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View Full Version : “The Player To Make Biggest Impact I’ve ever felt In Minor League Baseball”



FavreFan4Ever
09-22-2010, 11:39 PM
Every year as a young man in the Midwest, you look forward to your sports seasons. Whether it’s football season, basketball season, wrestling season, or for most young boys and men, Baseball Season, the one thing they all have in common, they all love competition. Growing up in the Midwest, you don’t have all the glitz and glamour like big cities such as Chicago or New York. In fact, in IOWA, you have Corn, Good People with Great Hospitality, and Sports! Around these parts we don’t have a gas station on every corner and a mall every mile, we have little league ballparks, summer football practice in ninety-degree heat and humidity that kills. We have young boys chasing dreams while the older men are out in the farms. We have Corn Fields as far as the eye can see and we have Minor League Baseball. In the small state of Iowa, there isn’t a city large enough to house a major league baseball team, but throughout the state we have 5 minor league teams. We have the Cedar Rapids Kernels, Clinton Lumber kings, Burlington Bees, Iowa Cubs and here in Davenport, The Quad Cities River bandits.
This is where you will find me, a young 21-year-old man who has an addiction to the game in which I grew up falling in love with! My first game was when I was 6 years old at the old John O Donnell Stadium. This was back when the grandstand featured the old Red Box Seats and the Metal Bleachers down the left field line. I remember going to that game with my father and mother and watching my dad jump off the top row of the bleachers and sprint to grab a foul ball hit by what could have been the next big leaguer to come through our small community. I remember loving that baseball more than anything.
As I grew older, I became infatuated with the game of baseball. I loved watching the game, learning it, playing it. I remember when I was younger my father would sign me up for all the summer camps hosted by the River bandits. I used to go out there on hot summer days in July with my little cub’s hat and my ball glove and think I was the coolest kid in the world because I was playing baseball with the River bandits on the actual field where these guys played! As years passed, I became a die-hard fan. At about the age of twelve, I started collecting autographs. I loved having the baseball cards signed, but for me, it was more about getting to interact with these guys and just talk to them!
On my sixteenth birthday, I even had the opportunity to throw out the first pitch! Then that night, my favorite player that season, JR Taylor hit his third homerun of the season, then handed me the bat! When I was 18 years old I applied for a job as the clubhouse manager, instead I was offered an internship. From March through June I would work ten hour days at the ballpark doing everything from grounds work to taking out the trash all the way to painting the suite boxes by hand! I didn’t mind though, for me it was a way to be connected with the game, with the team, with the rich baseball history this town has.
I’ve had the opportunity to see many players come through this league and get to know many of them on a personal bases, JR Taylor, Denard Span, Colby Rasmus, Trevor Reckling, Drew Stubbs, Jay Bruce, Aaron Miles, Prince Fielder, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and the list could go on and on. Some of these guys are out of baseball, married and raising a family of their own. Many I still communicate with on facebook or myspace. Each one of these guys has made a big impact on me as ive spend six months getting to know them. They are all great young men and have always been great role models to me as a young boy growing up.
There is one player in particular who will ALWAYS stand out to me. There is a young man from Texas I met last year in August who I knew would be another success story to grace the newspapers of our tiny city. His name is SHELBY MILLER. An 18-year-old young man from Brownwood, Texas. Shelby Miller was drafted as the 19th overall pick in the 2009 draft by the St Louis Cardinals. The first time I met Shelby, I thought he was what I would call a “beast”. Here is 18 years old, twice the size I am and a first round draft pick out of high school. I soon came to find out that Shelby Miller was your ordinary down home Texas boy. Blonde hair, always smiling, and the nicest kid you will ever meet. Upon arriving to the Quad Cities, Shelby Miller was more than happy to sign an autograph, take a picture, and just like any other young boy raised by a nice man from Texas, he’d shake your hand!
