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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

9/27/23 : It takes a Village

A second consecutive year with a playoff clinching game and celebration last night brought euphoria all around for the Phillies organization and their fan base.  While the primary success of the team is generally delivered by the stars complimentary players are also thrust into the spotlight and given opportunities to shine.

Last evening key contributions were made by Johan Rojas and Jeff Hoffman - both of whom started the year in the minor leagues.  I remember when Johan was optioned to minor league camp this spring and how disappointed he was that he hadn’t made the big club.  I sent him a note a few days thereafter -  “Johan - I noticed you seemed a little off the last few days - your energy is leadership in itself, please don’t let things you cannot control take that away.  Whatever roster you are on just go play and show your skills with the love and passion that makes you great.  You are very very talented and folks know that - just play hard and don’t worry about anything else - you will be a major leaguer some day 👍💪👀”.   Last night watching him deliver the game winning hit made me feel very proud for him and what he’s accomplished.  The young man has always believed in himself and it’s heartwarming to see his initial success in what I believe is going to be a great big league career.

That’s the thing, for any player, including the stars, it takes a village of support for them to reach the opportunity to succeed.  I think it’s really great that Manager Rob Thompson took the time last night to thank the business side employees and support staff telling them that everyone in the organization is part of the victory and that it takes all of them to accomplish what’s done on the field.  It’s part of the inclusive atmosphere of the Phillies that they’ve long been known for.

It’s a symbol of unity that principal owner John Middleton took the time to throw baseballs into the crowd after the game and then celebrates in the clubhouse alongside the players.  He was present at every affiliated location else hosted employees at CBP for presentations of NLCS championship rings as well this year, good stuff!  His genuine sincerity as a fan shines thru, just happens that he owns the team too 🤓.

One of the principle statements of the Player Development “Protect the Standard” charter is “A team is powerful because it is united through its shared goal, mission and focus.  Our goal is winning a World Series and to do this we must have accountability and share a standard.”  It’s a mantra that’s become embedded in the organization and is reinforced on a daily basis and when team accomplishments like last evening occur everyone in the process should and does take pride in the achievement.  Without the dedication and work regimen of player acquisition and development discoveries like Hoffman and Rojas don’t come to be and their skills don’t shine thru like they did last evening.

Part of the process are players like the ones now at the complex here in Clearwater who will continue to train as part of a “Stay Hot” camp.  They are out of the spotlight of the primary show but an important piece if injuries occur and replacements are needed.  It’s a tedious effort akin to an extended spring training and they likely will not be called upon to play but it’s still part of the village needed to succeed.

As an outside observer I see the entirety of the village which also includes the loud and proud Phillies fan base.  The core understanding of the game, the ability to impact performance and the passion for success shines thru.  Living here in Clearwater for the past eight years has removed me a bit from that equation but it’s fun to watch from afar when they shine and support.

It takes a village inclusive of all and a belief thru both good times and bad that the good will prevail.  Congrats to all of ya that form the village on the first step of the 2023 run - 13 more to go Topper!

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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