There have been alot of people recently that have come to me asking about lessons for their children and a lot of questions have been asked about their kids playing in college or the next level. My philosphy is this, you will become what you make of yourself. Your instructors will only take you so far. Go to them for your basics, for your check ups. This will define yourself as an individual and as a player. Too many players go to their instructors and live by their instruction. They cannot play unless their instructor tells them to play. So what happens when you go to the next level and they are no where to be found? You will be stuck learning a new way and learning a new aspect of the game at a high level. That does not leave you with alot of room for error.
Well everytime a big event comes up I always like to hear people's thoughts and memories on the events past. This time we are going to hear what some people's favorite thoughts are on the magical experience we call the MLB Postseason. Here is what they say:
This leads to the favorite moment.
As I head to the clubhouse from the dugout, seriously considering a failed suicide attempt (all I ever want is your attention), there at the clubhouse door, sitting on a cheap folding chair, is Vanessa, smiling at me, as if nothing bad had ever happened in the whole world.
It was at that moment I knew she would one day be my wife."
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your favorite MLB Postseason memory
I was watching TV the other night and they had the golden era of baseball on. I sat there with my eyes wide open, feeling great about not only myself but about the sport that I truly have a sincere passion for. Watching Mickey Mantle with that infectious grin, holding his bat for the cameras, then 20 minutes later hitting solid line drives into the gaps and legging out doubles and triples. Watching Babe Ruth swing a 42 ounce bat and in some cases a 52 ounce bat. They hit the balls hard back then without the controversy of wood bats shattering or being "deadly objects." The used bats to hit the ball hard, heavy bats. Did this make the balls go further? Yes. That's why Mickey Mantle still has the record for furthest homerun recorded at 565 ft! They didn't have to have a special bat they grabbed a bat and played the game. They didn’t have a radar guns back then. They did what they were supposed to do to get guys out, they pitched. I want to see that high school senior throwing 82 mph get a Division 1 scholarship because he had a 0.54 ERA. I want to see that pitcher sign for $500,000 because he had a 0.83 ERA and threw 80 MPH. Not just because they throw hard enough to blow it by someone. Yes, you can teach someone to throw the ball harder, but at what expense? Why not teach them to pitch and if they have a good arm great?
iFungo on JMV of WNDE 1260AM
7-14-09This weekend was a tough weekend for me. I lost my Grandmother and attended her funeral. After losing her I became to realize why I had so much passion for baseball. It was from her wonderful stories of baseball's yesteryears. She would sit down and tell us her stories of when she was a little girl, growing up in Wheeling, of how her father, a blacksmith, built a bench on top of their roof so they could sit up there and watch all the baseball games that took place across the street. Some were normal pick up games, however her favorite story was to tell us of how she used to watch Babe Ruth play at that field during his Barnstorming days. Her and her brother would watch those games and keep scorecards on whatever they could find. Napkins, cardboard, cereal boxes, anything! They would watch those games with the greatest of concentration. Then BOOM! Babe smacked one over their heads and broke a window in the local school house. Her brother ran over and got that ball, and when he passed a couple years ago told me his greatest regret was giving that ball away to one of the little kids in the neighborhood. "Garrett could you imagine what that ball would be worth today?"
Golden Age of Baseball
7-8-09We sold our first Ordinance Bat the other day to baseball blogger Anita Tshuchiya. The image of the bat is below:
iFungo.com Press Release
iFungo.com Supports the Troops! iFungo.com has teamed up with USA Cares with
Cicero, IN -- June 18, 2009 –iFungo.com has teamed up with USA Cares, a charity for military families in need, and are offering a new line of bats geared towards supporting our troops and families. “The iFungo Ordinance Bats” will feature a stars and stripes logo and with personalization at the end of the bat. The first line will feature the soldiers name and rank followed by the second line, which the purchaser will be able to display a message to their soldier.
“I know quite a few friends and family that are overseas defending our freedom and for me this is just a small token of appreciation for their efforts.” The iFungo.com product page also states that soldiers can purchase these bats for their children. When asked about this Berger said, “There is nothing better than a child of a soldier wanting to honor their father or mother by using a bat with their name on it. I hope these bats will provide them with the same courage and grit their fathers/mothers possess to help them get through an at bat or the entire season. Baseball has stood the test of time and we only hope that this will provide the same strength to these families to get through this time.”
For more information, please contact Garrett Berger via email (email@example.com).
