It was the spring of 2005, my first spring training with the Houston Astros organization.
I wasn't sure what to expect. I was coming off of a summer where I didn't play baseball. I had been an All-Conference second baseman at Loyola Marymount (I was even the closer), and I had gotten some attention from the pro scouts and when the draft rolled around that June I was expected to be drafted somewhere between 12-20ish range. I was so ready to start chasing my dream of being a Major Leaguer.
Day 1 comes with 18 rounds, my name isn't called. No big deal I thought, there are 32 more tomorrow. Well, the next morning before I even open my eyes I feel this massive ache in my stomach - not like I needed a doctor but just that *awful* feeling - I could sense this was about to be a bad day. And my stomach was right, all of the rounds come and go (50 in total) without my name being called.
To work so hard, feel like I earned it and for it to be done just like that? The good news was, the local scout for the Astros was a fan of mine and he kept beating the drum for me to get on with his organization. So instead of going off to rookie ball I stayed in Los Angeles (and met an important somebody - more on this in a bit).
After many months (felt like years!) the Astros finally call in November and offer me a contract and an invite to spring training. Success! This is terrific in itself, but now I'm a free agent signee....who don't get a long leash in the minors.
Fast forward to March, I get to spring training at the Astros facility in Kissimmee, FL. There were a lot of high rounders in the infield that I would be competing against so I wasn't sure if they really had plans for me. But seeing as there was nothing else to do - I just went out there and competed. And you know what?
I played really well.
One of the proudest moments of my career was when they posted the full season rosters in the clubhouse and I saw my name on the roster - Lexington Legends Class Low A. I got back to the hotel and called my Dad, and he cried. It was just really great.
But here's where it get's interesting. When I arrived in Kentucky and the games started, do you know what was the dominant thought in my head?
"I hope I don't hit .200".
Isn't that odd? I had a long track record of good success in HS, JUCO, D1 and even spring training. Why would I think that?
It was because I always had to battle self doubt. "Am I really good enough?" Or even when things were good I didn't even want to see the stats because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to keep it going.
So as you can imagine, this new infatuation with .200 finally did me in. I started off well enough but after a month or so went into a slump - and do you know what my batting average ended up being? .201.
A few years after my playing days were done I ran into an article talking about how to calm your nerves and be more confident. The article was targeted towards business people but it applied 100% to baseball.
The strategies they recommended made so much sense - they actually made me mad, like "How did I not hear about this when I played???? This could have been a difference maker!!!!"
So I bought more books on the topic, and on baseball in general. I was *AMAZED* at how much tremendous baseball info/strategies I learned that I had never encountered before.
It was then that I decided that somebody has to get this info out there to the masses. So much of the content online today is scammy "How to increase your bat speed to hit a home run off of a tee in one day!". Goodness, that's who is teaching many of our young kids?
I realize that nobody wants to read a whole book these days (baseball books are great but usually REALLY boring), so my idea was to do the legwork of the studying, reading, interviewing - and then share the best and most helpful parts that will help a young player to reach their absolute highest potential.
So here we are. I have created Baseball Notes (think SparkNotes or CliffNotes for baseball content) with the goal of helping young players learn the game faster.
Oh, remember when I said I met an important somebody in Los Angeles, when I *should* have been off somewhere playing rookie ball? That would be my lovely wife, Amy. Her and 3 friends moved from Louisiana just for the summer break. We just happened to meet and kept on talking after she moved back to Louisiana, and now BOOM - she's my wife!
We've got three kids now: Mason (8), Molly (6) and little Lucy (1.5).
As it turns out, God's plan > My plan.
Oh, one more thing!
See that good looking boy in the white shirt? Guess what sport he loves?
Yep, baseball! So we just finished up our first year of "elite baseball" and let me tell you, it was interesting. I feel like I'd have no trouble coaching high school or older kids, but I had SO many questions about how to best develop these little guys.
And like, should we be taking it this serious already?
So through the blog and on social media you'll see me talking with other parents, academy owners and the like about how to help these little guys get better and be ready for the next level - whatever that might be for you.
But mostly I'm here to answer your questions. If you have a problem you want help with just reach out to me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (FB probably being the best place). I believe God has me here to serve you, so please feel free to reach out. I look forward to talking with you.
– Clint McGill