A Career’s Worth Of Stories For Baseball Lifer
Aug 16, 2013Posted by james

Doc Edwards is a baseball lifer. He has spent 57 years in the game, and his bench is deep with stories.

Look at your baseball card collection, if mom didn’t toss it, to find a Doc Edwards card. He played with the Indians (managed them, too), Kansas City Athletics, the Yankees and the Phillies. Before and after that, he has played and managed (and traveled on the bus) with the Wichita Aeros, the Charleston Charlies, the Sioux Falls Canaries and teams in North Platte, Nebraska, and Burlington, North Carolina. He is famous in Rochester, New York, where he served as manager of the Red Wings when the team, during 1981, lost to the Pawtucket Red Sox in the longest professional baseball game (33 innings).

His stories feature just about everyone he has met in baseball from Mickey Mantle to the kid playing second base for him today—and whose name keeps slipping from memory. Doc once hit a home run in Fenway Park that barely scraped the top part of the fence while The Mick, as Doc tells it, “then…hit one to center field. One handed. More than 420 feet.”

Since his last day in the big leagues, Doc has become dedicated to teaching young players about the game, and he just loves when they are determined to pursue the nearly unachievable to become the next Mantle. Realistically, each player has a greater chance to become the next Doc Edwards. But, he prays for them and encourages them to never give up their dreams to play in the big leagues.

The rewards for all Doc’s years in baseball mostly come when one of his players successfully battles through a tough time on the field and then improves his game. But, once in a while, kudos have come his way. Doc remembered one game, in upstate New York, when hundreds of Orthodox Jews greeted him as he stepped on the field. This puzzled him, because he was never that good a ballplayer. He soon learned that when the rabbi was a kid, Doc talked to him from the Yankee Stadium bullpen, and now this was the rabbi’s way to show his gratitude.

Doc Edwards was good enough to play and manage in the major leagues. But for most of his baseball life, his role has included bumpy bus rides, cheap motels and little fanfare. Along for the ride has been the daily opportunity for Doc to guide many young players as each tries to find his position in the business of baseball.


Take Advantage Of The Opportunity
Aug 01, 2013Posted by james

After baseball’s spring training, David Adams, a second baseman, was released by the Yankees. Then came a roster of injuries, and Adams was resigned by the team as infield insurance. He played in the minor leagues until he was eligible for promotion to the big team during mid-May.

A chain of unusual events put Adams in the Yankee lineup at third base. Alex Rodriquez had off-season hip surgery. His replacement, Kevin Youkilis, was injured and eventually required back surgery that has disabled him for about four months. Other utility players were moved around the infield due to a disabling injury to the shortstop, Eduardo Nunez, who was keeping the position warm until the injured Derek Jeter could return from a twice broken bone.

Eventually the task at third was thrust upon Adams. His fielding was good, and his hitting started well—a .323 batting average with a couple of home runs and a handful of RBI in his first eight games. Then, things changed on the offensive side. His average plummeted to .191 and he still had two home runs and only a few more RBI after 26 games.

According to his manager, opposing teams studied him. Pitchers made adjustments on how they threw to him. Fielders were positioned to catch any ball he put in play. Adams never made the counter-adjustment, and he eventually realized the problem.

He put pressure on himself. He tried to accomplish too much and he shifted away from his strengths and what he could execute well. He realized he needed to simplify his approach to the game and again trust his plan.

The Yankees continued to juggle players as a few returned from their injuries. Adams was sent back to the minor leagues to work through his struggles.

Similar situations occur all the time in business. A company often must call upon an employee to fill a void. When that call comes, a worker must continue to make adjustments to a variety of unfamiliar conditions. A person who has confidence and can adapt well to new situations will, more often than not, remain with the top team.