and every one can offer enormous value being involved. My son is still in the hundreds at this stage of his early professional baseball life. Conversations with the 20 year-old have confirmed his continued study of the game to help him do his job. Do your job and with a little luck you might get the chance to take another step up the ladder to the goal. Opportunity in professional baseball comes naturally by value of a player’s action.

No more continued attempts to discuss powerless situations around life and the game of baseball or every facet of the Naturals recent games in the Texas League. A clear focus is on the fact my son will take another small step toward a tiny milestone in a professional baseball career. Tomorrow’s game against the Tulsa Drillers in a Texas League contest will be his 50th of his young career. The last few starts by John Lamb have been better than the first couple to start the season but he knows there is plenty room for improvement. Very rarely does my son show that he is fully satisfied with any performance during a game, so I’m not surprised with his humility for the last couple of starts with the Double-A level affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. Our lives continue to be blessed thru our associations with professional baseball and plenty sure tomorrow will be another exciting memory of this journey.

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