Steve Holm Happy to be Back in the Majors

By Jean Bedord | July 27, 2008

From the Host Mom:
Our Baseball Pro, Steve Holm, is back in the majors at the San Francisco Giants. Steve wasn’t getting much playing time, so he had been moved (optioned) to the Fresno Grizzlies AAA baseball team to get more game time. It’s common for players to move between the different levels, depending on rehabilitation and team needs.

Steve commented on the differences in this article from

“In 11 games with Fresno, Holm showed his offensive ability, batting .324 with nine RBIs. He was hitting just .214 in 39 games with the Giants. He thought playing every day for a couple of weeks with the Grizzlies would help him sharpen his offensive skills.

Behind the plate, though, the Triple-A time didn’t do any good.

“I think the hardest thing as a catcher, especially in Triple-A, is you don’t know any of the hitters,” Holm said. “I ask guys, and they’re like, ‘Oh, we don’t know them.’ Here, you have a plethora of information.”

With the Giants, video of opponents, hitters’ batting charts and additional coaching make it impossible for any hitter to remain unknown for long.

The travel and food in the Majors isn’t bad, either. Minor Leagues mean “nachos for dinner” and “puddle-jumpers at 6 in the morning,” as Holm put it.

Whether he’s starting or not, “chicken for dinner” and “charter flights after the game” make the Majors the better experience.”

It’s great to have him back so we can catch him on TV!

Host Mom, Jean

Topics: Minor League Baseball life | No Comments »

San Jose Giants Baseball Games Best in Silicon Valley 2008

By Jean Bedord | July 10, 2008

From the Host Mom:
The annual vote is in, and the games and ballpark for this single A baseball team is a favorite with the San Jose Mercury News readers. This excerpt pretty much sums up the attraction:

“The prices at AT&T Park a bit much for your wallet? The Giants having a less-than-stellar year? Grinding up the Peninsula to China Basin just not worth it? There is an alternative for a nice night of baseball on a warm summer evening.

The Class A San Jose Giants play at Municipal Stadium, not far from downtown, and taking in a game there is a little like drifting back to a simpler time when baseball wasn’t a sport under investigation by the feds and Congress.”

My family has enjoyed minor league baseball over the years, particularly the food:

“And there’s Turkey Mike’s BBQ, the place to be before the game. Turkey Mike’s offers up good, solid barbecue – chicken, ribs, Philly cheesesteaks – in a picnic setting behind the third base side bleachers. (The top-priced thing on the menu is a rib dinner at $10.95, which defines reasonable dining these days.) Beer and wine are available, and you can get Gordon Biersch garlic fries just as you can at AT&T.”

Of course, there’s some baseball as well, and the Giants are the defending California League champions. You can see young players on their way up and veteran players rehabbing.

Who could ask for anything more from a convenient field of dreams?”

It’s summer and time for baseball…

Host Mom, Jean

Topics: Minor League Baseball life | No Comments »

Choosing between Baseball Programs at the College Level

By Jean Bedord | July 7, 2008

Ask the Baseball Pro:
Pam wrote:
My son has a combination of baseball and academic scholorships to a good NAIA school and will be the #2 catcher as a freshman. He is just now being recruited by great junior and community colleges where most players go on to play D1. I feel it would be a step down in his education to leave a 4 year college for a community college. Is it still possible if he plays well that he can go on to play D2 or D1 from an NAIA school or is junior college the best avenue for this? He is being told that if he goes NAIA he will not be looked at. Can you tell us if this is true?

From the Baseball Pro:
If your son really wants to play at the Div 1 level then he should not attend the NAIA school. I am not up to date with the new NCAA rules so I can not advise you in the transferring process. Once he starts school he is giving a commitment to that coach and that program, so wanting to leave the NAIA school for a Div 1 program is not the best plan. I think you guys should weight the pros and cons of the academics versus the baseball and then decide which avenue you really want to pursue.

