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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

9/13/23 : Accomplishment

In the profession of baseball player development the dedicated focus is on enhancing the skill sets of players so that they can perform to their best capabilities.  Over the course of a long season, which in the player development world truly is a year round process (has been for a long while now), there are multiple factors that come into play; personal and family matters, injuries, illnesses, mechanics, mental health, adaptation, nutrition, camaraderie, slumps, hot streaks, etc.  Thru it all guidance and positivity (while also provisioning constructive teaching) with a core charter that’s both structured yet flexible to persevere and lead is perhaps the most essential element.

Professional baseball mirrors life in many ways, external praise isn’t as often heard as opposed to criticism of how things could be done better generally by those who most times have no genuine knowledge of situations.  I guess that’s human nature for those who perceive themselves as “keeping it real” 🤪.  In baseball terms individual success is measured by statistics whether they be the old standards or those constructed by deeper dives into more sophisticated analytics.  At the major league level the ultimate measurement is wins and losses.

In my humble opinion, past personal leadership opportunities and ongoing observations hard work that produces improvement whether it’s found in data or subjective measures is an accomplishment that deserves both attention and applause. Baseball at any level is an individualized performance sport where ultimate euphoria is found in teamwork and group success.  Winning games is the point of celebration and earning championships is the pinnacle.  From my prior days in amateur baseball where I’ve had the good fortune of being part of those endeavors it’s a bond of fellowship that tops no other, even the most selfish individuals find reward in team victories.

Obviously there’s not as large a spotlight on minor league baseball as there is at the major league level yet from this observer’s perspective the joy of winning games, the accomplishment of gaining playoff positions and the thrills of competing in championship drives are truly important and very exciting to the folks (players, coaches, managers, staff, administrators, broadcasters, fans, etc.) in the element as winning a World Series is to a broader group.

As I watched the Jersey Shore BlueClaws battle their way back to an extra inning win on Sunday to qualify for a South Atlantic League playoff berth and then see Caleb Ricketts hit a towering home run in a clutch eighth inning at bat of the first playoff game last night to produce a one run win my grin was wide.  As I listened to the broadcast of how well Jean Cabrera pitched in Clearwater’s opening playoff win last evening, a 5-0 victory over Lakeland, I harken back to how appreciative he has alway been of photos my photography pals have furnished in the past and a sense of pride of friendship fills the heart.  Each minor league accomplishment in each game whether it be spring training, extended spring, regular season or post season of any of the young players makes me proud simply because I’m invested in the process.  I’m not paid to do what I do, often times I say it’s not worth financial reward which is likely true but I sure do feel a kinship to the folks involved.

Accomplishment has many measures, in baseball as in life the best one is found in the spirit of group success.  In my heart and mind that’s what “Protecting the Standard” which is the Phillies player development mantra, is about, it’s seeing a player get to the show with a compliment of experiences that has readied them to perform.  Being in the light of winning drives whether succeeding or failing is a huge experience to have, it’s a part of development that is invaluable.  I see, hear and talk about Phillies baseball every day, shining a spot light thru my writing on the player development process allows me to feel somewhat part of the Phillies family, to me that’s a personal accomplishment of which I’m very proud.

Here’s hoping the Threshers and BlueClaws can win themselves championship rings - the excitement is genuine and real in their quest to do so.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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