Have you ever sat in the stand and wonder how does one become a first base coach in the major leagues and what the heck does a first base coach do on a major league team. Does he just stand next to first base to collect the batter’s armor?
According to Wikipedia "Stationed in designated coaches' boxes near first and third base, they are appropriately named base coaches—individually, first base coach and third base coach. They assist in the direction of baserunners, help prevent pickoffs, and relay signals sent from the manager in the dugout to runners and batters."
The first base coach is so much more than this. For me the first base coach was one of the most encouraging coaches on the staff. Every team I played for the base coaches were my biggest fans. Whether it was the Twins and Jerry White or the Blue Jays and Brian Butterfield these guys were my biggest cheerleaders.
Tommy Watkins is one of these guys for the Twins. After playing 10 years in the minor he got he first chance to play major league baseball when he got called up August 8, 2007. His first MLB game was in Kansas CIty.
Once again according to Wikipedia "Red Wings Manager Stan Cliburn stated that Watkins' promotion to the big leagues "was one of the most emotional call-ups [he had] ever been involved with." The announcement "set off a joyous celebration in the clubhouse, because of everyone's love, passion and respect for Tommy."
His Major League journey as a player ended 14 days later when he suffered an abdominal strain. He went back down to the minors and never came back up. He then become a minor league coach. This is his story........
The path to Major League Baseball isn't always on the diamond. There are other ways to work for a Major League Baseball team. Both paths require hard work, tenacity, and resilience. Dustin Morse has climbed the ranks from an intern with the Chicago Cubs to the Senior Director of Communications at Minnesota Twins. Some will say that he is "lucky" to be able to interact with the best baseball players in the world on the daily basis. There maybe some luck involved but through hard work he put himself in a position to be lucky. Listen to Dustin tell his story of his path to the big leagues, who his favorite manager to work with is, the toughest situation he had to deal with, and the players he connected with.
Dr. Heather Bergeson is an accomplished Primary Care Sports & Pediatrics Physician. She is also an athlete and youth sports mom. She has seen the good of youth sports and she has seen the bad. She has treated 1000's of kids for overuse injuries and has had to deal with out of control coaches as a mom. She is doing all this with a long-term, progressively disabling autoimmune disease, Rheumatoid arthritis. This disease causes inflammation, swelling, and pain in and around the joints and other body organs. In this episode Dr. Bergeson tell us how she got into medicine, the effect playing youth sports has had on her, dealing with her disease and how she had to dodge a scalpel thrown at her in the OR during her residency.
On Jan. 9, 2018, Maggie Nichols released a statement informing the world that she, too, had been sexually assaulted by former USA Gymnastics team physician Larry Nassar. She also let the world know that she was the one who had been identified only as “Athlete A” in the reports of Nassar’s actions, which he inflicted under the guise of medical treatment on more than 300 victims. She did it to let everyone know that he did not do this to Athlete A, he did it to Maggie Nichols. Maggie Nichols did this for all young girls who approach her for photos or autographs whenever she appears in public. She did it for the strangers who also were victims of abuse and feel ashamed, not empowered.
From the time she was 3, Maggie Nichols spent countless hours in the gym to shape herself into a world-class gymnast. Maggie missed time with friends and holidays with family to pursue that dream. But with all this training come injuries, Maggie knew about injuries as she had to deal with a lot of injuries throughout her career. But one injury brought her under the care of Dr. Larry Nassar. Listen as Maggie tells her story.
In 2015 Kevin Warren became the first African-Americas chief operating officer of an NFL team. He is a lawyer by education and got his first job in the NFL in 1997 when he was hired by Dick Vermeil in a legal front office position. He earned a super Bowl ring with the Rams in 1999.
He became interested in sports at an early age, which he attributes to members of his family. His father, the late Dr. Morrison Warren, Sr., played professional football for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948. His eldest brother, Morrison Warren, Jr., played football at Stanford in the early 1960s, and was one of the first African-American scholarship student-athletes at Stanford.
