This was a phrase that my dad, Mike Spiers, used on occasion to help bring the best out of his players when they weren't taking care of business. Many times he would say it when guys wouldn't hustle to pick up bats or play catch with the outfielder. When we knew we had responsibilities as players and didn't execute them, he would lightheartedly remind us with that simple comment. We would respond with a smirk or a sarcastic comment, but also with an adjustment to make better decisions the next time around.
Those words became more than just a common saying for his friends, family, and players after his passing. Those words ring in our minds today as not just a way to take the field, but a way to approach life each and every day. There are times when I hear coaches from other teams use those same exact words in hopes to get the appropriate response from their players, and I find myself saying a lot of the same things my dad used to say to my players, including this phrase from time to time.
The legacy Mike Spiers left behind is immeasurable with the amount of people he touched and affected around the world through baseball and sport in general. There are countless young athletes that have played for him that have moved on to play baseball in the collegiate and professional ranks, but even more so that didn't. The life lessons we took home from team practices and gameplay were much more than just baseball skills and mindset. Each player that came up under his tutelage, understood a little more each day what it meant to be young men. Mike Spiers was passionate about his work in this game we all love, but even more driven to make sure each player in his program succeeded on and off the field. Up until his last days in the hospital, he would speak about how proud he was of the guys who played for him 20 years ago and where they were in life today. Some were talented and driven enough to make it to the big leagues, but he was equally proud of the many who became professionals in other areas, such as doctors, lawyers, or politicians.
After my dad's passing on January 18, there hasn't been a day that has gone by that someone hasn't come to me to tell me how he played such a positive role in their life. I'm am forever grateful for the many people that continue to remind me of how my father's legacy will continue to grow in our program and others. It is not the name of our program that represents him, his passion for the game, the love for his players and family. Rather it is the substance and the hearts of the men and women of our program that knew and loved him.
I want to thank each and every one of those who understand what we try to accomplish in our program and what my dad would have wanted for our players and families who are involved. When you get a moment, I would like for each of you to go to www.mikespiers.org, and sign into the guestbook. You are all apart of the Mike Spiers Family!
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