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Kids and Calling Pitches
I was approached the other day with this topic. Of course I think he should call his own pitches at the high school level. One thing I am doing as a Varsity pitching coach now is letting the kids call their own pitches. I think it is vital for them for their maturity to be able to call their own pitches now and learn themselves what pitches to throw in certain circumstances. If I as a coach call the pitches, the catcher and pitcher both learn nothing. They then turn into robots and not think for themselves.
Every pitcher has confidence in one pitch over another in a certain count. That’s the pitch they need to throw. If they throw it and its hit a long way they need to experience that for themselves. My pitching coach in high school, who is somehow a head coach now and doing the same things, made me throw in a 155 pitch game, 50 sliders! 50! That’s 32% of the pitches I threw? That’s absurd. Especially when I was throwing 94-96 in high school! His reasoning behind it was well I feel I didn’t get picked up because I didn’t throw my breaking ball enough. He is not me and he shouldn’t try to live vicariously through me! Kids in high school need to learn how to establish their fastball, slow eyes down with changeups, and maybe use a curveball as an out pitch.
Kids in high school who just want to strike everybody out are selfish. I would say a lot about pitching is trying to trick the batter but there are 4 ways to get guys out: groundout, flyout, linedrive, and strikeout. Strikeout mentioning last only because it doesn’t require anyone else to make it happen. You have 7 guys behind you, 1 guy in front of you, so use them. If you try to strike everyone out basically your saying you’re going to battle against the other team: you vs. 9 other guys. Who will win? I’ll put money on the other guys!
If your thinking about your mechanics while you’re on the hill you will not be as successful as you should be. I was a very analytical pitcher growing up and as soon as you experience failure you turn into a different person because your thinking about your mechanics. Not a good person either! When you pitch you should become results oriented. If you make a bad pitch you threw a ball. What’s your adjustment? Throw a strike! Drill work is mechanical however pitching is competing. When you get on the mound your drill work will take care of your mechanics, and your mind will let you compete. I would rather be thinking about what next pitch to throw this guy instead of what my mechanics made me throw the pitch before. Your body does what it last hears and your body will hear what you did wrong so what will it do again? Do the wrong thing again because that’s the last thing it heard! So when pitching have fun competing and not thinking about well my front side did this, or I didn’t use my legs. Pitching is about making adjustments based upon feel, not what you learned from your instructor or coach. You will be able to talk to them after the inning or the next day but not during the game. Learn to become your own coach and make yourself better. Smile and have fun. Nothing is more intimidating then a pitcher smiling at the hitter! It makes them think we know something they don’t! More often than not we do!
It was a typical day in late March, windy, cloudy and cold. The location was Lawrence Central HS and I was the Opening Day pitcher for the varsity squad at Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana. I was very excited to start the '91 season because the year before I was 5-0 with an era of 0.63, which I believe is still a school record. Well, on this opening day it was all that I could ask for. On the mound, I threw a complete game with 8 strikeouts and walked only one. At the plate, I was 3 for 5 with a single, 2 homeruns and had 5 rbi's. We won the game 10-3 and started the season with 6 straight wins, 2 of those 6 by the mercy rule. This game will always be one of my most memorable opening games because of my pitching and hitting performance in my senior year.
Goal Setting and Accountability
Yes it is this time of year again. Every year when players get together, we have a certain expectations and we have certain goals we have set for ourselves. "This is my year." "I'll make varsity this year." "I'll make the team this year." Whatever goals you have set for yourself, do not force yourself to make these happen. Just think about them till you have nothing else to think about. When that happens everything will fall into place. Visualize accomplishing the goals you have set for yourself.
For some goals change day to day, while others change for year to year. For some their goals don't change until they are met. Once a goal is met, then it is time to move on and meet another goal. For some, nothing stands in the way of goal setting until the accomplishment of their goals. Criticism is one avenue others result to because they do not know how to react to an individual’s unique way of goal setting. Don't let them stand in your way. Despite criticism, despite the orthodox or the conventional way, you will succeed. Success is the only option. Failure is not. This is the sport you have chosen to succeed in, so you need to make success happen. If you don't like the situation YOU have created for yourself do not complain. Just play better!
Determination yields instincts to persevere into something that has come from someone's mere ideology. For egotism inhibits ones instincts to succeed, their inner self strives for them to go forth humbly. Ones determination cannot and will not be accomplished without a common goal being the foundation of the stars. Without the stars, who can foresee the future? Stars and goals coincide to create one common denomination, success. Success cannot succeed without a foundation of absolute perfection. If one does not demand perfection, where is the expectation of success? If you demand perfection you can settle for above average. No one outside of a person’s inner self can determine your success. It is the players job to set the alignment of their future without any outside influence.
