Does money make you a better player


#1

Does a $400 bat make you a better hitter? Does a signature series bat make you a better hitter. Does a $300 - $500 glove make you a better player? Does the latest design and pattern of spikes make you a better player? Suppose you had all the accessories money could buy - would that improve your ability on the field?

How much are you worth over and above what you have, and are, just as you stand before suiting up?


#2

Interesting question Coach B. Although I dont believe having the higher priced bats and other assessories makes a player better I do believe money plays a role. Whether it be right or wrong parents that can afford private lessons & elite teams give kids a leg up on the competition. Not talking about pure talent but all things being equal.


#3

Ok, all things being equal… what’s equal… $2 grand, $5 grand, what?

Your phase “all things being equal” deserves boundaries, so what’s it cost to be “equal”, " a leg up", you know… stuff like that?


#4

By all things being equal I’m referring to players of equal or similar ability. In this case money or lack of can make a difference (IMO).


#5

Money invested into a player is a better player. Actual accessories I don’t think have much effect maybe just a bat that has better metal but wood is the final product anyways.


#6

By all things being equal I’m referring to players of equal or similar ability. In this case money or lack of can make a difference (IMO).

I’ve traveled from the New York City Park Leagues to the Latino neighborhoods in California, and I’ve seen ball players from 12 on up with little to nothing going for them - money wise. But, play ball with the ability and natural talent and drive using only the day to day experience of “being there” makes me question this … “better by virtue of affordability…”

I’ve seen practice games between very well sponsored clubs and those teams formed up on a moment’s notice. In every event, these kids that come from a hastily formed gathering of T-shirts, every third player shares a glove and so on, has a better sense of the game, ability and hunger for winning than their counterparts on the other side of the field. I saw this again last weekend in Upper State New York.

Here’s where I’m going with this … so many make the mistake of banking on money can buy success. Travel teams, private coaching, showcase events, and so on for so many, only serve to separate the haves-n-have less. Sure, being shown the fundamentals can and will, with many, improve performance - but why? Is all that money just to get to some objective other than a better brand of ball for the pure enjoyment of the game - OR - some other agenda like college or even a pro lifestyle?

So my question isn’t just a rehash of …" all things being equal," … or “money invested into a player is a better player,” but the reality of … HOW MUCH $$$ ?

Pitcher17, StevenMist what would you be willing to give up … $$$ … to be better? Not someone else footing the bill, but you.


#7

This topic hits home a little as I don’t have much. (I’m couch hopping right now to save) but continue my dream everyday. I currently walked into a private indoor facility here in Florida. I talked to the owners and told them I can’t afford anything in here but will out work every player in the building and how hard I train on limited supply. It has been about 4 weeks of working out with them, and I stay later, I listen to everything the trainers say, I give it 120% because I have to earn my keep for me and mine not the $. My point is, on the inside a player from no financial background will outwork a player from privledge. That’s something money can’t buy, and most times those players don’t really ever understand that.


#8

StevenMist,
This is the response I was looking for - thank you.

Your the guys that slug it out, regardless of who says what, who out spends what. Your the guys that sacrifice everything and I mean everything to make it - and you will. Prospects like yourself only need yourself, your inner drive that overcomes anything and everything to get what you want.

I’ll tell you this much, you’ll knock your brains out to get to where you want to go and someone will spot your gutsy attitude and they’ll pass your name on to a local who has contacts. That contact will stop by when you least expect it and will size your talent up and what interests him/her. Those “hack sheets” will be passed along to someone else and just when you least expect it … " good morning son, … my name is … from the …, and I’d like to talk with you for a moment…" He’ll/she’ll hand you a business card, and the rest will be up to you.

Over the years I’ve gotten some outstanding people just by this same system. Small, backwater places that don’t draw much attention, little fanfare, but just that one individual that “has it”. I didn’t have to elbow my way through crowds of guys with radar guns, nor hear the chorus of parents brag about their one and only. For me I just opened a lawn chair, sat back, sipped on a bottle of pop, and took mental notes. Made a good living at it too.

Some day … just keep at it … someone off in the distance, with a straw hat, sipping on a Arnold Palmer Iced Tea is going to taken all this in, prompted by “the word came down…” and you’ll be on the “hack sheets”. don’t give up. You stay the course. If you want suggestions that may compliment what your doing now, just ask.


#9

Thanks Coach Baker made my day. Like I said no money can buy what I’ve experienced or learned so far. I don’t have all the connections in the world, but I’ve gone from throwing on apartment tennis courts and open fields on the interstate to pitching in front of some Ex-Big Leaguers and indoor facilities. I haven’t ran into my golden ticket so to say yet, but I feel it coming with every other person watching me train saying “he’s got it”. So I know my journey isn’t over. When you give it 120% in practice and love the game it really does bring me joy when in a dark place at times.


