An athlete’s guide to succeeding in baseball

Andy Varvaro, Staff Writer

Baseball is our national pastime; it runs through the veins of Americans like red seams across a baseball.

Here at Schreiber, this tradition lives on stronger than ever.

But what does it mean to be a varsity baseball player?

First, it requires time.  We practice for at least two hours every day, six days a week, in rain, snow, or sunshine.

If necessary, the team will practice in both the main gym and the wrestling gym.  Generally, we will spend half the practice hitting, and the other half working on defense.

Pitchers are often required to throw bullpens before school and afternoon practice.

On these days, pitchers and catchers report to school at around 6:15 in the morning; they run, stretch, and throw about thirty pitches.

Second, playing on the varsity baseball team requires mental fortitude.

Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra once said, “Baseball is ninety percent mental.  The other half is physical.”  This statement rings true in so many ways.

Varsity baseball faces a long, grueling season.

Starting in April, we play about three games a week until the end of May.

This grind can wear one down, and in a game where the best players fail seven out of ten times, it requires mental fortitude in order to persevere and succeed throughout the season.

Much of baseball is planning: a pitcher thinks about what pitch to throw in order to fool a hitter; a hitter thinks about what pitch a pitcher might throw next; a fielder thinks about what he must do, where he must go, and where he must throw the ball if it is put into play.

Finally, a varsity baseball player must have instinct and skill.

On average, a hitter facing high school pitching has about 0.48 seconds to do the following: identify the pitch, determine its location, determine its speed, decide whether to swing, and hit the round ball with a round bat.

It takes a very particular set of skills in order to succeed at the game of baseball.

And this year, with the combination of skill, a strong work ethic, and great team chemistry, the varsity baseball team at Schreiber is primed to make a strong run.