Your baseball pro, Steve Holm

P.S. Think long and hard about the tradeoffs. Academics and college baseball, particularly Div 1, are hard to balance. The baseball season is long and the travel schedule can interfere with classes. It’s awfully hard to finish a degree…look at the number of players who successfully complete their studies.
Host Mom, Jean

Topics: College Baseball life | No Comments »

Breaking Into University Baseball from Junior College

By Jean Bedord | July 6, 2008

Ask the Baseball Pro:
Mary wrote:
I need your help but I need to first give you a pretty lengthy (but necessary)background. After having a great year his Junior year in High School my son’s High School coach cut him off his senior year. The coach did this often to senior players (with the exception of his own son). I feel like the coach blocked any chances of my son getting noticed from colleges that might have been interested in him. He was picked up as a walk-on player at the local Junior College, but because he was not a scholarship hand picked player, he only got to play in 2 games. In those two games he hit .333 including a 2 out bases loaded triple. Although he’s only 19 and has attended the Junior College for only 1 year he already has enough credits to graduate from the Junior College in Dec. 2008 with an associate degree(he took college classes during High School) He can go for a dual degree and finish out his full two years and hopefully get playing time in the spring.

What do you suggest he do at this point? Does he have other options that would be better?

PS. He’s in the National Honor Society Faternity and is a utility player. He wants to play ball!!!

From the Baseball Pro:
I guess if I were to offer my advice I would say your son needs to do what is best for his future. Maybe you could find a smaller NAIA school where he could continue his studies, which seem to be very important to him, as well as continuing his baseball career. Another option would be to find a good summer ball team to play for and see if that opens any doors that you may not know exist currently. After not playing for almost 2 years (his senior year and his freshman year of college) your son really needs to get out and play to see where he stacks up against the competition, so you can best determine where he should try to play next.
Your baseball pro, Steve Holm

P.S. Has your son investigated club baseball? Many college have well developed club sports programs, which are competitive, but not the level of the varsity programs. The baseball season has a lot of out-of-town games, and is rather incompatible with top scholastics. My son ended up playing ultimate frisbee (he played baseball in high school) in the club sports program at the University of Oregon and loves it!
Host Mom, Jean

Topics: College Baseball life | No Comments »

Education for Minor Leagues…

By Jean Bedord | June 6, 2008

From Ask the Baseball Pro:
Corey wrote:
What type of education do you need to play on a minors baseball team?

From the Baseball Pro:
In order to play in the minor leagues the only education you need is your high school diploma. A team can not sign you until you have graduated from high school. But no other education beyond that is required.
Your baseball pro, Steve Holm

P.S. Most of the baseball players we host have at least some community college experience, which gives them more baseball experience, as well as additional education. Think long-term beyond a baseball career-today’s jobs require more education.
Host mom, Jean

Topics: Minor League Baseball life | No Comments »

Changing from Division I to Division II Baseball

By Jean Bedord | June 4, 2008

From Ask the Baseball Pro:
L. S. wrote:
During my senior year of high school, I received a few letters of interest to play baseball for a Division II team. I chose to go to a Division I university for academic reasons, while not playing baseball. Is there any way to get back into the game with a smaller school?

From the Baseball Pro:
My recommendation to you would be to find a summer team to play on first. See how that goes and if you want to pursue baseball from there then you can change schools if necessary.
Your baseball pro, Steve Holm

P.S. Carefully consider the academic tradeoffs vs. playing baseball, which takes a lot of time, more so than other sports since there are a lot of games. My bias is toward getting the education.
Host Mom, Jean

Topics: College Baseball life | No Comments »

Talking with the Coach and Athletic Director

By Jean Bedord | June 2, 2008

Ask the Baseball Pro:
Jay wrote:
My son is a Senior in High School and a very good ball player. His coach is completely into the “politics” and plays his fav-9 almost every game. He has not played my son at all and there are only 6 games left. There have been games where he has played everyone on the team except for my son.

Question : Should I talk to the Head of the Athletics dept about the coach?

