Get Discovered, Get Evaluated, Get Better!

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With the Under Armour Baseball Factory Tryouts just around the corner on May 12, I decided to talk to a couple former Boise Hawks about their personal experiences with the event.

For Bijan Rademacher it was an eye opening experience. “I would definitely recommend it because it gets you exposure and it opened my eyes to the talent that was around me.”

The Baseball Factory program gives players from age 12 – 18 the opportunity to be discovered and turn their hobby into a successful career. The goal is to move through the Baseball Factory at levels much like the minors of a Major League organization.

The first step is to go through an evaluation at a National tryout like the one being hosted at Memorial Stadium. The players are then placed in the best development program for their individual needs and move up as seen fit.

Baseball factory works on the players from both a physical and mental standpoint taking them through high level training and competition as well as life lessons in baseball IQ, life skills and academic guidance, ultimately molding them into a well rounded athlete for the collegiate level. “Baseball Factory’s vision is to guide both players and parents through the college recruiting process and to professionally train players in order to find a school that is the right fit … both academically and athletically.”

Through pro scout evaluations, player videos, professional instruction, high level competition and ongoing guidance, Baseball Factory is a leader in player development both on and off of the field.

While Dan Vogelbach only attended one event, he says it was a great experience. “I really enjoyed the way things were run, and the people that were a part of it.”

For more information or to register for the event visit http://www.BaseballFactory.com or call 800-641-4487.

The cost of the event is $99. Players must register prior to the event as there is limited space available.

What’s YOUR Ambition?

“Ambition is priceless; it’s something that’s in your veins.”

“Ambition,” a song released this year by Wale, promotes a positive attitude, one of belief not just dreaming. YOUR Boise Hawk, Rock Shoulders had it picked as his original walk-up song while Giavanni Ruffin has an inspirational documentary on YouTube titled “MY Ambition.” The video starts off with “Ambition” playing in the background as pictures of Giavanni’s High School diploma slide by along with his college acceptance letter and the 2010 Most Improved Player Award from East Carolina University. Giavanni says that he doesn’t want to just be an athlete; he wants to be a motivator and help kids, and adults, realize they should never give up. His ambition starts with his goals and believing, not just dreaming, wanting to help others and never taking a day off. The documentary sends a positive message and I encourage everyone to watch it but also, ask yourself, “What is MY ambition?”

Dan Vogelbach, YOUR Boise Hawks 2012 MVP, is a guy with great ambition. His mother, Jennie, works with the Special Olympics and has been an inspiration to Dan, igniting the dream to start his own little league for disabled children. Dan says that he is always around the kids for the Special Olympics and it makes you realize just how good we actually have it. “The little things we take advantage of makes their day! I want to make them happy, they love playing sports, getting out, and being around each other. They don’t care about winning or about who has the nicest stuff; all they care about is having fun and getting a chance to do what they never had the chance to do!”

Being around the children is a huge eye opener for anyone who is capable of fulfilling their dreams. “I want people to realize how good we have it and that just when you think you have it bad you need to look around and find a way to put a smile on your face! Because that’s what these people do, day in and day out they are happy!” During his time here with YOUR Boise Hawks it was obvious to see Dan’s attitude towards life leap out onto the field and take hold of his teammates. He was a positive inspiration to the team and will be to others in the future.

Going back to YOUR Boise Hawk, Rock Shoulders, it is not about the money, it is about baseball. While Rock admits that money is a plus, it is not why he plays the game. I asked Rock what the song “Ambition” meant to him and why he picked it as his walk-up song. “I picked it just because Wale talks about how he doesn’t care about the money anymore, he is just rapping for the love of it. Like me, I want to make it to the pros and play on the big stage because I love the game.” Rock started his ambitious routine at a young age hitting and practicing with his dad, and since high school, “working out … a lot.”

Ambition, it’s not about where you come from, what you or your family has, it’s about heart.

YOUR 2012 BOISE HAWK AWARD WINNERS

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At Saturday night’s game we announced the MVP, Cy Young and Community Players of the Year. We ended up having 2 MVP’s, Daniel Vogelbach and Stephen Bruno, Cy Young, Tayler Scott, and 2 Community Players of the Year, Michael Heesch and Eddie Orozco.

Bruno and Vogelbach were fortunate enough to have their father’s here to share in the moment receiving their awards and were both happy to accept them. Bruno’s father, Steve Bruno, said that he feels very privileged for the opportunity that the Cubs have given his son.

Scott had one of the best season’s anyone could ask for and was also lucky to have his parents here to see him receive his award. He is a young player from South Africa who moved to the states, alone, when he was just 16 years old. His mother and father have been here to support him throughout most of the season. “It felt great winning it my first year with the Cubs. Couldn’t ask for a better season and I’m grateful and excited to have won the Cy Young this year.”

Elizabeth Griffin and I had the opportunity to award a Community Player of the Year award but we weren’t able to pick just one. We had 2 guys who were always willing to go on appearances, offered to do autographs and read for the KeyBank Reading Tree events. Not only were they willing to make the appearance but they did it with smiles on their face and positive attitudes. It was always apparent that they wanted to be working with the children and talking with fans! Michael Heesch and Eddie Orozco stole the hearts of many, especially one little boy, Phoenix, who I liked to call their “biggest fan” at the KeyBank Reading Tree events.

“It’s an honor to receive an award for the off the field aspect of this game because we are in a position, as players, to go out and positively influence the lives of others as well as give back to the community that is supporting us. This award shows the positive influence of my family and UCR on my life to go out and give back to the others and the community and it’s something that I really enjoy to do.” Orozco has a 7 ½ month niece at home he is anxious to get back to as well as his mother, brother, 2 sisters, a brother-in-law and a sister-in-law.

Tonight is the start of the best-of-three Northwest League East Divisional Series. We take on the Yakima Bears in hopes of winning the first series and moving forward to the final championship!