When Kevin was around 12 years old he struck by a car and forced into traction and a body cast for many months. Doctors informed Warren that there was a chance he might not walk again, and therefore it was highly unlikely that he would ever fulfill any dreams he had of playing sports. Kevin used the money he received in his settled over the accident to build a pool in his family's backyard. Aided by his dedication to swimming, Warren recovered and went on to be recruited to play college basketball.
After representing the Vikings’ new ownership group in their purchase of the team, the Vikings then hired Warren as their Executive Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Administrative Officer in 2005. This is his story.
With every sport there is a risk for injury. With contact sports the risk increases dramatically. It is every parents greatest fear that when their child gets hit they don't get up.
Jack Jablonski’s life changed forever after he was hit during a high school hockey game. The resulting injury left him quadriplegic. In a flash, Jack rose to local and national recognition. The ensuing outpouring of support not only helped Jack begin the journey toward his personal goal to someday skate again, it also provided the inspiration for his family and friends to do more. Jack continues down his road to recovery, believing that every day holds the potential for something amazing to happen.
In this episode Jack talks about his journey and what he plans to do in the future.
Corey Koskie played for the Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers and retired in 2009 while he was in Spring Training with the Chicago Cubs. July 5th, 2006 would be a day that changed Corey Koskie's career path forever. A little fly ball over his head landed him on the disabled list for 2 1/2 years. Corey tells his story of what happened and the events that transpired over the two years that lead him back to giving it another shot.
Latroy Hawkins had a 21 year Major League Baseball (MLB) career, he played for the Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, New York Mets, and Toronto Blue Jays. At the time of his retirement, Hawkins was the only active player to be a member of the 1,000-games-pitched club, and at 42 years of age, was the oldest active player in MLB. LaTroy had a great career. This is a long way from growing up in Gary, Indiana. Latroy played high school baseball as a freshman, and had a falling out with the coach and didn't play again until he was a senior. Latroy was then drafted by the Minnesota Twins. This is his story......
Darrell Thompson became a Minnesotan because of an IBM minority recruited push in the 1970's. His dad was recruited and the Thompson family moved to Rochester. Making friends in a new city is hard enough but it can be even harder when nobody looks like you. Sports helped connect his parents to the community. Sports also helped Darrell Thompson connect to his community. Darrell was blessed with some incredible gifts and not only did he use them on the football field but off the field as well. Listen as Darrell Thompson talks about his life on and off the field.
This is his story.......
As a child in the 1950s, Frank White loved to watch his dad, Louis “Pud” White Jr., play baseball with the Twin City Colored Giants. That made an impression on him. The 50's was also a time of segregation in the South but Jim Crow were not in the north. At least they weren't suppose to be but there was still a culture of racism that exist. Frank White tells us stories of growing up in St. Paul during this time. This is his story.
Through his acrobatic catches, booming bat, and contagious smile Torii Hunter captured the hearts of fans everywhere he played; Minnesota, LA, and Detroit. He was a guy that loved playing the game of baseball and his game showed it. Torii was a great teammate that came to play everyday and gave his full effort. To get to the Major Leagues was a battle. The east side of Pine Bluff, Arkansas was not an easy place grow up. Money was tight and he would go days without eating, rats eating at his wrist while he slept, gang pressure, and the pressure of trying figure out a way to help his mom pay the bills. He had to deal with a lot of adversity and battled through it. This is his story......
On October 15, 2008, Jeff Dubay was arrested in Maplewood,MN for felony possession of a controlled substance. On October 24, 2008 KFAN terminated Dubay. Jeff Dubay was spinning out of control. Jeff Dubay had the sports geek dream roles. He was a clubhouse guy for the Twins when they won the 1987 and 1991 World Series. He then moved on to a very successful radio career and had the top sports radio show in the Twin Cities, The PA & Dubay Show. What would push a guy on the top of his career down a dark path. There is a saying "We are one phone call away from our knees". Jeff Dubay got his world rocked. He spiraled, and on one fateful night he made a decision that sent him down a darker path for 10 years until he found MN Teen Challenge. (Jeff graduated last Friday from their year long in-residence program). This is his story.......
