#TheDailySteez – 6/24 – For The Love Of Baseball

jamessantore

#TheDailySteez – 6/24 – For The Love Of Baseball

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Song of the Day:

Barry Bonds – Kanye West (ft. Lil’ Wayne)

In keeping with today’s theme of baseball, I present to you my all-time favorite baseball-centric song. This is one of those songs that I can vividly remember the first time hearing it, and as a kid who was madly in love with baseball the title of the song made sure it was one I wouldn’t forget.

I don’t hear Barry Bonds talked about as one of the best Kanye songs so I am going to stake my claim as the leader of the “Barry Bonds is a top-5 Kanye song” movement. Join or die.

Positive Quote of the Day:

“It’s not what you achieve, it’s what you overcome. That’s what defines your career.” – Carlton Fisk

What Makes Today Special?

10 years ago today, Michael Kacer, a 29 year-old veteran who lost his arm during a rocket attack in Afghanistan, made an incredible grab of Curtis Granderson’s foul ball at Yankee Stadium. Michael was on Sportscenter’s top-10 plays and was able to go on a national media tour talking about the special moment.

Today also marks the 357th anniversary of the founding of my home state…..shout out Jersey.

new jersey funny pictures | Pin it Like 1 Image | New jersey, Jersey girl,  Jersey

For The Love Of Baseball

It’s no secret how much I love baseball; It was my first love and has brought me almost everything I have in this world. But there was a time in my life I absolutely hated baseball and told myself I would never play again.

When I graduated from La Salle in 2016, I had finished up a career marred by injuries, walks, and balks:

2013: Redshirt

2014: Medical Redshirt (Tommy John Surgery)

2015: 12 1/3 Innings Pitched (Shoulder injury)

2016: 4 1/3 Innings Pitched (Pitched submarine)

Things just never seemed to go my way with injuries and I lost any and all confidence I had in myself. My lack of success in my college career stuck with me to the point that I grew ashamed of the fact that I played Division I baseball because I struggled from a statistical perspective.

That was until a fateful night at the Dead Dog Saloon in Sea Isle City, NJ. My roommate at the time, Joe, and I were partaking in some boozing at one of SIC’s finest establishments when we ran into former Explorer Brian Meagher (who just had his second son a few weeks back, congrats my man!). Meagher handed us the finest Miller Lite bottles money can buy and immediately started to sell us on the idea of playing in the Delco Baseball League for the Narberth Mudcats.

Now, this was almost two years post-graduation and I had told myself I was done baseball forever. But because of Meagher and Joe’s persistence that I should at least give it a try, I showed up to Chester a few weeks later in full uniform ready to hop back on the mound.

Narberth Mudcats (@NarberthMudcats) | Twitter

And that was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.

I didn’t know it at the time but playing for the Narberth Mudcats was a life-changing experience. Not only did the Mudcats give me some of what are now my best friends, but it also gave me the confidence I desperately needed.

And that confidence isn’t necessarily because of success on the field. It was because the Mudcats gave me a family of people who loved baseball. Our team was a rotating cast of players aged 16-40 who would make time on weeknights and weekends to play the game they loved. And being back in an environment with people that love the game for what it is made me fall back in love with baseball.

Being back in that environment and building my confidence back up allowed me to find success on the field that I had hoped I would have in college. I was FAR from being a complete pitcher but getting my velocity back, being able to throw overhand, and being able to help the team close out games was a great feeling that, again, I felt like I would never have again.

I move to Chicago a week from today and I can honestly say that one of the things I will miss most about Philly is the Mudcats. You know I’ll be watching Gamechanger every game and supporting the squad from afar.

Thanks to Steve, Meagher, Joe, and all of my other teammates who made the past few years playing for the ‘Cats such an amazing experience. Best believe that if my elbow is still intact whenever I move back to Philly, I’ll be out there chucking for Narberth.

And if anyone in the Philly area is looking for a highly competitive team to play for this summer, look no further than the ‘Cats.

For the love of baseball.

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