myBurbank Talks

Coaches Corner: Mike Graceffo, Legendary Youth Coach

November 02, 2023 Craig Sherwood, Bob Hart, Mike Graceffo Season 1 Episode 2
myBurbank Talks
Coaches Corner: Mike Graceffo, Legendary Youth Coach
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Prepare for a nostalgic journey back to the Burbank sports scene with our esteemed guest, Mike Graceffo. This episode presents a vibrant tapestry of his coaching voyage that started in high school and has spanned several generations of athletes. Together, we reflect on Mike's affection for baseball that started in his Burbank childhood, the nail-biting rivalries, and the sweet taste of almost reaching a championship game in Hawaii.

As we journey further, we explore the evolution of players and parents in the sports scene over the past four decades. Mike offers insightful perspectives on the changing dynamics of youth sports and the unique challenges that the so-called 'trophy generation' faces. We delve into the impact of the COVID pandemic on the sports world, the intricacies of recruitment, and the changing dynamics of coaching. 

Finally, we take you through some remarkable stories of chance encounters with famous personalities and how they've influenced our lives. For instance, hear the riveting story of how Mike met Dr. J and Ricky Henderson, Don Mattingly, and Mike Tyson. We wrap up with a heartfelt discussion about coaching, its profound impact, and the necessity of giving back to the community. So, tune in and join us on this incredible journey of sports, coaching, and community.

Speaker 1:

from deep in the Burbank Media District. It's time for another edition of my Burbank Talks, presented by the staff of my Burbank. Now let's see what's on today's agenda as we join our program.

Speaker 2:

Hello everybody. Craig Sheward here again with Bob Hart for another edition, our second edition actually of Coach's Corner. Coach, how you doing.

Speaker 3:

I'm great. I feel like a real veteran now that I've gone to two of these situations. It's great.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's funny, we would get a lot of comments, and it's common. Came in saying I love listening to grumpy old men talk, so we could call it the grumpy old man podcast. But we'll stay with Coach's Corner because I think we have a lot of knowledge and experience in the area. So how's your couple of weeks been? How's your team doing right now?

Speaker 3:

You know pretty solid. We work hard every day. They're good guys and we are a work in progress. Like every year, you try to play the foundation and then hopefully get better as you go along every day. Yeah, good.

Speaker 2:

I don't think people realize that. You know, every year every team has its own new personality. Some years you might be a power team or a speed team, or you have to learn the personality of that team. So, but a week from tomorrow, which actually is November 9th, you guys and once again, one of the things I really admire about how you run a program and what you do just not on the field but in development of players is you're gonna have a veterans appreciation ceremony. I guess you would call it before your Wernherley game next Thursday, on the 9th. I get around 530 at the Burbank High School's Field Baseball Field. So, marish, tell us a little about what you guys had planned for that.

Speaker 3:

You know we just find it's a great opportunity to acknowledge and recognize those guys. I have a great booster club who puts a ton of work in and kind of, you know, implements the idea, so I give a lot of credit to them and obviously you know we enjoy teaching the boys the benefit of, you know, honoring those before us. You know that are kind of setting the way for us, so it's just a win-win. You know it's a great thing and we played Grace Berethra in that night. They're a solid program so it's a great night to come out, you know, honor our guys and watch some baseball.

Speaker 2:

I think that people don't. You know, I know you always take your team over to the ceremonies of the Cambridge Park year after year.

Speaker 3:

We do. We're planning on doing that again. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think it's something that you know they don't appreciate it right now as players, you know, because they're at that age, you know. But I think that they start getting an understanding of what that's all about and what that means and everything. They don't get by, you know, staying at home playing a video game on because it's a holiday, you know.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and I'm fortunate this year in particular because we have a culture of parents that lead the way in that regard as well. So I don't get a lot of kickback from kids. I mean, they're willing to go and I think they see the benefit of it because, you know, they have parents that kind of show them the value of it and kind of what it means. So it's, you know, it's good.

Speaker 2:

And I think you recently did another event also, didn't you?

Speaker 3:

We have done. Yeah, we did a thing at Harvard Westlake. It was veterans kind of like, almost like an Olympic thing, activities, athletics and you know, kind of doing that thing. We had some kids go there and volunteer. Again, you know, teaching them to give back is a good thing. I mean, as coaches we do it right. We've been doing it for years. So I think it's great for them, I think it gives them a real, a better slice of life perspective, you know, as to what's really important and so, yeah, it's great.

Speaker 2:

Well, there's nothing like community, Nothing like it at all, absolutely. Well, this is our second show, but it's gonna be our first guest, yes, so we're pretty excited about that. And tonight's guest is somebody who I've actually known just about forever. I think we started each other. We found each other's friends back in, I think, third grade at Stevenson Elementary School, and I've remained friends ever since and have shared many experiences over the years. And if anybody is entrenched in the Burbank sports scene if anybody is, in fact, you know, it's funny our photographer, ross Benson, has photographed every fireman, every cop at their graduation, then the retirements and been around. Well, our guest is a kind of person that not only has coached these kids and probably coached every kid in the city, but now he's coaching their kids. So our guest today is Mike Grisuffo. Mike, good to have you on the show.

Speaker 4:

Thank you guys for having me Like to say thank you to Craig and Bob. I appreciate it.

Speaker 2:

Okay, well, it's good to have you here. Everybody's a little nervous to first get behind the mic a little bit, but you lose. If anybody can talk, it's Mike Grisuffo. So, Mike, give us a little. Give us as though I know it, if anybody else. But why don't you give us your background, starting when you kind of started to get involved in sports, and your sports background, and then what got you into coaching?

Speaker 4:

Well, I had actually gotten hired with the city of Burbank when I was in high school. I was a senior in high school at Burroughs and I was playing baseball at Burroughs and Gordie Martin who was in charge of the Burbank sports office, gordie Martin At the time. He literally showed up to our practice at Burroughs and said he was looking for people to coach a baseball team. He needed coaches and I was, I believe, 17 at the time, 17 or 18. And I was like I said I had just gotten hired with Park and Rec. I wasn't working in the sports division, I was working in the recreation side. But I knew Gordie and I believe I talked to somebody by the name of Craig Sherwood and I said, hey, why don't we take a baseball team?

Speaker 2:

And literally Craig and I while they're taking this baseball team.

Speaker 4:

I'll never forget the name of the team. We were the GMLS Indians. Because of Burroughs, we did not have baseball pants. We did not have enough money for baseball pants. Our kids literally wore jeans to their games. We had a catcher named Rusty. We had a pitcher by the name of Juan Luna. We had a great team. I don't know if Craig and I really knew what we were doing.

Speaker 2:

How'd we do that team?

Speaker 4:

We were good enough to win the championship.

Speaker 2:

We did.

Speaker 4:

And literally that's how I got started in the coaching.

Speaker 3:

Did Juan Luna have that big 12-6 curveball? Oh yeah, juan Luna had the big Afro and he had the big curveball, that's great.