Coaches it is our job to make our players better. We do not mold them into a player we think they can be, we let them play and help their uniqueness become whatever they have set in their minds. It is our job as instructors to help the individual be their own coach. We will never be able to stand next to them when they are on the field competing. So teach them and inform them how to make adjustments. Don't make the adjustments for them. You can tell a player till you are blue in the face what to do, but unless he is able to feel the adjustment he or she will never be able to make it. It is our job to put them in a successful position, it is their job to make themselves succeed.
Yours in baseball,
America's Greatest Pastime
Walt Whitman once said, "I see great things in baseball. It's our game-the American game. It will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism. Tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set. Repair these loses, and be a blessing to us." And also, "In our sun-down perambulations, of late, through the outer parts of Brooklyn, we have observed several parties of youngsters playing "base," a certain game of ball." With those words just read I become to feel a sense of spring. The cool crispt air. The countless hours outside. The laughter. The enjoyment. The feelings of being young again. No pressures about economy. No stress from our jobs. Just all feelings childlike. Where is our innocence? Where did it go? With technology as abundant as it is, lets take a step back in '09. Lets go outside and play baseball in the backyards. But most importantly lets play catch and nothing else. We aren't required to have any reason but the sheer desire to go outside and play catch with our kids, neighbors, neices, nephews, or whomever. This brings me to my point in all of this.
We have teamed up with "A Glove of Their Own." For every glove sold, over $100, everyone will receive a book compliments of iFungo.com. Now this isn't just some children's book. This is THE children's book that every little kids HAS to have! This brings us back to when we played in the backyards. This story captivates everything that Walt Whitman was describing. This is where people are misunderstanding the importance of the game, winning. These are the days when no matter what, we wanted to come home and say we WON! We all wanted to win. But no matter how much we wanted to win we respected the game. If we didn't have enough players, and we only had one outfielder, and you hit the ball to right it was an out. Or if you were really scrapped for players we had an infield and played pitcher's hand. We wanted to be outside. We wanted to come home with a scraped up knee. You NEED to read this book and recapture your innocence. Recapture who you are. Recapture your shadow and embody your childlike innocence.
Baseball is a game enjoyed by all, but ruined by the ignorant. Coaches and parents do your children justice and if you do not know the answer or if you do not know how to play the game of baseball the correct way, DO NOT TELL THEM HOW! Go to your local GrandStands facility and learn about the game. Make sure your son or daughter know how to play the game, but more importantly how to RESPECT the game. Conventional wisdom is ruining this game because of ignorant and selfish parents. Do not live your life through your son or daughter. Let them be your son and daughter and enjoy watching them play the game. You do not need to hold their hand when they cross the lines. When they cross the lines, the game will take care of them. The game will teach them lessons. The game will teach them how to win. The game will teach them how to respect one another. The game will teach them how to work as a team. When the game is over then you can be a parent.
Now that I have spoken my peace let's take a step back in '09. Let's go to your local games. Let's have fun with our kids, instead of constantly riding them. Let's read A Glove of Their Own. Most importantly let us act like kids again. Smiles are contagious. Good information is priceless. But nothing is better than being happy or seeing your kids happy! Let's go USA in March!!
World Baseball Classic
Off Season Training
First of all Happy New Year to everyone! '09 is going to be a great year for everyone, and if '08 brought you turmoil '09 will bring you success! This year think about how you approach your offseason training. If you struggled in a particular area last year, hold yourself accountable and work on strengthening those areas. Remember your approach to offseason training is not working out in Feb. for your season starting in March. You have to think of it as a process. You wont be able to just get in and reinvent the wheel and hope you have a successful season. Work hard, be patient, and if you have the opportunity visit your local baseball facility and receive professional instruction.
Our Grandstands Academies as well as other facilities are there to help you in your pursuit. Your success is dependant upon your work ethic. Make yourself a better player and apply yourself to your sport. If your a multi sport athlete make sure your just staying in shape and doing what you have to in each sport to make yourself better. If that means your a basketball player and you also play baseball, play catch a couple times a week to make sure your still working on it. The more you work on it the more relaxed you will be, which makes you a more confident player. We want to get you to the next level, which is why we provide you with the best equipment available. How good do you want to be?
