Hecklers and Cojones!! Do You Have What It Takes?
It was 1982, the summer after my freshman year at the only college to offer me the opportunity to play baseball after high school — Erskine College, at a tiny NAIA (now D2) 500 student school in Due West, SC. It’s called Due West because it’s “due west” of a town called 96, which is 96 miles from Columbia and that’s the state capital…
So there’s that.
I didn’t know anything about summer collegiate leagues back then, but one of my teammates from New Jersey, Nick Russo told me about a league near his hometown called The Jersey Shore League (this was before “Jersey Shore” was a thing).
So after the school year ended, I loaded up my VW Super Beetle and headed north.
I spent the summer playing shortstop and second base for 3 different teams (8 games per week) including my weekend Summer League Team called “Claire and Colby’s”. I got a job during the day reconditioning trade in cars at Remsen Dodge (I was terrible at it).
One weekend night, my friends took me on my first Subway ride to my first game at Yankee stadium. It was a game against the Oakland A’s and it was A’s manager Billy Martin’s first return to Yankee Stadium since bing fired by George Steinbrenner the year before. Our seats were right behind the first base dugout and as we settled in, future hall of famer Dave Winfield trotted out to left field.The game hadn’t started yet, but the guy in the seat behind me was already stoned drunk (imagine that, a drunk guy in Yankee stadium).
As soon as the national anthem ended, the drunk guy started yelling…
“WINDSHEILD!! WINDSHIELD!!!… YOU SUCK!!!”
Then he tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Uh-Huk. Did you hear that? I called him Windshield.”
“Yeah… I heard you loud and clear buddy.”
The dude continued his incessant antics until mercifully he passed out in the 5th inning.
I’ve never been back to Yankee stadium.
I was at a high school game last spring and some nerdy looking, obnoxious members of the opposing student body were sitting in front me screaming at our pitcher (who by the way is a pretty good lefty committed to Florida State). It was clear they hadn’t watched much baseball. They kept saying things like, “Hey pitcher… You’re a bad pitcher.” I couldn’t resist. I turned to the parents in my vicinity and announced, “Hey look everybody. The science club has decided to attend the game tonight.” Then I turned to the leader of the geek squad and said, “Hey. I’m pretty sure he’s a better pitcher than you are, and that’s his mom sitting 2 seats to the right of you, so you might want to tone it down a notch.”
Heckling players at any level is classless.
If you have to make someone else feel bad to make you feel better about yourself, that is a sad reflection on your character. I am not down with hecklers, or heckling.
But last week I saw the most amazing heckling incident ever.
Apparently during a Ryder Cup practice round and American fan named Dave Johnson was taunting Justin Rose from the gallery shouting, “You can’t make that putt! You can’t make that putt! I can make that putt!”.
Tired of the nagging, British open champion, Henrik Stenson called the guy out and challenged him to make the putt himself in front of thousands of onlooker, and he even upped the stakes by laying a $100 bill on the green beside the ball.
The dude stepped up wearing jeans and a fleece pullover, using a borrowed putter…
and HE DRAINED THE PUTT!!!
I don’t know Dave Johnson, but I have to believe anyone who would draw that much attention to himself is probably not a guy I’d want to have a beer with. That said, you have to admire the cojones it took to stand up there and nail that putt!
Baseball fans can be viscous. People will heckle you. Unfortunately, that’s part of the game in today’s world. Whether there is a place for it in baseball is a topic for another day.
My question to you is: Do you know how to stop hecklers from heckling?
Answer: By sending hitters back to the dugout.
And do you know the best tool to make that happen?
Raw, powerful, unhittable VELO.
Every hitter has a speed limit. Your job is to be above that limit.
There are those who will tell you velo doesn’t matter.
They would be wrong.
There are those who would tell you that you can’t teach it — that it’s God-given or purely pre-determined by your genetics.
They would be even more wrong.
If your fastball is 3-5 mph below that of your competitive peer group, your odds of consistently dominating hitters, quieting hecklers, and more importantly, attracting the attention of college recruiters and pro scouts will be very low.
Do you need to add a few miles per hour to your fastball this off-season?
We can teach you how.
There are a lot of places out there that claim to be able to enhance your velocity. Many are quite good. However, if your velocity enhancement program doesn’t include a physical assessment by a qualified professional, a gradual ramp-up, a customized (not one-size-fits all) training plan, and a top shelf recovery strategy, you might be playing with a loaded gun. 90-95 mph on the DL or the operating table is useless.
We can help you add the velo you need to quiet the hecklers and get you to the next level. We’ll help you do it in the safest way possible. We do it every day. Since we opened our doors in 2011, we’ve helped over 160 pitchers achieve a 90 mph fastball (measured in our facility, indoors with a Stalker Pro 2 radar gun).
Countless others have added 3-5 mph. Our students have received over $30 million in signing bonuses and professional salaries and we estimate more than $3.5 million in athletic scholarships.
We can help you to!
Call us a 866-STRIKE3 (866-787-4533) and schedule a Precision Strike One Day, 1-on-1 Evaluation and Training Session.
We’ll spend a day assessing you and teaching you a process to find that Velo you always wished you had.
Call us now!
We only demand one thing…
The cojones to stand up and try.