Speaker 2:

We rode that curveball all the way to the title at you and literally.

Speaker 4:

That's what I still use that team as an example. Now I tell my kids it doesn't matter how well you're dressed and what kind of uniforms you have, it's what you got in your heart Absolutely. And that was our first experience coaching and we won the championship and I thought, hey, this is fun.

Speaker 2:

We actually coached that team back in the end of our junior year of high school and then the next year we went to Burroughs and those players were going to Burroughs with us.

Speaker 4:

We saw one in the hallways.

Speaker 2:

It was pretty scary.

Speaker 4:

We're one year older than the kids. I believe we were coaching.

Speaker 3:

Similar thing happened when I was at Burroughs with Mark Carlson and I took a team and it was Dave Strasser and Brent Durness and all those guys and we were seniors, I think in high school, and all of a sudden we're coaching an eighth, ninth grade team.

Speaker 4:

It's in your blood right. Once you get the feeling for it, it's like I like this yeah.

Speaker 2:

And we started off with the older kids and it just, you know, I mean it was very able to execute kind of what we wanted to do, and I don't think we could have related as six and seven year olds back then at all Exactly. You would have probably been like yo, come on, they would have started crying or something.

Speaker 4:

Right right.

Speaker 2:

So no, the good times is. That's how we started off and I know we both coached in. We coached Tap Minor for years and we both coached.

Speaker 4:

Burbank Babe Ruth.

Speaker 2:

Babe Ruth and we also did flag football, we did basketball, we did and I did a lot of fishing in the city. Yeah, you know, and I mean the guy spent 10 years every night of the week doing something for Burbank Park and Rec at that time, until I started getting my high school wings under me.

Speaker 3:

Mike put up with me for years at Ferdigo Park with my shenanigans and all my guys. We played rough three on three. So he showed the patience of a saint Worked well for you in coaching.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think back then you're just glad Kenny's keeping us a gym and stuff, aren't you?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I was a work trainee just starting out with the city and I'd work for Dougal Park. I'd work evenings, I'd work weekends. I worked roller skating at Olive Park. They had it every Friday and Saturday night. We had a makeshift teen center where the old Olive Stadium was.

Speaker 3:

I think they should name that park after you, you and Mickey.

Speaker 4:

They're naming it after all kinds of people.

Speaker 2:

I guess they named it after George Isaiah, what else? They do name things after people. It's. The sad thing about that is, I think most people know who these people even are.

Speaker 4:

We had this old teen center. I was working it was upstairs in the old behind Olive Number One when they had Olive Diamond Number One and it was the most rundown place.

Speaker 2:

We had these couches up to the old stadium. Yeah, it was the old stadium.

Speaker 4:

St Louis Cardinals played it and we had paint from the table, we had a pool table with holes in it, we had couches, a broken TV, but you know what? I was getting 50 to 60 teens a night at that place and the kids loved it because they called it their own.

Speaker 3:

It gets them busy, man. That's the thing people don't understand about investing in a community is that there's a residual benefit, and that benefit far outweighs the immediate to the eye. Exactly, it gets people doing things that they should be doing, rather than things they shouldn't be doing. Right, right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and there was really nothing else for the teen. We all knew growing up in Burbank that if you're a teenager in Burbank streets, roll up at 9 o'clock and there's nothing to do with it. In fact, there were no movie theaters, even Right. So there was nothing for the teenage crowd and we were a forgotten. You know demographic, you know.

Speaker 3:

I think sports saved a lot of people's lives, and you know in that regard, you know.

Speaker 2:

Right, which is kind of you know what we this is all about right now, what we're talking about.

Speaker 3:

There are no video games, there's no cell phones, I mean and I think kids were a lot better at managing their own time in those days in terms of you know whether that's going out and playing over the line for four hours or you know being at Ferdigo Park for four hours every day, sundays included.

Speaker 4:

I tell my players now and they they don't. I don't think they believe me. They start laughing at me. But I tell them I go back in the day we didn't have cell phones, you know, we didn't have video games or computers or iPads or orchestrated games.

Speaker 3:

Everything was a ref and a parent, and it was basically tell mom and dad hey, I'll see you later.

Speaker 4:

mom, I'm going to so and so's house or I'm going to the park, you home by dark, I'm before dark and that was literally it, and we would be on our bikes With our skateboards, you know, going to the parks, going to our friends, houses, whatever, and we would literally play all day but morning till night.

Speaker 3:

Sometimes I wonder if that's not a byproduct of, you know, just an overall lack of trust in society, where parents aren't comfortable just turning their kids loose and saying, hey, you know, I'm gonna, you're gonna ride to the beach, what you know? We used to do that on a one speed. Yeah, you know.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, and I took the bus to Dodger Stadium we tried our bikes, dodger.

Speaker 2:

We rode our bikes to Dodger.

Speaker 4:

They were right and we would lock them up at the 76 Union gas station up there. We may not be grumpy, but we're old.

Speaker 3:

We're showing our age right now, right.

Speaker 4:

But no, it was a different time and and for sure, and then fairness to the kids. Now, you know, unfortunately it's a different world. It is, you know, I hate to say that, but it is, it's.

Speaker 3:

You know, we're back in the day when we, you know, we're growing up, we didn't have a lot of the issues that these kids are facing and I think every generation says that, because if you talk to your grandparents, they probably tell you the same thing when you were growing up that life was simpler.

Speaker 2:

You know, it's more of the Waltons than Also, you know our video game that, yeah, instead of seeing a home playing video game, we went out and played a game, actually, you know, and got together. You know our summertime yeah, you know, when we as kids we'd be at Stevenson and then for the summer and then we challenge other other Parks to over the line games and ride our bikes over that park when I worked at Verdugo Park, we literally had a Sackett league.

Speaker 4:

For those that don't know, sack indoor baseball with a plastic bat and ball and then they had what's called a sack. It it was a net and you could order it. It was literally called Sackett and we would play a regular baseball game in the gym and we had a league. All the parks had one and it was awesome. And I remember when Terry Scott, who's a Burbank legend in his own right he worked at Vic Roy Park I was working at Verdugo he called me up and say hey, coach, you got nine, ten kids want to come over to Vic Roy Park and play flag football or play catch of the flag. Oh, and then what we did? We'd have the kids running in the office. Oh, mom, dad, tell him you're going to Vic Roy, yep, and, and that was it, you know. And we would go there and we'd play other parks and other schools and I mean it was such a great time. It was such a great time. Little simpler, you know. Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely, and that's the account of yeah, he's a back in the day, but it's a. It's can be said for that. You know the foundation years, you know I mean so when was it that you kind of decided that you kind of wanted to make sports and everything kind of a way of life?

