Charles asked if I agreed with him that there is too muchovercoaching in Little League and also if I could pick one thought for a
defensive player to have before the ball is hit.
Charles, there is probably too much over coaching in Little League Baseball. I think it’s best if the kids just go out there and play. You wanted me to pick one thought to have before the ball is hit ? I’d have to pick 2 thoughts:
- Number #1 ? Concentrate. There’s a lot of concentration that goes into being a good infielder. We always hear about the concentration needed for hitting. I think the same is true in the infield. You have to watch that hitter swing the bat and what it comes down to is being able to get a jump on the ball that?s hit. You have to have that concentration.
- Number #2 – Keep that glove on the ground. When I signed in 1955 the Orioles said "hey that guy can field but there’s one thing we’d like him to do ? try to get his glove down a little quicker." When you get a line on the ball and it’s coming to you on the ground get your glove down. You can come up if it takes a bad hop. You can come up a lot faster than you can go down. So, keep that glove on the ground.
Two great examples of players that kept their gloves down are Alan Trammell and Mark Belanger. Alan is a perfect guy fielding ground balls. He just flops that glove on the ground. Mark Belanger, a guy I played with, god rest his soul ? he passed away at an early age ? just put that glove down and let it come to him. Most of the balls that Little Leaguers missed (and most of the balls that Brooks Robinson missed) were for one reason ? they didn’t have the glove low enough.
BROADCASTING THE O?S:
Keith K recalls his trip to watch the O’s at Yankee Stadium in 1980 and sending a note to the broadcast booth to have me say a hello to his grandfather in Baltimore.
Keith, my broadcasting career ran from 1978-1993. My youngest child got married in 1993 and it was just a time for me to slow down. That’s exactly what I did. I
always enjoyed the fans at the different ballparks. Regardless of where we went, there were always Oriole fans. We did our best to get their notes back to their loved ones or friends back in Baltimore. Sometimes you get a little overwhelmed and couldn’t get them all on because the game might be a good game ? and that’s great for the Orioles. I did the best I could.