Soon the season was over and we were all left wondering if Shelby Miller would return to our place of baseball lore this summer. Many of us thought he was going to Palm Beach. I kept in touch with Shelby over the fall and winter through facebook; he was always a nice guy. Every time you message him, he was more than happy to say hey and let ya know how things were. This spring, my friend Troy Dobbins and I were at the Quad City Airport and unexpected to us, the Bandits were arriving to town that day. We watched as the new crop of guys to grace our diamond this summer walked to baggage claim and all of a sudden around the corner comes Shelby Miller. And just like you would expect, Shelby looks over, sees us standing there and goes out of his way to say “hey David, nice seeing ya” and shook my hand. That made me feel really good. Most guys his age with that kind of money wouldn’t take a second look, but not Shelby.
Throughout this summer, Shelby has been nothing but accommodating. He’s signed every baseball card I’ve ever had of him, he’s taken pictures with me, he’s taken time to talk to me, he even went as far as to personalize and sign his jersey from last season that I picked up in the team store in may.
. There is one thing that will always stand out to me over any other player who will come through our town and grace us with their speed, hitting, and pitching. It’s Shelby Miller kindness. As most of you know, Shelby was selected to play in the 2010 XM MLB FUTURES Game during the All Star break this summer in Anaheim California. About 2 weeks before the game, I messaged Shelby and kindly asked if there was anyway he could bring me back a baseball from the game. I told Shelby I thought it would be something very neat to have and if he couldn’t it was no big deal. Shelby responded with “no problem, ill get ya one”… I was very pleased by this!! This just shows the class that this young man has.
Tonight (July 15th, 2010) my girlfriend, best friend, and I attended the baseball game to watch Shelby pitch. After the game, I had a few baseball cards for Shelby to sign, there were probably ten people waiting for him to come out, Shelby exited the stadium and kindly took time to sign anything that these fans put in front of him. I went last and asked Shelby if he had a chance to grab a ball for me and he responded with “yeah it’s in my locker”… This instantly brought a big smile to my face. I advised Shelby that I would be at the game tomorrow and that I could pick it up from him there.
When I arrived home tonight, I sent Shelby a message on facebook thanking him for getting me that ball. I mean to me, this is incredible. I’m just a 21 year old guy from Iowa who loves baseball, here is SHELBY MILLER, one of the top prospects in baseball going to Anaheim to pitch in what is the Biggest Game of his career to date and he was kind enough to think of me and make sure he had a baseball to bring back home for me! Wow!! After doing some work on my laptop, I noticed my phone blinking with an email; it was Shelby replying to the message I had sent earlier. Shelby replied by saying “I’ll be in the stands. Remind me and I’ll sign that ball and get it to ya brotha… Thanks for being an awesome fan David, you are the best my man”…. WOW, what a TRUE CLASS ACT!!
As most people know, I am a DIE HARD CUBS FAN!! However, because of players that come through our town, you tend to root for certain guys because you connected with them on a personal level, But no matter how big of a Cubs Fan I am, I will ALWAYS follow the Career of Shelby Miller! I will always root for him even though he is a Cardinal. I will always remember the times I spent at the ballpark watching him pitch, watching him sign autographs for the fans, and I will always remember how much of a gentlemen he was. Thank you Shelby Miller, you are a true class act. You represent your hometown in a way that no other man can do and you do it with grace and style. We all thank you for taking time out of your life for us and we all wish you well in your journey to the Big Leagues!!


DAVID TRUITT

WilyWestbrook0
09-23-2010, 05:20 PM
Posted!

http://www.sportscardforum.com/articles/2010/09/the-player-to-make-the-biggest-impact-i%E2%80%99ve-ever-felt-in-minor-league-baseball/

Quite the story.

FavreFan4Ever
09-24-2010, 04:17 AM
Posted!

http://www.sportscardforum.com/articles/2010/09/the-player-to-make-the-biggest-impact-i%E2%80%99ve-ever-felt-in-minor-league-baseball/

Quite the story.


hey james, what does this mean? im new and never submitted a article before!

WilyWestbrook0
09-25-2010, 12:41 AM
I'm the editor of SCF's article section, so I check everyone's work and then submit it to the Articles page for publication there. That's all it means. :) The link is the place where your article can be found outside of this forum.