Speaker 4:

I Mean, I've loved sports, you know, my whole life. I mean growing up as a kid. I, you know, I was born in Burbank. My mom and my aunts and my dad, my uncles, everybody, they were born back east but I was born here in Burbank. I had an identical twin brother Unfortunately died at two years old in the ammonia, and we're both born at st Joe's like could you imagine two Microsoft? That's what everybody says, but anyway. So you know my uncles, my dad, my, you know they all told me stories of special my uncles, of growing up in New York and they weren't the greatest influence. They were telling me all. We'd cut school and go to Yankee Stadium and sit behind Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. So you know, people always say, oh, you're from New York, you, that's why you like the Yankees, and I'm really not. But my family was, you know, my mom loved Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle would tell me stories. My uncles and my aunts and you know they lived in Long Island. You know, girl. Well, I was only five or six years old when I lived in New York, but I was born here. We went back there and then we came back to California and I've lived in my whole life. So I was only living in New York for about two, three years as a kid we a little kid, but that's how I grew up, liking the Yankees and liking, you know, baseball. And then my uncle out here had An Italian out for Romero. He'd pick me up on Saturdays and Sundays and he'd take me in the 2c car and I was like 12, 11, 11 or 12 years old and he would drive me to Palm Springs to see the Angels play spring training. So that's, I love baseball. I mean, that's how I totally got in the baseball and then I started playing it, obviously in things. But I just, yeah, I love sports as a kid, all kinds of sports. And then, you know, play a little bit of high school ball and stuff, and then, you know, started coaching, like I said, coaching in the high, you know, high school with you and I know we had some awesome experiences, awesome teams. We, along with, I guess, a guy named Bob Myers, if I recall, started Burbank Babe Ruth baseball along with Bob he's gonna be mad at me, he's the ex mayor, oh God the ex mayor the ex mayor. He you call him whenever there's an issue and he'll go drive out and check on it. Oh, bob Kramer, bob Kramer. I'm sorry, bob Kramer.

Speaker 2:

Along with Bob. Now he's the ombudsman of Burbank exactly, exactly his grandson is in our program.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, but Bob.

Speaker 3:

Kramer.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, dylan, no, his other Tanner oh, tanner, okay, he's younger one, yeah, but no, bob Kramer and Bob Meyer, those guys were great, I mean, and along with yourself and myself and you know four or five others, we started that Burbank Babe Ruth program and we had some really good teams. I mean we would compete, I think Craig and I, every year, along with Scott Isaacson, would battle for championships, and it got pretty heated sometimes, you know, and. But I tell you what it got our kids ready and we would go into that Babe Ruth tournament. I remember we were one game away from beating Glendale go to Hawaii, if I recall, yeah. And so I mean I felt like we got those kids ready, I mean when they went to Burbank High or Burrows or wherever they were gonna go and our league was so small compared to those leagues. No, and we only had four teams in Burbank, they know, but we, our kids, were so ready by the time they got to high school, you know, and you can just look at the track record of the kids that we had. You know, I think Craig's team and my team was like an all-star team for Burrows and Burrowing for a long time.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, when I get kids, I can instantaneously tell what level of coaching they've had, you know, so that I can coach from here to the top rather than Revisiting stuff that should have been done in fourth grade.

Speaker 2:

It's all, it's also funny that when we put a kid in the all-star team, he used to belong down it. I mean, once he become a high school coach and you get these parents to call you, they say, well, my kid was on the all-star team the last four years. Why is he not starting? I go well, and who was his coach then? He was well, I was his coach, of course. Well, why is the kid in the all-star team? You know? I mean, do parents even realize what they're saying or what that means? You know?

Speaker 4:

You know, the scary thing was at that time to Craig and I were probably 20 in our early 20s. I mean, just think if we knew then what we probably know, even 15, 20 years ago, or how good those teams could have been, yeah you know, I mean we did a great job as a player develop. We were developing to Exactly we were learning the game you know and we learned. I learned from my kids every day. I agree I still at my age, I still I learn every day from my players and I tell them that absolutely, and I think in baseball you tend to see Almost every game.

Speaker 3:

You see something you didn't expect or you haven't seen before in one way or the other. So that's to me, that's what makes it so interesting.

Speaker 2:

That's what makes sports in general so interesting. You know, you see something you've never seen before. You are experienced something. You know, and I mean you might watch 200 games and never see anything else. That one game it happens and you're saying why that Kirk gets it in that home run, you know. I mean, everybody knows really where that happened, you know.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I was at the Kenny G concert. Unfortunately, sue had, my wife had gotten tickets and I had an opportunity to go the World Series, but she had a front row seat to Kenny G. It's embarrassing to say that I went to the Kenny G concert and they announced it at the concert. So wow. So I don't live that one.

Speaker 4:

I don't let her live that, I gotta honestly say I was sitting on Lodge at that game Late. Russ Johnson and his two sons invited me. They were obviously Dodger fans, knowing me. I was rooting for Oakland, I was celebrating. They were all mad at me. Her Gibson comes up with two outs and hits that home run.

Speaker 3:

I literally sat with my head in my in my hands and I think the big thing with sports for me is and you guys Probably agree you know it's the element of like being in something that puts the rest of the world away and it's kind of how I presented to my players. It becomes a sanctuary of story. It's a safe spot, it's a place where you know your boys are pulling for you and you're pulling for your guys and you're all rowing the boat in one direction and there's no distractions. And you know, from that standpoint it was a great escape for a pretty rough childhood that I had. But it was a great escape, you know. It was great, a productive one, you know, rather than Falling into the wrong path or whatever it might be. So I see the value and so much in the peripheral of sports, not necessarily the score of the game, because you know, and you guys know this too, you remember the guys you played with more than you remember the score of the biggest game of your life, probably Absolutely. So it's about connection and that's such a huge part of it and that's why you know things like the veterans have a peripheral benefit for the program, you know team dinners and stuff. It's not, you know, they don't need food. They can get food. But getting food together, you know, that type of stuff you know really kind of builds the the goodness of the whole thing. You know I mean right yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think that the you know the thing, that things you witness over there. You know we're talking before we came in the air tonight, that you know it's like a lot of things you've seen in person, your Kirk Gibson's own run. You and I were both at the Super Bowl 7 Back at the Coliseum and we were there when Miami went undefeated. You know, and it, yes, every year I'm when those guys that raise their glass to the when every team loses. You know, I always have that memory of me there, the Coliseum and and and running up to after the game ring on the field, running over Don Schuyl was being interviewed and everything and there was no security back then real people, those stories and nobody believes me don't kind kick, you know, I tell people, those stories my favorite receiver was on that team. Gary of premium right giving the. Washington, their touchdown 14 to 7 great arm.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, up greasy.

Speaker 2:

We're good teams, yeah, but the things we've seen over the years, you know, and the games we've been to and everything, so Well, let's, let's move on a little bit now. Okay, so now we've got your, your kind of your background, stefan, who you well, believe me, we could never, we don't have enough time in a week to go over your background and all the things you've done. But let's talk a little about because our podcast is not about just Events, it's more the psychology of sports a little bit too. So kind of question we have for you that you know, bob and I cast around a lot is let's talk about the evolution of players over the years. How have players the time we started out back in the day, in the 70s, to now in the 2020s, how have the player, how do you think the players themselves have changed in their mentality not in the ability, but just in their mentality and their work ethic and how they go about their presence. So how do you feel it's changed?