Jimmy Scott's High and Tight Interview
What do you want for Christmas? I know that from years past, whenever it was Christmas time I always wanted baseball equipment. Always. New glove, new batting gloves, bats etc. This is the time to invest in your/your kids/your grandkids future and purchase the best equipment available. My freshman year of high school my parents bought me a top of the line glove. I felt like Ralphie, but knew I wouldn't shoot my eye out. The best present ever! I took care of that glove more than any other possession I had. I oiled it regularly with neatsfoot oil, the same oil my dad and grandpa used, and changed the laces when they were getting just a little worn. That glove lasted me four years till I received my first contract glove with Rawlings. I still have it today and still oil and take care of it regularly. So this year invest in a good glove in your child and see how big their eyes light up or see how they smash the glove in their face to take the first big smell of that new leather. We are here for you making sure you have the best gloves around for your child this Christmas!
iFungo in The News
As we grow as a company we start to pop up in the news, on the web, everywhere! Who knows maybe in the next couple years we will paint the moon with our logo! Why not right? Here are some website/publications that are writing about us:
If you are interested in doing a story about iFungo.com please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who are you thankful for?
Well as it is the month of Thanksgiving, I found it suiting to do a little blurb of who I'm thankful for. First and foremost im thankful for my family. Through thick and thin, my family has certainly been my sounding board, my cheering gallery, my support system. I couldn't be more proud of my family for everything they have done for me and for everything they have endured with me. They were there to give me the truth when it was just that I was searching for, and they have always been there to say everything is going to be ok. Very thankful for my family. Also throw in my friends as well. I have some friendships that will last a lifetime and they too have been a great support system in everything I have done. G.O.B.
Secondly, I'm thankful my old pitching coach. Though my dad taught me the basics of baseball, my passion for baseball, and my love for baseball, he taught me all the intangibles of baseball. Helped make me the player I was to the baseball minded person I am today. In a game of negativity, in a game where conventional wisdom seems to supersede adaptability and uniqueness, in a game where politics is prevalent from youth up, there was one guy that stood by my side and knew I could do it, and I will be forever indebted to that.
Thirdly, I'm thankful for every experience I had in the eight years I played. I have met a lot of great people, and experienced more than I would say most have. For those experiences, good and bad, I am very thankful.
Lastly, my dog. I have had him for 3 and a half years now. He is my buddy. He keeps my day going so I can make your experience on my website a great one. Thanks to all, and have a happy holiday.
Yours in baseball,
We Give Thanks to Our First Baseball Game
1967 (4 years old)- my father brought me to my first game at Old Comiskey Park in Chicago. Chicago White Sox vs. Boston Red Sox. I remember seeing the field coming out from under the stands and seeing how big it was and green! I remember one name from that game, catcher Duane Josephson. For the next 30 plus years, my dad and I went to many White Sox games.
Not his first baseball game, but the first he brought his girls too!!
My Dad - April 20, 1969 Season 1 of the the expansion Montreal Expos at rinky dink Jarry Park. I can still remember the overwhelming smell of the hot dogs and sitting in a crowd of 28,000 people in the chilly, sunshine that Sunday afternoon.
Expos did not disappoint this 8 year-old fan for life winning 4-1 against Chicago. They beat the Cubs who were off to a hot start, 11-2 to begin the season and we missed seeing Canadian Ferguson Jenkins pitch in this series... I have not been off the Expos ever since and never will!
Do you have your first baseball game story? Send us your story to email@example.com and we will give patronage to all of your stories! This is the month to be thankful so thanks to all of you that love and support the great game of baseball!!
Wood bats. Why buy custom?
As an amatuer you should be swing wood. Bottom line. Wood bats make you a stronger hitter, a more disciplined hitter, and not to mention it protects your invest in a metal bat. The question every player has to ask themself is, "Do I want to be a professional?" And if the answer is yes you have to start becoming accustomed to a wood bat anyways. There are alot of guys that come out of the draft and have a large transitional period getting used to the use of wood bats. Get started now so its an easier transition. The benefits of a custom bat are you get to choose your length, weight, and color but most importantly you get your name on your bat. How many times have you seen players buying pro stock bats and someone mistakenly uses your bat, because they think its their own, and break it? The answer is too many. Now you can help prevent this situation from happening.
Plus watch major league games. The bats you see your favorite big leaguer using, chances are we sell it! So this offseason save your metal bat, make your self a better hitter, and protect your investment in metal and buy wood!