Tony Dungy is an Uncommon Man, Uncommon Coach, on a Uncommon path. The son of educators his coaching journey started in the living room of his home under the guidance of his mother and father. How is it possible to win the respect of his players and lead them to the Super Bowl without yelling, and screaming? Can you be successful without compromising faith and family? The answer is yes. Tony Dungy did all of this. Tony tells his story of the adversity he faced in his journey. Nothing every comes easy.
Tom Chorske played for the Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, Pittsburg Penguins, New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Calgary Flames, and Washington Capitals through his 11 years career in the 90's. After he retired from playing he had to get a job and start the next phase of his life. A majority of players don't have the nest egg we think professional athletes have after they are done playing. But before this Tom Chorske was a highly touted recruited from Minneapolis Southwest High School and Mr. Hockey in 1985. Tom had immense talent. With this talent comes expectations. Listen as Tom Chorske tells us about the pressures of being Mr. Hockey, being a top recruit in the state, feeling he was not living up to the expectations, winning the Stanley Cup and his transition to a post-NHL career.
Tom Chorske has 3 kids, lives in Edina, and currently works for Fox Sports North as a hockey analyst, Calabrio as a Key Account Manager, and an advisor for Agency Underground.
Corey Koskie is a former Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cub. He is also the founder of Linklete.com. January's topic is fear on Linklete.com. Being fearless doesn’t mean eliminating fear. Being fearless means knowing how to leverage fear. And to do that, you need to know a few things about what you are dealing with. Just like everyone walking the face of the earth Corey Koskie has dealt with some tough situations. In this episode Corey talks about dealing with adversity that lead to significant fear early in his career.
In 2018 Dani Cameranesi was part of U.S Olympic History. The USA Women's Olympic Hockey Team won a gold medal for the 2nd time in history. The 1st time was 20 years ago. To become an Olympic champion requires resilience and grit. Dani had to learn that through her youth, high school career, and college career. Playing hockey with the boys at a young age to starting all over at a new high school to dealing with injuries that could have side tracked her dreams. She had to face it all. Listens as Dani talks about her path to Olympic gold and the support she had along the way.
According to University of Minnesota yearbooks, approximately 30 women tried out for the first-ever Gopher Women’s hockey team in 1918. Fast forward 60 years, there is very little organized girls hockey. Girls just didn’t play hockey. They figure skated and if they wanted to play something like hockey they chased a ring around the ice and played ringette in Canada. Ringette never took off in the US and in 1994 the Minnesota High School League voted to endorse ice hockey over ringette as an official high school sport for girls. In Canada if girls want to play a winter ice sport they played ringette with other girls. In the USA girls who wanted to play a team ice sport had to play with the boys. Winny Brodt wanted to play a team ice sport so she played hockey with the boys. Being the first meant it is going to be a tough road, especially in hockey. Remember, back in the 80's there was checking in pee wee hockey. If you're a girl playing with the boys, you have to be prepared for contact. Winny had to survive in a very physical game. She not only survived, she thrived.
At 7 years old Gavin Kaysen saw what the power of food could do. He saw this making cookies with his grandma. Food can make people smile. This started his love for cooking. Playing youth sports helped him for years after he was done. The lesson learned permeates through his business and life. He learned about culture from his Little League coach Pete Carroll(Seattle Seahawks Head Coach) and how professional athletes handle wins and losses. Like in sports, all it takes is one person to see something in you. That person was a restaurant owner who found Gavin in a Subway making sandwiches as a teenager.
Mark Manney was born in Morris, Minnesota and after his family moved to Bemidji, Minnesota he played his first organized hockey game at age 13. He was a multi-sport athlete that choose to play hockey in high school in Moorhead, Minnesota. His high school hockey career was good enough to get an opportunity at the Air Force Academy. Life in the military can be hard but he used everything he learned as a young athlete to get through it. With a little luck and a lot of perseverance Mark Manney's Air Force career led him to fly the most powerful people around the world. He would eventually captain Air Force One. Listen as he tells his stories of flying President Bush into Bagdad for Thanksgiving in 2003 and into New York City after 9/11.