Speaker 4:

The biggest thing I see, it's the kids still have the desire. The kids still wanna win, the kids still wanna learn. What I see is the biggest difference is they're over committed, they're. You know it used to be. You play baseball. Baseball season's done, you go to basketball. Basketball season's done, you go to flag football. Now it's. I've got kids literally on my teams that are playing three sports currently. I mean, they're playing soccer, basketball, football, and I think it's so hard for these kids because they wanna be loyal, they wanna be at every practice and every game. But there are multiple teams, multiple sports. You know there's year round baseball now. There's year round basketball, there's club basketball, there's spring football now even for flag football kids, you know. So that's the biggest thing I see is that you know these kids are being pulled in so many different directions. It's hard for them to just, you know, like just to be committed to that football team or that baseball team. You know Well, coach, I'll be there, but I've gotta leave early or I'm coming late or I'm sorry I can't be there today because I got a baseball game or I got a football practice, or you know. So, as a coach, you know I have to change with the times too. If I don't I mean if I hold to my principles and say you have to be at every game and every practice or you're not gonna play, I probably would have a loose. Probably you know half my team- Right.

Speaker 2:

but you know, I wonder if they realize, though, what happens when they don't show up to a practice and they play a key role on the team. Well, that's, and then that makes it, you know, difficult now for everybody.

Speaker 4:

Right, that's the biggest thing is, I think, trying to get that across, to be quite honest, not only the kids, but to the parents. You know that when your son or your daughter miss a practice, it affects the whole team.

Speaker 2:

Okay, that's the second part of my question is what about the evolution of the parents over the last 40, 50 years? How do you think that's changed?

Speaker 4:

also, Well, I think you know, to be quite honest, I think it's a rougher world now than it was back in the day. And fairness to parents and you know I think there's. You know parents have to work more hours to put food on the table and close on their children, you know, pay their rent and things. I think it's a harder time right now. You know. I think it's a lot different world now. You know, back when we first started coaching and when I was a player, my mom said okay, go to practice, I'll pick you up. You know now the parents won't let their kid walk or ride their bike for the most part to practices. You know they're either too far or they're afraid and you know you can't blame them. I mean, you know it's a different world now.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think it's a different world, but at what point do you also have to kind of send your kid out there so we get some real world experience too? I don't think they're getting the experience that you and I had back in the day. Yeah, it's a rougher world, no doubt, but we still do live in Burbank. We don't live in, you know, South Central or something. So I think that I think that every little more.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I think, like I said, I think it's hard. I know a lot of it. Like I said, parents work. You know some work multiple jobs. Some, you know they have. You know they're picking up one kid from school, dropping the other one off at a practice. And again, being that, there's these year-round sports, a lot of these families have multiple kids, multiple sports. You know they're also cheerleading or they're in dance or they're in jujitsu or karate or tutoring, they're being tutored. I mean, there's just so many things that we deal with.

Speaker 2:

Do you think the kids are playing sports and stuff they want to play or that their parents are? They're playing kind of what their parents want them to do also, I mean.

Speaker 4:

I think, personally, I think the kids that I coach, I think they enjoy playing the different sports. I mean, I have some kids that are just total baseball players and they love it, you know. But yet they want to play for the school, they want to play football or basketball, and so, you know, their parents are, you know, cool enough to make it work and we do the best we can. But again, you have to be fluctuated, Like what I do now, is I basically say OK, 50-50, if you're going to play baseball and you're playing basketball, for me, OK, you have to miss one of my practices during the week to go to baseball. I have no problem with that. But then the next time there's a conflict, make come to my practice, you know. And so I try to be upfront with the parents and the kids. I try to be fair and for the most part I've made it work, you know. And so the parents credit they've made it work, you know.

Speaker 3:

You know, part of that has to do with education in terms of going to college and what it costs. So a lot of people have a real aspiration to gain that scholarship and they feel like you know, by orchestrating you know, private instruction or travel ball, you're going to get exposure, they're going to get looks. So a lot of it has to do with the fact that you know it costs so much money to go to college, unless you want to go into debt with student loan for the rest of your life. I think there's something to be said for that. You know, back in the day you know it was 1500 bucks a year to go to school and now it's $50,000, depending on what school you go to, and that's what I'm saying.

Speaker 4:

And you brought up a good point. You know, back in the day we didn't have quarterback coaches, you know these kids weren't paying somebody $40 an hour to teach them how to dribble a basketball. But yet I guarantee a lot of my players, you know, and kids, I talk to coaches every day. These kids are going to private trainers in all kinds of sports. Yeah, yeah, swimming, you know, water polo, cross country track, how to run. I mean, everyone's trying to get an edge. Yeah, and they're paying good money to send these kids.

Speaker 2:

And what's sad about that is the private coach will then say wow, you're the best. I can't believe you're not starting at this position, I can't believe you're not doing this or doing that, you know, and just feeding the kid and the parents full of, I think, false praise. So now the parent is now a question to coach. Well, this guy says my kids should be starting, when all the the coach wants is well, you're one of the best I've ever had. By the way, what time? Next week, and I need your check.

Speaker 4:

No.

Speaker 2:

And that's the whole idea, because as he prays him, he come back every year to keep paying that money.

Speaker 4:

I sit at the high school level especially, and I'm sure you know, bob, you deal with that. I mean, I mean I coached with you a couple of years ago at Burbank. We had, you know, we would tell the kids how to hold the bad and how to do something. And they said, well, my hitting coach told me to do it this way, and and that's the frustration Again, I'm not saying that I'm a perfect coach. I mean, you know, I want my players to be open minded and hey, I tell him, you might learn something from somebody else, you might learn something from me. So I have no problem with that. But when the kid basically won't try any other way because his you know coach said he's paying $50 an hour to go to, is telling and which I get, you know, I understand, you know yeah, I'm always looking for collaboration from those coaches, exactly so that we can be on the same page.

Speaker 3:

I'm willing to learn anything and I want my kids exposed to multiple things, but at the same time, I don't see those guys show up to the games, you know, and I don't see. I don't see that level of commitment for those guys, because game situations are much different than the cage.

Speaker 4:

No, you're right.

Speaker 3:

You know there's cage hitters and there's gamers. So you know my contention has always been that you know, if you're going to do that, then don't you want to see the full body of work and the results of your work? You know, I mean, if you're putting in all this time with kids a day, two days a week for five years, wouldn't you be interested in the biggest game of the year, you know, in the playoff game or whatever it might be?

Speaker 2:

So yeah, I know, in baseball, you know, the guy puts in a pitching machine, it goes right down the middle and the kid swings at his time pitch, he's the greatest. All of a sudden the game, the guy throws a 2-2 fastball in the corner or a slider, something the kid takes for called strike. Well, yeah, but the machine didn't do that to me.

