The Third Base Coach
Learning from the wise
Coach Kelsey stood on third base between innings chatting with the other team’s fielder.
“You’ve got what it takes, Ryan. Just a matter of time now. You were in AA ball for how long?”
“Six months,” Ryan said after fielding a grounder and lobbing it over to the first baseman.
“Yeah, won’t be long now. Do me a favor though once you get there.” The ‘there’ Coach Kelsey was referring to was the Major Leagues.
“What’s that, Coach?”
“Get some coaching with your finances and public speaking. If I had to do it all over again, I’d get professional coaching on speaking with the press and with my finances. The organization will be throwing a ton of money your way. Don’t waste it. You won’t be at the top of your game forever. Nobody is. When you retire, you’ll have saved some money. And the media will be asking you stupid questions after every game. Learn to play their game or they’ll chew you up.”
The coach stepped off the base and stood in his coaching box for the remainder of the inning.
When Ryan came back out an inning later, he asked the coach as he warmed up for the inning.
“Why are you telling me this, Coach? What gives? I mean, we’re playing against you.”
“Pfft. I’ve been right where you are now, Ryan. In the Bigs for 16 wonderful years. It’s kinda why I’m here now, to encourage and coach. Doesn’t matter what’s on my jersey or hat now. I see a lot of potential in you, Ryan. I do. Please take my advice.”