Rob Stauber has had a lot of success in his life and a lot of adversity. He is a lifelong learner. He was the first goalie in history to win the Hobey Baker Award, played in the NHL, and has had a successful transition to a post-career life as the founder of Stauber GoalCrease. He becomes the head coach of the women's hockey team. The last time the women won a gold medal in the Olympics was in Nagano in 1998. Canada has won it every year since. Rob Stauber was looking at a 20-year medal drought. How do you beat a country that has its identity wrapped in hockey? Rob had to put together that formula and he only had a year and a half to do this.
Anybody that follows Minnesota High School sports knows that the event of the year is the hockey state tournament that is held at the Xcel Energy Center. More than 100,000 people will go through the gates and the state final is played in front of a sold-out crowd. If that doesn’t impress you the 2017 state championship had online viewers from 37 countries and 50 states. To win a state tournament requires some luck and a lot of heart. Sean Goldsworthy knows something about heart. He had to redefine himself after a 23-year career, first playing and then coaching, at St. Olaf College. He didn’t know what to do next then Minnetonka asked him to coach and he became a part of a legendary state championship run.
How the heck do you become a Major League Ump? Do you wake up one day and just show up or is there a process to get there? Well, there is a process and it is a GRIND. To get to the top of any field you have to put in your time and be really good at what you do. Tim Tschida was really good at what he did. He became a full time Americal League Ump in 1986 until his retirement following the 2012 season. He did this for 26 years. During those years, he worked 13 postseasons, including the World Series in 1998, 2002 and 2008, He also worked 2 All-Star games and was on the field for Kenny Rogers perfect game, behind the plate for Nolan Ryan’s 7th no-hitter and Carlos Zambrano’s no hitter. But how does a kid from St.Paul, Minnesota go from playing ball and jumping fences to watch Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor play Legion Baseball to umping a MLB game in which these guys are playing?
Corey A. Wulf, MD, provides specialty care in Orthopedic Sports Medicine at Twin Cities Orthopedics. Before this, he was a multisport athlete in Lennox, South Dakota. Playing youth sports doesn't mean that you are going to "go pro" and make millions of dollars playing in front of sold-out crowds. Yeah, that can be pretty cool, but the reality for almost everybody that plays youth sports is that they will end up in the real world. Youth sports can provide lessons to take into other fields and give you the edge on your competition. While Corey was in medical school he saw this and he had an edge. Listen as Dr. Corey Wulf tells us his story.
* Louis Vincent "Lou" Nanne born on June 2, 1941 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. His nickname, "Sweet Lou from the Soo," stems from his native town in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario where he played his minor pro hockey with the Esposito brothers. Lou Nanne’s mom wanted Lou to be a dentist and that was the plan until he ended up at the University of Minnesota in 1960 where he studied business administration. With the Gophers, he became the only defenseman to this day to win the WCHA scoring title. He was one of the biggest stars in American college hockey during the 1960s. Lou Nanne’s impact on US Hockey especially in Minnesota is immeasurable. Listen to Lou tell his stories about this path.
Mike Carter retired as a St. Paul police officer after 30 years in 2010. Mike loved watching Ryan play hockey. But Ryan didn't get the hockey bug from dad. He got it from friends with whom he grew up and the White Bear Lake Hockey Association. Mike Carter was a linebacker at St. Agnes, coached Ryan as a kid and hoped his son, a quarterback, would follow in his footsteps. But Ryan Carter's heart was in hockey. In his sophomore year, Ryan's football coach pressured him to pick one sport or the other. "He said, 'I don't want you skating during football season.' He said, 'Stop, or you won't be playing football.' So I said, 'Then, I won't be playing football," Listen as Ryan tells us about getting bullied, dealing with injuries and playing in the Stanley Cup Finals.
