The Creation of MADE Baseball
I knew that I wanted to play baseball professionally from the time I was 10 years old and realized what it felt like to drive a baseball over the fence, experienced the smell of my glove when I put it up to my face, and the feel of the
rush of Saturday night under the lights when I took the mound. I knew that I would do everything in my power for as long as I could to make it to the big leagues and achieve my goals because I felt such a connection to what I was doing while playing the game. I was always fortunate to have the support of my mother in my path, always attending my games and always being the one in the stands that was ridiculously loud! I was never embarrassed, only proud and appreciative of having her there watching and supporting me. I knew that if I worked as hard as I could that baseball could one day could enable me to pay for the “log cabin up north” that my mom had always dreamed about having, and I really wanted to be able to buy it for her because I always felt like she deserved it so much for everything she always did for me. I always knew that I could be successful at baseball and that I would be the only one that could stand in my way.
After playing my freshman year at South Mountain Community College, I went to Washington State University on a full ride scholarship in 2004 only to be told I wouldn’t be cleared to play due to my hip condition. The doctor informed me that I would most definitely need to receive a hip replacement eventually, but that I should try and wait to get it replaced until I was at least 30 years old. I had hip trouble growing up that ultimately led me to having a very arthritic hip joint by the time I was 19. My hip was highly arthritic due to a condition I had when I was young. The condition known as legg-calve perthes syndrome, disrupts the development of the hip socket and eventually leads to avascular necrosis and osteo-arthritis. It was because of this condition that I was a candidate for the surgery, and it was because of baseball that I made the decision to get it done so young. Devastated by not getting cleared to play at the Division 1 school I had worked so hard to get a baseball scholarship to, I decided to respond by looking for solutions. Getting back on the field in the face of all the doctors telling me to quit was an act of stepping into the land of unknown for me, but I looked and looked and tried to find the way it would be done. I chose to get the procedure done at the early age, so as to make a rare come back to the game. I decided I would get it done and trust that I would do what would be necessary in order to recover and get back on the field.
A major disruption in my baseball comeback plan presented itself in May of 2005. My mother, EVE, was out with some girlfriends at Greasewood Flats in Scottsdale and unexpectedly passed away from a random and unexplainable heart attack. This made life pretty difficult that summer, considering my father had also just passed away in September of 2004 from a bout with cancer. All of that was on top of the fact that I was scheduled to get a hip replacement at just 19 years old only a short couple of months later. This pile of obstacles was all thrown on top of the fact that I was transferring schools from WSU to University of Arizona, and now I was doing it all on my own. Life was hazy around that time to say the least. I always told people I had to go left(positive), or I had to go right(negative)…but either way I would be choosing to accelerate in that direction and there would be no middle. I was questioning quite a lot around this period in my life. I knew that in order to justify my mother’s shortened time on Earth, that I had to uphold the positivity that she raised me with. For this reason, and because I had/have such an amazing support group, I was able to push through. I chose to focus on being thankful for what I was/am blessed to have rather than dwell on the events that occurred. It was this ruthless attitude that propelled me in everything I did/do and was the reason I was able to make a comeback as only the second player to ever play professionally with a hip replacement. Bo Jackson was the other and he played for two seasons. I finshed my seventh season in 2013 with over 700 professional innings pitched. I used baseball to stay positive and driven, and I had to keep choosing to Get MADE EVEryday. There was not going to be a middle ground.
During my seven year career I have been fortunate to win 4 championships, win a championship MVP, throw a no-hitter, be named to Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects two years in a row, pitch in Mexico as one of the youngest imports to ever play, pitch in five different countries for 11 different teams, and pitch over 700 innings all on a hip that doctors have always told me I can’t and/or shouldn’t pitch on. A crazy amount of positive and ridiculous things have happened and continue to happen throughout my journey, and none of them ever seem like luck or coincidence. I was picked up by four different affiliated organizations only to be told they would not clear me to play, simply because I was classified a liability due to my hip. Although it was very difficult to continue to be told “no” so many times, it is the response that I learned to focus on instead of the outcome. Since learning to do this I felt like I conquered the world. For me, this positive response that I chose to make was the process of “making myself” which is where the term and/or state of mind of “Gettin’ MADE” or “Get MADE” has been created.
The path of my seven year playing career has been like a fairy tale for me, with so many unforgettable experiences enjoyed, so many relationships built, and so many lessons learned. For me, the ride has still not ended and never really will. Baseball has helped shape my life starting with my ATTITUDE. I tend to be pretty passionate about what I am doing on the field, whether it be training or teaching. My knowledge, attitude, and baseball acumen give me something very valuable and unique to give back to those that are first realizing what the smell of their glove is like or what it feels like to rip a double in the gap on a Saturday night under the lights. Most importantly, for those that want to be a part of a quality group of champions who are working towards a common goal. That is one of the reasons that I chose to create the MADE baseball program. The other reason is because I know how I trained when I was young, and it was sub-optimal to say the least! I knew nothing about pitching training, hitting training, baseball conditioning programs, or real nutrition, and I did not have someone that truly cared to guide me. I never was able to get private baseball lessons in Phoenix either because my mom was raising my brother and I on her own. My mother always provided what we needed as kids, and she was always there to get me to my games and practices, but she really didn’t know anything about what quality baseball training, nutrition, or baseball conditioning truly entails. I find that not many parents out there really do know what it takes for their players to progress the way they would like to see, thats why MADE now exists. As young athletes we have a huge advantage if we are taught the proper methods early in order to create a remarkable foundation of habits to build up from. That is what MADE is all about…Motivation, Appreciation, Dedication…EVEryday. Doing our best all the time and continuing to create positive habits towards success in our lives.
Thank you for reading about the history of MADE. We look forward to working with your player.