Speaker 3:

Right, right, yeah. And I think it goes to navigation too. I think kids struggle in some ways navigating through life because they run into an orchestrated situation all the time. They're always, you know, it's always an umpire. It's the audience, it's the parents, it's the stage all the time, instead of, like the, you know, just going out and playing over the line for three hours with your boys, you know stopping at Ralph's on the way home and getting some angel food, or whatever it might be.

Speaker 4:

Just getting back to you know, craig, what you would ask me at the start. The biggest difference I see too, is I remember literally coming, you know, getting to the field, like to say 20 minutes before practice. I remember distinctly baseball. We used to practice at Burroughs. They'd let us practice there for our, our Beirut teams. I remember getting to the field and there was Mike Reynolds and Bob Haynes already there. I said, guys, what are you doing? Practice isn't for another 20 minutes, coach, we want to get in some extra work. I mean, and again, in fairness to the kids, now those there was only those kids were only playing baseball. Then there was no other sport going on, right, so they could focus on that. Now you don't have that because these poor kids are, you know, they're coming to my practice and then they're having to leave to go straight to soccer or to straight to basketball or you know and so. But that's the big difference. I see back in the day and again, I'm not trying to sound old or old fashioned or whatever, but we always will. You know it was, it's true. I mean, back in those days the kids were focusing on one sport at a time. You know they would play baseball and then, when baseball was done, they would take that break and they would go play football. They'd go play basketball.

Speaker 3:

That kind of goes back to the money thing too, because there's all these leagues. Well, people are making money on those leagues. I mean, you're paying. You know it's a little bit of commerce within itself. Referees are getting paid, you're you're paying for gym facilities or whatever it is Right so and then travel ball becomes, you know, two or three hundred bucks a month, and you know so a lot of the times. I think parents probably have kind of created that. You know that that big stage, when it's maybe not so especially young, necessary early on and you can't blame the parent once they sign up this kid.

Speaker 4:

Like you say, they're playing three hundred dollars to put this kid in travel ball. Hey, you're going to travel ball, I'm paying three hundred dollars, you know, I understand, whereas you know our little flight football team parking, wreck teams, you're paying twenty five dollars or seventy five or whatever. You know there's a big difference.

Speaker 2:

So I understand, you know let's move to the conversation a little farther then. What about nowadays? It's the trophy generation. Every kid has to be recognized, every kid needs to receive a trophy. We can't discriminate, we can't give. You know, they have to all feel included, all those things. And I'm finding that the 20 somethings now are the first part of what I call the trophy generation, where everything you know it has to be inclusive. I just saw recently that there's a number of, I guess, harvard graduates in law who were accepted at law schools, who said well, you know this war with. You know Israel and Gaza, you know they need to work it out Gaza, you know it shouldn't be. And these law firms said you know we're rescinding your invitation, we don't want you working. You know this is not, you know it's right and wrong sometimes. And I think that from the trophy generation, so well have you had experiences now with, with players and especially parents now, who are needed feel inclusive on everything.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, especially at the younger levels. You know, when the kids are younger, I think I see more of that at age, I think. To be quite honest too, I think COVID has really affected that. Those kids not going to school for two years and us doing homeschooling. I mean I'll.

Speaker 2:

Right. They're actually saying now that the COVID generation are calling it has been discredited completely. But how did we know that back then we were trying to protect everybody, we didn't really the kids. We didn't get it, or that seriously no, template.

Speaker 3:

you know, yeah, no template.

Speaker 2:

How would you know? So I think you're right about that.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I think that COVID, along with, like you said, the generation of let's. Everybody needs to get something and it's made it tough. It's made it. You know. I'll be quite honest. You know I'm an athletic director at a school and I worked for Park and Rec all those years and all the programs I've done, even trying for my own teams, trying to get coaches, it's been harder to get coaches to come coach For sure, and it's not necessarily that they don't wanna do it. But the dynamics have changed. You know, I think Umpires feel the same way. You know. Yeah, oh, trust me, I mean we're paying for softball. For an hour game we were having to pay $70 and $80 for one umpire and these umps said, hey, I don't wanna, it's not worth doing it for more than less than that. You know my time.

Speaker 3:

Gas, gas.

Speaker 4:

Gas and also putting up with the arguments and the coaches and the parents and Absolutely the expectations are so different. Now I mean I get coaches saying you know, I don't wanna coach, I don't wanna deal with the parents, I don't wanna. You know I don't wanna deal with kids not coming to practices and you know I don't wanna deal with umpires. And you know there's so much conflict out there. Now too, people are more willing to. You know there's more animosity. I think people are. You know, maybe they're unhappy with their lives and their jobs or you can see it on the freeway Making ends meet and I think the pressure. So they come to games and they come to practices, they take it out on the coach or they take it out on the umpire or their kid or somebody else's kid or I feel so fortunate.

Speaker 3:

The culture that we have right now at least, I can only speak for year by year, but it's not like that. It's pretty positive. I mean, everyone's got their you know their opinions or whatever, but for the most part they tend to, you know, separate pretty good. You know that's a culture that you have to build over time and I think, like that recognition you're talking about, I think, as coaches, if you do that on a daily basis, you recognize guys for their effort, whether it be in a small way or in front of the group, then maybe at the end of the whole rainbow you don't have to hand that trophy out because that kid knows he's valued. You know, and we truly try to stress valuing the guy that's the least experienced and maybe the least contributory in the program to the best guy, and treat them the same way as long as they're all working hard. So make it more character-based than performance. Obviously, performance is gonna get them on the field and that's what they all want that. So, yeah, it's kind of a, it's a balance, you know. But I think to some degree I feel as though kids get a bad rap, and I'm not saying that to be politically correct, but I do feel, like you know, kids are a byproduct of their environment, they're a byproduct of their history. They're a byproduct of their parents' history to some degree. So I think sometimes they get a little bit too much blame and I think in a lot of ways they're more intelligent than when we were. We were young. I think stupid worked for us a little bit in some cases. But I also know that you know there was some dark things about our era too, that over time you tend to forget. You know the good old days, the good old days, and yet you know there was a lot of bad times in the late 60s, and I agree.

Speaker 4:

Like I said, I think it's so much harder now to grow up.

Speaker 3:

Social media alone is the dynamic yeah.

Speaker 4:

I mean these kids are. You know there's so much more that they are dealing with than we didn't have to deal with. So, I agree with you and I got, and I want to make it clear I've been so fortunate because you know I obviously I've been doing this a long time and I wouldn't have been doing this as long as I have If I was having issues. You know I've been blessed through the years. But, it's a culture you've built. Great parent, you have that expectation. Great kids, I mean you know so when we bring in some of these things up, I'm not necessarily saying I'm dealing with it, but I have friends that are in the coaching profession. You know the society in general. Absolutely, I would say Burbank people. For the most part I don't have those issues. I mean these parents are, they understand. Like I said, I have kids that are playing multiple sports. They do the best they can to get them to, I think, a lot of it goes to your credibility.

Speaker 3:

I mean, when they know you're credible as a coach, they're a lot less likely to step out of those, those bounds. You know what I mean. So I think and again, we're not perfect no, absolutely not.

