Bobby Valentine, Kevin Morton, Jim Penders, Bryan Daniello, and Mike Scott seem like an improbable collection of some of the most influential baseball figures from Connecticut, but on November 6th, they came together to give some of the most important info a young baseball player could ever receive.
“We (Cross and other FCIAC coaches) wanted to have other people, other than the coaches, tell the kids the same information we’ve been saying for a while, because we thought it would mean a lot more,” said John Cross, the organizer of the Panel and going on to his 18th year of coaching the Brien McMahon baseball team.
“(The idea) originated from me talking to other FCIAC coaches, and also my assistant coaches… we first started talking about it… probably back in the spring some time, but we didn’t really start to focus on it until September,” said Cross. The idea had been around for a while, but there were troubles getting Jim Penders, the head coach of baseball at the University of Connecticut for 15 years now, and Bobby Valentine, who played and managed at the highest level of baseball and now the Athletic Director of Sacred Heart University, together because of their busy schedules.
When asked what he thought the main thing that kids at the panel took away from it, Cross said, “How serious it is to play collegiate sports and how much is expected of them… it’s just not about about what I do on the field, it’s everything that happens outside of the field.”
Being there myself, it truly does give a new perspective of how much effort needs to go into playing at that level and makes you want to work harder than ever before.
“I thought it was great to have a significant group of baseball figures speak to us about the best ways and what we have to do to get into college for sports,” said Kamron Walker, a sophomore who played for McMahon’s Junior Varsity baseball team his freshman year.
There was a lot to be learned from the panel, but don’t worry if you missed it, LocalLive Networks streamed the whole conference, if you want to watch it the link can be found below.