From the Baseball Pro:
Before going to the athletic director I think you owe it to the coach to speak with him first. You need his side of the story before you can do anything else. Talking with him first is the professional way to deal with it. I hope everything works out well for you and your son.
Your baseball pro, Steve Holm

P.S. This is a toughie. You need to get both sides. Keep in mind that typically high school coaches are both teachers and not-so-well-paid for their after school sports. My son had a parent coach because the high school could not find a teacher who could also coach baseball, and this can be even more problematic.
Host Mom, Jean

Topics: Youth Baseball life | No Comments »

Forming a Travelling Team

By Jean Bedord | May 31, 2008

From Ask the Baseball Pro:
Cathy wrote:
Our team is thinking about starting our own travel team and wonder where or how to get the info we need to get started. We are minor league team and also have one girl on our team, pages are 9 to 11.

From the Baseball Pro:
I am sorry but I have no idea where you could find the information you are looking for. My only guess would be for you to go to the local batting cages and ask them if they have any contacts.
Your baseball pro, Steve

P.S. There isn’t a general source for this type of information–it’s all done by volunteers so key people change from year to year.
Host Mom, Jean

Topics: Youth Baseball life | 1 Comment »

Pitching vs. Position Playing in High School Baseball

By Jean Bedord | May 29, 2008

From Ask the Baseball Pro:
Mike wrote:
My son is a sophomore and described as a control pitcher. He is 5-11 about 150 lbs. and works very hard during the off season getting quality pitching and hitting instruction.

My question is: since he is such an effective pitcher, the coach seems reluctant to put him in any other position and therefore, he rarely gets up to bat. Is this normal at the high school level? Should we stop the hitting lessons? And how about college……do the pitchers hit?

He loves to pitch and has become very successful, but I think its hard for him not to be involved in the other parts of the game.
Thanks so much for your reply.

From the Baseball Pro:
It sounds to me as if your son is a better pitcher than he is a position player. Is that true? If it is, then the coach is just doing what’s best for the team. If it is not true then your son should be playing a position as well.

It is hard to say that as a sophomore in high school, the coach already knows what he will be best at. In college most pitchers will not hit, and the coach instead will elect to use a DH. But if he really wants to hit then he should find a summer team willing to let him play a position as well and see where that takes him.
Your Baseball Pro, Steve

Topics: Youth Baseball life | 2 Comments »

Steve Holm Hits 1st Major League Home Run for San Francisco Giants

By Jean Bedord | May 12, 2008

From Host Mom:
What a Mother’s Day gift to his mother and grandmother as our baseball pro hit his first major league home run, and won the game! Here is a quotation from the team’s website:

Holm’s first homer lifts Giants past Phils
Catcher slugs two-run shot in seventh; Molina gets two hits

By Rick Eymer / Special to

SAN FRANCISCO — Steve Holm got creamed and he couldn’t be happier about it. The rookie catcher, who during Spring Training only wanted a chance to play somewhere in the organization, became the latest Giants hero when he delivered a game-winning home run Sunday in a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
The shaving-cream pie, in honor of Holm’s first Major League home run, was courtesy of some of the bullpen pitchers, with winning pitcher Jack Taschner (2-0) the main instigator.

“I was on guard for that,” said a smiling Holm. “I was in the dugout doing an interview and I don’t know if I even looked into the camera. I kept looking over my shoulder.”

The attack came inside the clubhouse, while Holm was doing another TV interview.

“I was able to get a hand up and fend off about half of it,” said Holm, a Sacramento native who had both his parents and grandparents in the stands.

Holm, who rifled a line drive into the left-field stands, was able to secure the ball in a trade that sent a bat and a helmet to a happy fan.

“[Director of media relations] Blake Rhodes did a great job getting the ball for me,” Holm said. “I don’t think they would have let me go out there and get it during the game.”

You can see Steve’s home run on this video from the game.

Way to go, Steve!
Host Mom, Jean

Topics: Minor League Baseball life | 3 Comments »

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