If I were in high school, I would want Chandler’s job.
Chandler is a senior at Ozark High School playing second base for Coach Essick (Day #162). I met him while hanging out at CY Sports during Sophie’s taekwondo lessons. Chandler is paid to spend time around those who teach and talk and dream baseball all day long.
“There’s some light cleaning, too,” he said. “Pretty much, I just make sure everything’s running smoothly.”
Coach Essick believes that everyone needs a break at some point, so Chandler isn’t playing in any fall baseball leagues. Good rest and good play go hand in hand. He’s hoping of playing ball after high school.
“Anywhere that will take me.”
Chandler’s a fan of the younger players on the Cardinals — Harrison Bader and Jack Flaherty — because they play as if they still have something to prove. His favorite movie is Brad Pitt’s Moneyball and he considers himself a defensively-minded player who knows the importance of learning from your failures.
“This game is all about failure. You have to pick yourself up and keep going. If you dwell on it too long, you’re setting yourself up for another mistake. Keep doing the hard work. Put in what you want to receive back.”
On a relatively quiet night exactly 24 hours before the World Series Watch Party to benefit Pitch In For Baseball, Chandler and I practiced our middle infield skills in one of the open fields. I couldn’t help but notice his practically brand new Wilson A2000, an 11.25” model PF88.
“I’m still breaking it in, getting it ready in time for season.”
He understood when I confessed designing and re-designing my own custom gloves on Wilson’s website.
“I do it, too. Usually in purple and gold for LSU.”
We swapped gloves and practiced throws from all angles, including quick exchanges for double plays and one-footed side-arm throws. I didn’t twist any ankles or blow out any elbows. Success.
Only 70 catch-playing days left in 2018.