Results tagged ‘ Don Baylor ’

Stay in the correct lane

As position players take informal batting practice on the main diamond at Hi Corbett Field, there are cones set up along the power alleys, from the warning track almost to the infield, on each side. They’re reminders for hitters.

Spring Training is about that: get your stroke first, stay in the middle of the field,” Rockies hitting cach Don Baylor said. “You’re not here to pull every pitch to get into some bad habits. We’re trying to develop some good habits early.”

It’s difficult to hit a home run on the main field at Hi Corbett. In Baylor’s view, that’s good. Since the ball doesn’t travel well in most cases, taking wild, hard swings doesn’t pay off. So players can work on fundamental approaches.

“The wind is blowing out most of the time, but it’s blowing out on the other fields,” Baylor said.

Baylor relishes Triple-A honor

There was a time when Rockies hitting coach Don Baylor wanted to be anywhere but in Rochester, N.Y., but that was understandable. After earning Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year honors in 1970 while playing for the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings, Baylor’s rewad in 1971 was to begin the season in Rochester once more.

“That was a difficult time,” Baylor said. “Today is different. They want players in the big leagues now. We were stockpiling back then.”

Now Rochester has a happier meaning for Baylor. Last month, Baylor learned that he had been chosen to the Intrenational League Hall of Fame.

Baylor was inducted alongside second baseman Bobby Grich, his teammate then, as well as in the Majors with the Orioles and the Angels.

“When I got the call the feelling was, ‘OK, tell me Grich was the other guy,'” Baylor said. “They said, ‘Absolutely.’

“We roomed together in Bluefield (W.Va., in Rookie ball). That was the first time we got together as players, and all through the system we came up together, played in the big leagues togethre for a long time. He’s my son’s godfather.”

Baylor was humbled over the company he joined in th IL Hall of Fame. Part of this year’s class of inductees was longtime Dodgers manager Walter Alston, who managed the Monteal Royals.

“Some of the names made an impression,” Baylor said.

Not that anyone in Denver is crying …

… but it’s been cool and a little wet here this morning. The temperature is barely in the 50s, and light rain is falling at Hi Corbett Field. Position players abandoned fielding and area taking batting practice on the main stadium field. Hitting coach Don Baylor and Todd Helton, two Rockies elder statesmen, have donned heavier long-sleeve jackets.

Third baseman Ian Stewart made his first appearance at camp. I saw him during the winter in Denver, but didn’t realize how much his upper body has filled out. You see those triceps and think power.