Speaker 4:

I mean I'm sure I make decisions out there that you know aren't right, or you know I should have played this kid more, I should have done this, I should have done that. Sure, you know, I mean, I'm human, we're all going to make mistakes, I don't want your team to be humble.

Speaker 3:

So if we're not humble, what are we doing?

Speaker 4:

And I tell my kids every I say hey, you know it's okay to make a mistake. The biggest thing is try to learn from it and move on. You know? I mean, like I said, I make mistakes every day.

Speaker 3:

I've given kids the wrong sign at third base with two outs. You know I'm giving them hitting run. He's looking at me like what the hell?

Speaker 4:

I call a play. I call a play in the football game. Sometimes what am I doing? I think later, why did I call that player? Or why didn't I play so and so in that position, or what was I doing? And but that's what you do. I mean, you know, when you're having to make that decision on the fly, you don't have that luxury to sit in the stands and say, okay, he should do this or she should do that.

Speaker 3:

My side is undefeated.

Speaker 4:

You know so. But hey, we're in it, we're still doing it. So that tells you something we must love what we're doing right. And, like I said, I do it for the kids. I don't, you know, I don't do it for the parents, you know, I do it for the kids and just to see the look on their faces, you know, and then have every experience is great, you know. But that's how you learn, that's how you grow up, you know, like I tell them, life isn't always gonna be roses. It's. You know, there's gonna be ups and downs and there's gonna be some things that are unfair. It's life, you know, and you have to learn that. And we, I learned that. I still learn it, you know.

Speaker 3:

I mean it's also perception, because I remember I told my wife one time I was so disappointed because I ran into a former player and you could kind of tell he was like whatever coach, you know, hey, how's it going. And then you'll run into guys who'll hug you, you know, and call you on Thanksgiving and Christmas, you know. So sometimes you think you've made that connection and actuality may not have made that connection. And then other times you're not aware of the connection you made because it wasn't so overt, and then later on you go wow, I mean that kid really cared about our program and we gave them a great ride. And that's kind of the focus for us is the great ride because there's five or six CIF champions and that doesn't make everyone else a loser. You know, if you create a great experience for them, build a team that they can remember good stuff, you know.

Speaker 4:

I think I don't know. I'm sure both of you guys can say this too. One of the satisfactions for me for coaching is just seeing these young people grow up and mature into awesome adults. And you know, I'm sure it's happened with you guys Weddings. I'll be at a, I'll go to a market or I'll be at a restaurant and somebody will come up to me and say, hey, you were my Pee Weed sports teacher at Verdugo Park in 1986. I remember playing basketball. And then I'll say, hey, bud, what's up Right?

Speaker 2:

And you have no idea who they are, what their name is. Yeah.

Speaker 4:

Julie will go. You didn't know their name, did you? And I said, well, how do you know she goes, cause you always say what's up, bud, you know. But yet this kid will remember you. And that's why now I try to tell my young coaches, you know my assistant coaches, or if I hire a coach to coach for me, I say always remember how you treat these kids, because they'll remember you the rest of their life For sure and you never know. I mean I was working for a principal for many years. That wound up being I had him as a seventh grader on one of my teams and then he wanted to be my boss. You know, 15 years later or whatever, I mean you don't know, you know, and again, these kids will remember everything you say to them. You know, and so you know.

Speaker 3:

Later on, maybe not right away.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 2:

Well, let's get a little more into the with that in mind. Team loyalties I think it's something that we're seeing more and are, I should say, less and less of that. Now kids are not playing for their local high school College. Now you have the transfer portals pros, you have the free agency and you don't have the loyalty to your team anymore that you used to have. And I think it starts with high school. How many transfers do you see? And the CIF says you can't do that, but they're not stopping in any way because they're scared of litigation, right? So when these kids are moving school to school every year, are they really doing it for? Is there a team element there, or is it completely an individual element? Do you think?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, as a coach sometimes it does get frustrating, especially at the upper levels, obviously, you know, when you're in high school and stuff. But even at the levels I coach at, I see it. I mean you know we always want, hey, play for your school, you know, take pride in your school. You're only gonna go to school once in your lifetime and you know. But yet they'll play travel ball or they'll play club ball, you know, and that kind of deal. So you know, obviously we have to do a better job of making it more enticing for them to play for a particular school or particular team. And as you know, you know, like at Burroughs or Burbank or Providence or Bell Jeff, you know I was fortunate enough I coached it all for those schools at some point, you know, and I saw it all for those schools If parents weren't happy and that was you know even back in the day, if parents weren't happy with the program, they would leave and go to another school. You know whereas when I went to Burroughs I mean, my parents would never take me out because of sports especially.

Speaker 2:

Well, let's go into one. You know I happened to write this down or I cut this out there there on Twitter, and you're a big UCLA fan, like coach Hart is, and Mick Cronin was quoted as saying Mick Cronin is the basketball coach at UCLA for those who don't know and it says in the corner on the problem with youth bass, youth basketball in America, and his quote is the biggest problem with basketball in this country is it's tied with scholastics, where everywhere else it's not. It's playing for your club, which really I had to scratch my head saying here's a college coach Saying that our system in America is not good because our kids have to go to school and play basketball. We're in other countries. They just play basketball all day and in clubs, everything else, and to me that was like it was an anti-education type statement that we're doing it wrong. I mean, I mean that that's your guy there. How do you? How do you feel about?

Speaker 4:

that? Yeah, I mean, I Never thought about that to me. You know, obviously these kids are getting full rides to go to UCLA or USC or Duke or Carolina. You know, to play basketball.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but how about these kids who only go there for one year because they have to?

Speaker 4:

Or they leave. They're good enough and they leave. I mean I use an example of USC's quarterback, caleb Williams. I mean he wants a cut in the ownership. I mean what? What have you heard of a college player ever saying that I'll sign with a Team that gives me part ownership? I mean it, that's what I'm saying. It is so out of control and you know it's, it's just mind-boggling.

Speaker 2:

I mean but become magic Johnson first, and then you can own yeah, I mean Tim's the NBA before you, you know.

Speaker 4:

But but again, can you blame him? I mean, if, if he's being allowed to do that, if we're, our Society's basically saying, hey, you can, you know, ask for what you want, that you can't blame these guys for doing it? I mean, you know it's easy for people to criticize, oh, he's only gonna. He left after one year. But hey, if somebody's dangling millions of dollars in my face, I'm gonna probably go to. I mean, you know, let's be fair. You know you can't be a hypocrite and I mean there's a lot of money being dangled in front of these players.

Speaker 3:

Well, and they know I mean, can you imagine magic playing for the Celtics because he decided he wanted to win a ring? Yeah, you know, it was probably those things didn't really happen much you know. So I think a lot of that has to do with you. Know, I want to ring because I know a ring is gonna make me a bigger contract. Everyone wants to be associated with success. So, that's why, when a program does well in high school, college, whatever, it's a little easier for them to get people, because people want to be associated with success, or however they perceive that Sometimes it's not.