#10

This conversation can apply to all things in life. It applies a little more clearly in the cruel world of sports/art.
There are the hack golfers with no feel for the swing who go buy new clubs every year and lie on their scorecard. These people don’t love golf. It’s a distraction or an activity. You have the kids who love the game and caddy long hot summer days just to get free rounds. Most people are in the middle somewhere. That’s ok. You don’t have to be willing to cut off a toe or whatever in the name of success or improvement to enjoy any game and have success in the game. To succeed at the highest level maybe most people would. Commitment to the point of obsession (excluding friends, relationships, normal experiences) is not normal, but, it is what it would take for most to succeed at the highest levels…or even have a shot. Enter PEDs.
It is a personal journey. No one else can determine the value of the experience for another person. For one kid making Varsity Senior year is the zenith for them and they love it. For others (delusional?) nothing short of playing in the Majors is a failure. Maybe it takes borderline delusional self belief for most to stick to the long road that would lead to the highest levels.
When my son was playing Babe Ruth his team played a team with a 3rd baseman/SS with a disabled right hand. The kid wasn’t bad, so smooth was his glove transition that it took an inning to notice. He is still playing, now on the same 19u college summer team as my son. I am willing to bet this brave young man has gotten more from his baseball experience than most.
I guess my point is for every super hungry poor kid who grinds his way to success there are tons who would have gone further if they had access to more…just as there are some that come out of the pampered world of “elite” travel ball that would have made it no matter what. Each road has its own flaws and dangers.
At the end of the day, like most things, it is about the experience and the work. It’s not about buying gear or having sweet uniforms.
As musician/writer/speaker/radio guy Henry Rollins said when asked why he lifts weights; "Relationships come and go but 200 lbs is always 200 lbs."
At some point a kid has to love the work.


#11

So true, it’s in every aspect of life.


#12

Pros get first Crack at the best billets to make their bats. Money does matter. The best bats are 10-20 feet more distance on a hit. Cheap gloves don’t last. I think investing in good leather that will hold up can improve your defensive play. My gloves cost about $7 a year if you were to amortize the expense. Lessons are mostly a waste of money because people don’t vett their coaches properly.


#13

Money gets you access – access to better instruction, access to better opportunities, access to better facilities, access to better ideas. Still comes down to work ethic and other physical and mental traits that a pitcher must posses in order to reach the next level. But access is important, and money gets you that to a large extent.


#14

And those that benefited the most from the access of money are Grover Cleveland Alexander, Pete Rose, Whitey Ford, Honus Wagner, Jack Chesbro, Christy Mathewson, Joe Tinker, Frank Chance, Babe Ruth, Art Nehf, Waite Hoyt, Bob Meusel, John Antonelli, Bob Turley, Maury Wills, and Roberto Clemente would have never made it without better bats, better spikes, travel teams, showcases, and above all - money.


#15

Talented players can perform with average or below average equipment. When given the best stuff it helps them reach their full potential. People on the bubble require the better gear to separate themselves from the bubble players without the better gear whose potentials may never be realized.

Gear can and does make the difference for a lot of players. If you can afford it, there is no reason to not get it. Unless you prefer to fly out to the warning track over having the ball just clear the fence. I know that I would not!


#16

What separates talented from average is not billets, warning tracks, nor a checkbook. It’s the work ethic, grinding it out, and dedication to the craft. Pitchers that are like StevenMist will someday take the best bat, the best of anything right out of the equation.

Do the things that sacrifice your need for the “best” of anything. That best is right between your ears - use it as is with the relish of sweat, bruises, bumps and long hours on field going over it, and over it, and over it. Your gutsy determination is not on any shelf nor is it out of bottle. Think for yourself and learn by doing yourself. Learn.


#17

What separates people is talent. Work ethic makes a big difference for a lot of players, but the MLB still has its share of loafers and slackers. You can’t watch a game without seeing the likes of the Hanley Ramirez’s of the world. They have great talent, but dog it all over the place.

Without a doubt, two equally talented people–the one with the better work ethic has the edge.
Two equally talented people with similar work ethics–it may be down to the quality of the gear. At the pro level, I’m sure everyone is using top shelf equipment. Below that level, it’s hit or miss and the pocketbook can grant an edge, especially if all other variable are equal.

To say that gear doesn’t make any difference at all makes no sense because it’s so easy to quantify performance variables in gear. Just like when golf drivers or different balls are hit off the Iron Mike testing machine. Getting gear that’s performance matched to your swing makes a difference. That takes money. Figuring out the right bat turn model and wood species and handle thickness and barrel diameter and amount of end cup and weight distribution takes money for testing and trial and error. You can’t just swing in to Wal-mart and snag yourself a piece of low end ash and expect pro results.


#18

That’s not the question offered for the thread… Ok, how much Coach Paul… how much does it take to make a … say 15 year old better with a bat? I’ll let you present the upper and lower limits along with the add-on’s.


#19

Other than everyone agreeing that work ethic is a great separator, I’m not sure what the point is.
Baseball and pitching in particular is not skiing. If a guy is dirt poor he could get most of his work done with little or home made/second hand equipment.
That said, there is no romanticizing poverty.
There is less opportunity for poor kids, regardless of the pursuit.
I agree about learning and pursuing ones own goals. Hostility toward academy/travel ball is sometimes deserved but it is apart of the landscape.


#20

It’s not money that’s going to make the 15 year old better with a bat. It’s his ability to meld the technique to his physical abilities that will make him better. How quickly that happens is determined by his work ethic and perseverance. the money part comes into play when we start comparing 15 year old kids. If kid A and kid B are equal in ability, work ethic and perseverance but kid B has all the best gear money can buy and kid A has an aluminum bat from 1976 - who’s going to show better? My money would be on kid B every time.