Becoming a company
Hey everyone my name is Garrett Berger and I am the Owner of iFungo.com. I want to personally thank you for visiting our site and wanting to learn more about us as a company. I have played the game of baseball, been a student of the game of baseball, and have had a sincere passion for the game of baseball since birth. Being drafted by the Florida Marlins as their first pick, I was able to experience baseball at a professional level for eight years. Even though my dream of making the big leagues didn’t happen, I have had eight great, long years playing the game I love and meeting characters of people along the way.
In 2001 right after I had signed, I ended up having season ending Tommy John Surgery. I snapped my UCL ligament in half and had fractured my radius bone to the joint. Something I wish no one has to go through in their life! The rehab is long, but it provided me an opportunity to get my feet wet, talk with a lot of people, and watch how players went about their business. One day in spring training some of the players and I ended up going to large sporting goods store to kill some time. A lot of them, who didn’t have agents, were leaving the store with bags of clothes and equipment. Immediately the first thought that came to my mind was, "Aren't we professional athletes? Am I really going to have to go to a sporting goods store to purchase my things?" Luckily for me my agent provided me my equipment so I didn’t have to. For everyone else though they had to find a place to purchase their equipment. So for me I went about the day and forever locked the idea in my thoughts for another day.
In 2006 finally an opportunity was presented to me. An opportunity to have my own business selling baseball equipment. I jarred loose those thoughts I had from 2001 and brought it to fruition. The first couple of years I brought in manufacturers that I thought my teammates and I could use. I mean if they wanted top end equipment I could now provide it to them! So for about a year that is what I did. Players were buying gloves, cleats, bats, apparel, and equipment from me. This is great right?! Pro players purchasing premium equipment from me. Now the wheels started turning. Why not offer the products that the pro guys were buying, to all of our amateur players?
Now here is where the bulk of our company comes into play. I started asking guys I played with, "Hey what manufacturers do you think I should try to get on my site?" Thus started the Ambassador Program. Our Ambassadors are guys I have played with or been in contact with who have helped our company grow from the ground up and I believe deserve acknowledgement. They have recommended equipment, purchased equipment, and helped us spread the word of mouth about the company. Thanks again for all of our Ambassadors. So then I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Should I offer everything these manufacturers have to offer? Or should I just offer the items that our Ambassadors use? The answer was simple, only offer the best available. Now you can come to the site and know only the best equipment from our manufacturers is offered. The equipment the pros use! Now a lot of our competitors offer every line of every manufacturer. They offer hundreds of brands names and thousands of products. We don't and here's why. There are only a few brand names in Major League baseball right now. For the most part we sell them. There are not hundreds of brand names in the big league just some. There aren’t thousands of products in the big leagues, just the best. Now a lot of our products aren't big league products because the only players that can get them are the ones in the big leagues! But our products are still used by professionals.
To be honest if we offered you big league equipment that’s one less perk you would have if you got there! We want to get you there. Whether it’s because you used premium equipment, or received advice from our Ambassadors, we want to help.
Which brings us to our GrandStands Program. Our GrandStands Program is to help promote baseball facilities and help the grass roots get better. Conventional wisdom has been passed down from generation to generation. Not all of it is correct. From a professional looking in amateur baseball has a long way to go. That is why there are baseball facilities all around this country to help you the amateur get better and realize your dreams of professional baseball. The majority of the baseball facilities out there are run by former professionals or guys with lots of knowledge about the game and how to play it right. Take advantage of these places and get yourself better. I have been going to a facility since I was ten years old. Worked as hard as I could and I made it to professional baseball. Let these places help you get there. Also now Grandma and Grandpa on the West Coast can get lessons for the grandson/granddaughter on the east coast. But it doesn’t stop there! Now professionals can come to the site and find possible employment opportunities as well! We are truly here to help preserve the natural integrity of the game.
Now with the overhead facilities have nowadays, its hard for them to be able to furnish a pro shop. That is where we come in. At the expense of a small annual fee our facilities are able to offer all the products we have to their customers. One question might be, "What's in it for me?" With your small annual fee you will earn 10% commission on everything your customers purchase. That’s right. Let us be your soda vendor. You tell your customers to purchase and we pay you!
Bottom line people iFungo was created to help. If your teams need package deals, let us know! We will custom make a package just for your needs. Does your school or organization need fundraising opportunities, let us know! We are here for you. We are here to help.
Welcome to iFungo.com I'm glad you stopped by and thanks for learning more about how we want to help you. Help me help you! HA!