Speaker 4:

It's not as obvious as what you might think well, tell me if I'm wrong too, but Girls in Burbank, for example, they have to take pretty much the kids in their area when, whereas to an extent I think.

Speaker 2:

I think there's that. That's a fallacy. I think there's a lot of kids who don't live in Burbank.

Speaker 4:

I know there's ways and there's, and there's. It's very simple to yeah, yeah, for the most part most used to be that way.

Speaker 3:

Now it's open enrollment, but isn't it most?

Speaker 4:

for the most part, most of the kids that go to girls in Burbank live in Burbank.

Speaker 2:

I mean, maybe I'm wrong, maybe yeah, oh yeah, I would say, I would say, probably 80%.

Speaker 4:

Whereas you know these big big Catholic schools or the public private schools, you know they're Obviously they can get kids from all over.

Speaker 3:

Well, a basic misconception is that the cif is this huge entity who can go around Investigating all these different programs. But in actuality they mandate that to each in the school to to supervise and police. So for sure. Yeah, it's a self-report.

Speaker 2:

So as interested as your administration is to make sure that everything's dotted and crossed, that's the extent of which you're going to be looked at because the schools also know that if they have a winning football team or basketball team or kids want to come to school, and in private school that means more money coming in and they're competing for athletes.

Speaker 4:

Well, they get more publicity for the school, yeah sure Everyone loves to be associated with with winning. And in that that puts pressure on the coaches.

Speaker 3:

I've been very fortunate in my tenure that I've had great people above me who never had that expectation. You know they wanted kids to graduate. They wanted kids to have a good experience, not be beaten down by the process. Of course you want to win, because that winning takes care of so many different peripheral issues.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you're very lucky. You've always had administrators who are ex athletes or sports people where I had a situation where they just got an administrator had any sports knowledge whatsoever and would just listen to what the parents say and that would be okay. Would just go by that and that's for a coach. It's a death sentence.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, how does he support you? Definitely yeah.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. Well, let's get on to something a little. Let's finish up here with a little more about Microsoft will hear we know you're a big memorabilia guy and I remember the days we used to go to Angel games back in the 80s and they were in their heyday. And after the game, mike would, we know, let's go get autographs and we would chase, we would chase players around. I remember Mike running after Nolan Ryan in his car. He'd go up to a Rod Carill or Reggie Jackson every time, and and rockers, it didn't. I just signed for you yesterday, hey, yeah, but today you know, and, and and. So you've always been a memorabilia guy, you've always liked, you know that kind of thing and now you've gone on to it Kind of run a business and sell things and yeah, what's the song?

Speaker 4:

How's that all going? Sort of funny, because the way that started was when you and I worked at Dodger Stadium.

Speaker 2:

You know we'd run in the remember in the elevator We'd run in Ron, say, or Steve Garvey or or Lopes, because it was that team that was actually my biggest thrill there was, you know, we were for Danny Goodman enterprises, yeah, the souvenirs, and if it started with Homestead they used to have a program just for that home stand right, and we would. Okay, I would always somehow be the one to take the case of programs down to the visitors clubhouse and I got to go in the clubhouse and put the programs you know box in there and I'd look around and see all the players you know, yeah, the big red machine and all those guys, and no, what a thrill that was.

Speaker 4:

I remember we literally would get like it's stuff, like the players. I remember I think I got a cracked helmet from Steve Garvey once. Yeah, that's how I started in the hobby, basically, you know. And then obviously, fortunate enough to work with Michael Jordan in the camps and being able to meet him and get his signatures, and you know I just love again, love sports and we would. My friend of mine that I've known forever lived in Burbank and coached in Burbank. Lance Alexander was a diehard Dr J fan and 76er. We literally bought tickets to the, the sighting game when they swept the Lakers. We're on our way to the forum. We get a flat tire, we get to the game, saw the game, saw the sixers beat the Lakers, you know for games. We literally went to the Stofer Hotel after that game. They were all celebrating there, all the sixers. We literally went up the elevator, got into Dr J's room. He was sitting on the bed smoking a cigar. There were probably 150 fans in there with him. That's great.

Speaker 3:

And we were in there. I tell people they don't believe me, that's awesome.

Speaker 4:

I tell people I took Ricky Henderson. He came out of the Angel Stadium and he was looking for some girls. He had me riding around the stadium. I had a little coyota to sell. Driving around and around and around the stadium I had a couple of buddies with me. They were sitting in the back asking them to sign cards and you know we were laughing.

Speaker 2:

You probably told me, I run fast and you damn car goes.

Speaker 4:

Going around and around the stadium. Finally he had us take him back to the hotel. I tell people they don't believe me. No way you medrate. I mean I could tell you so many stories Don Mattingly buying us a drink at the Old Marriott Hotel by Disneyland that's where the Yankees used to stay Because he yelled at us when they got off the bus. They came from Oakland and they had lost a series and Steinbrenner was in one of his modes and made some comments. They hit the press. But when they got off the bus there was like 10 of us there. We were asking Mattingly for his autograph. He yelled at everybody Leave me alone. So, anyway, whatever, we left him alone, we'd go in there to have a sandwich and, you know, a drink. And they had a little like a restaurant in the Marriott. All of a sudden, just like that old commercial where they buy you the drink, this lady comes up and brings I'm with three other people, brings us four drinks. So we go, we didn't order these drinks. And she points to the guy over there and it was Don Mattingly and he gave us a little heads up. You know, I tell people they don't believe me. They don't believe the story about the Coliseum, you know, when we ran on the field with Don Shula, I mean, but it's all true, you know. So yeah, I've been really fortunate through the years of just getting to meet. I don't know, I just happen to be sometimes in the right place at the right time and I get to meet like famous people, you know. I mean, it's sometimes where you find out they're going to be there and you go to meet them. But, to be honest, henry Winkler was on a flight I was then coming back from Chicago. He was on the same plane, you know so there's Susan.

Speaker 3:

I always say that you guys should be, because we follow you on Facebook a little bit. We always say you should be on the amazing race. I mean you go country to country or through the airport.

Speaker 4:

I swear it's just being sometimes in the right place at the right time and getting. That's how I get to meet these people. You know live in life, you know just going places. I mean, you know I met Robert F Kennedy Jr recently. My friend called me and says hey, come to a. He's speaking at something we met. We went and I met him you know, now here's a guy I don't know if he's going to win, but he's running for president of the United States.