It is not easy to be a youth hockey player in the US in the 80’s. There are few teams ,the travel is crazy, and it is expensive. The path to the NHL is hard. It is even harder when you get cut from your bantam travel team, you have no interest from any professional teams while in college, and you have only played defense your whole career. Blake Sloan just starts playing forward and then he gets the call. Now he is thrusted into a Stanley Cup run with NHL legends. This episode talks about the journey that started in Illinois, ends in Germany, and the new path that is started at 38 years old
As a Canadian growing up in New Westminister, British Colombia Justin loved hockey. But he also played every sport he could; ball hockey, golf, basketball, volleyball, and baseball. He loved hockey growing up but he had to make a choice, hockey or baseball. How do you choose between the sports you love with one of them being the pride of your country? Justin tells his story of growing up and dealing with a lot of adversity in the minor leagues, getting a wake-up call that changed his career path that lead him to be a American League MVP
Chad Greenway was raised on a hog and crop farm in Mt. Vernon, S.D., where he played 9-man high school football and had 26 kids in his class. Greenway learned the rigors of farm life. Summer seemed the worst season. At 5 a.m. it was wake up to help load pigs, or walk bean fields.
Chad Greenway earned a scholarship from the University of Iowa and then on to an 11-year career with the Minnesota Viking. Chad talks about farm life, dealing with smelling like a pig farmer, blowing his ACL and dealing with the overwhelming fear of failure.
Joe Mauer was a high school All-American in every sport he played. Being the youngest of 3 boys he did his best to keep up with his older brothers. He was living his dream of playing baseball for his childhood team, the Minnesota Twins. Listen to Joe tell his stories about growing up in St.Paul, his path to the Big Leagues, and dealing with the injuries that impacted his career.
It is Sept 15, 2012, and the players have been locked out by the NHL because of the labor dispute between the NHL and the NHLPA. Some players go to Europe to play and others stay back. Mark talks about the turmoil between the players during the lockout. After dealing with that Mark signs with his hometown team the Minnesota Wild and then a few seasons later get released by the Wild. He goes from the best day of his life to his worse year. He bounces around a little after this and then he has to deal with the reality that he is not good enough to play in the NHL anymore and his career is done. Listen as Mark shares his stories through this.
In 1992 Mark Parrish started high school and dreamed of wearing the baby blues of Bloomington Jefferson. He quickly made an impact and went on to win two states titles before he moved on the college hockey. He was on the fast track to the NHL. Everything is going great until he is traded to the New York Islanders. Life happens and Mark tells us how he got here.
Steve's tenacity, resilience, and grit have paid off in high school and junior hockey. Now the fun starts. Steve talks about what it was like getting recruited, playing for Team USA, and being drafted by the LA Kings. Anybody that doesn't know Steve Johnson story can say he is "lucky". Luck doesn't make you a starting defenseman for the Gophers after sitting the bench a lot your first year.
As a youth athlete, Steve Johnson loves to compete. He loves sports and plays baseball, hockey, and soccer. He wants to win. As he is getting to high school age he starts to lean more towards hockey. He is small and he is playing a physical sport at a physical position. He doesn't let that stop him and learns at every stage of the way. He gets his growth spurt and blooms into a hockey player that gets a full ride to the University of Minnesota and is drafted by the LA Kings. It seems easy right, NO! Steve has to fight against fate many times to get where he is today. In this Episode, Steve tells stories of getting cut from his high school hockey team and what he had to do to get noticed by the University of Minnesota Gophers
Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities, Major League Baseball's RBI program is having an impact on young inner-city men's lives. Ron Hayward is on dialysis 9 hours a night hoping for a donor and coaching at-risk youth. He tells his story of being raised on the streets of Jersey City, getting drafted by the Cincinnati Reds, deciding to go to college, and now coaching kids through MLB's RBI program.
In 1995 Corey Koskie had a breakout season playing for the Fort Wayne Wizards of the Midwest League. He didn't want that season to end. Corey describes how playing baseball without a break between seasons led to a very disappointing 1996 season. Listen as Corey talks about the danger of not taking time off between seasons.
In 1994, Corey Koskie was drafted by the Minnesota Twins and is shipped to Elizabethton, Tennessee to start his professional baseball career. He shares a story of his first couple of weeks playing professional baseball.