Speaker 2:

You know, you and I were both at my house the night that Robert Kennedy got assassinated. We were both we both here that night and went through that.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, it's pretty, pretty traumatic. Everybody remembers where they were on that night. My mom told me stories about JFK. She loved him. You know stuff. So but yeah, I've just been really fortunate. Like I said, through the years I've met President Ford, believe it or not. You know I met Bill Clinton. I mean, what are the odds of meeting people like that? You know, my aunt worked at the old Sheraton hotel in the gift shop. She would call me and say, hey, michael Jackson, staying in the hotel. He just came into the gift shop and bought this or that and why don't you come and hang out? I'd go hang out with my aunt and she'd introduce me to all these famous people. You know I met the Notre Dame football team. I meant I mean I've just been really fortunate and really lucky. We went to an angel minor league game and Mike Trout was a minor leaguer and they were doing a further Ronald McDonald house. They were raffling off Jersey. Did you meet Ronald? No, I didn't meet Ronald, but I met Mike Trout. And so I walk up to this thing and I go. I go hey, who's the best player on this team? I had no idea. The guy goes. Let me tell you, sonny, it's just number 23, mike Trout, because that's what he wore with the Quakes. So I bid on his jersey and I guess the winner. You got to line up in the eighth inning, down the field, the line, and then after the game they take you out of the field. He takes the jersey off his back that he was wearing signs it for you. So every other Quake player was $60, $70. I wound up bidding on Mike Trout because this usher told me he's the best player on the team. At that time I paid like $380 for it. Julie is like what are you doing? Why are you spending that kind of money? I go to a good cause and I wound up getting this game use jersey off Mike Trout. That's great. You know he signed it and everything.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so you still have that today.

Speaker 4:

I do not have that today. I traded it a year later for a Larry Bird, dr J Magic Johnson rookie card. I have one. You have that card, I have that card. I traded it for that understanding. Still, a year later, nobody really knew what Mike Trout was going to do Right Now. Do you realize if I had that jersey? I do have a photo that Mike signed for me, with me and him in the jersey though, but I don't have the jersey.

Speaker 2:

Watch this Coach. Do you still have that card that you traded for I?

Speaker 4:

still have the card.

Speaker 2:

Oh, okay.

Speaker 4:

I do have the card.

Speaker 3:

I always wish Sam and Trout had played together.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, there you go.

Speaker 3:

But no, I've been.

Speaker 4:

Even.

Speaker 2:

Carlton Fish. I love sports, I love swimming upstream, I think.

Speaker 4:

I love sports and I've just been really fortunate through the years of just being able to, you know, to meet some really famous people.

Speaker 3:

I feel the same way with my wife. You know I mean just right time, right spot. You know Sometimes you're just in the. You know the stars aligned.

Speaker 4:

I mean, I met Corey Seeger, tonight's MVP, you know. But you know, the funny thing is with these people is when they get right down to it, they're just like us For sure. You know, they're very nice, very even. Michael Jordan, I mean he, you know, he was very friendly, you know he'd call me California kid, or you know, you know some, you know he was cool.

Speaker 2:

I mean you know they're normal people. Bert Ranks. We're here now. In fact we are at our pre-production unit. We saw Bruce Valencia, ryder walk in. Yeah, you know they're just actors and stuff. You know they're just, but to me an athlete, that's something that's special, that's. You know, you just can't, anybody just can't. Anybody can be an actor, as athletes will prove Right, but there's no actor who could just be an athlete.

Speaker 3:

I have I feel that way about nurses and doctors at Children's Hospital Exactly. How can we don't stand up in a hospital? No, you're right. Yeah, those people are standing in a hospital.

Speaker 4:

You're right. There's something wrong with our yeah. When you're, you're worshiping athletes and movie stars instead of nurses and doctors.

Speaker 3:

We got teachers to dedicate their lives. And teachers, you know I live with one. Exactly.

Speaker 2:

And that goes back to the whole day, even now, where private schools are paying their football and basketball coaches more than they're paying their AP teachers, which you know, you figure that out.

Speaker 4:

I got you so well, coach, you got anything else for us tonight?

Speaker 3:

No, I'm good, good to see you guys.

Speaker 4:

No, I appreciate the opportunity. This was a lot of fun. You know you guys, I consider you guys both really good friends and you know known you guys for a long time. You know we coached basketball teams against each other and with each other and you know, same with Craig and I we've we've coached together, played on teams together back in the day. And you know the old Burbank Cubs, if I recall baseball and you know, had some great times together and you know gone a lot of sporting events together. And you know, that's what you know. The one thing getting back to sports is the memories. I mean, like you say, I don't remember whether I won a championship or whether, but I remember the outings. I remember being at my friend's houses and having those team dinners and you know, even as a coach I mean you remember the team parties and you know when the parents all had, you know, took us out to shakeies, and those are the things you remember you know, it culminates even like moments like now.

Speaker 3:

I mean, this wouldn't happen if it wasn't for that. Yeah, you know sports.

Speaker 4:

I agree, and, like I said, I've been blessed even now. I mean, I have great parents and kids, and you know so it makes it worthwhile.

Speaker 3:

It makes it worthwhile Good to see you, Craig.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. I appreciate the show for our second show Pretty good. Our first guest. Not too grumpy, yeah, not too grumpy.

Speaker 4:

I hope we weren't grumpy, you guys, grumpy Right.

Speaker 2:

I'm sure we'll get our reviews from the public. That's okay. You know what I enjoyed it. It's good reminiscing.

Speaker 4:

You know, being around kids every day, you know, and I'm around all ages every day, you know you have to stay young at heart. Believe me, because they'll let you know if you're not For sure you know. Can I close with one thing? Sure, you know. Again, this was something really cool One of my schools that I work at, obviously it was Halloween yesterday and I was on campus and one of the one of my athletes he actually dressed up as me. He wore, you know, a bright yellow shirt, a blue shorts, had Air Force Ones on black low socks. He actually had two tattoos, one the Yankee, one on his one ankle, michael Jordan, jump man, one on the other, and he dressed just like me and I mean, I thought that was like the coolest thing you know. And you know. So it's stuff like that that makes it all worthwhile, you know, and you hope you're making a positive impact on these kids. Like I said, if we're not perfect, we make mistakes, you know, yup.

Speaker 2:

And it's not the you know, if anything. We call that the paycheck because we don't sure don't get paid much money.

Speaker 4:

No, the money is not worth the time and the you know.

Speaker 3:

Call coaching the perfect imperfection, because if you're not getting better, you're probably getting worse.

Speaker 4:

No, exactly Exactly.

Speaker 2:

Okay, well, I think that's it for show number two. We hope you enjoyed it. Mike, thank you for coming on the show and coach, where you will get back to everybody again in a couple of weeks for another edition of Coach's Corner. So until then, thank you very much.

Speaker 1:

My Burbank talks would like to thank all of my Burbank's advertisers for their continued support. Burbank water and power, kusamano real estate group, you me credit union. The Burbank Chamber of Commerce, gain credit union, providence, st Joseph Medical Center, community. Chevrolet, media city credit union, ucla health, tequila's Cantina and Grill, ups store on 3rd street and Hill Street Cafe.

Coach's Corner and Veterans Appreciation Ceremony
Reflections on Sports and Team Connections
Players and Parents in Sports Evolution
The Changing Landscape of Youth Sports
The Challenges of the Trophy Generation
Lack of Team Loyalty in Sports
Meeting Famous People and Sports Experiences
Coaching, Impact, and Thank You