Ian Kadish MLB Guest Blog: My Baseball Journey
Sunday September 11, 2011
MLB reports: We welcome today on the Reports, Blue Jays prospect Ian Kadish. The right-handed pitcher pitched for the Bluefield Blue Jays in the Rookie Appalachian League in 2011. With a 2-3 record, 2.67 ERA, 1.154 WHIP, 11/35 BB/K, the 23-year-old Kadish showed some very strong numbers pitching in the pen in his first professional season. With a bright baseball future ahead, we invited Ian to prepare a MLB Guest Blog describing his baseball journey for our readers. In his own words, we proudly present the story of Ian Kadish- pitching prospect, Toronto Blue Jays:
Ian Kadish (Guest MLB Blogger): I was recently approached by MLB Reports to be featured on their website. We got together to come up with an idea of what to do and we decided on a blog post about the path I took to get to professional baseball. Most of you guys that are close to me probably know the story already, but here it is again for the ones who don’t…
I went to a small high school just North of Cincinnati, Wyoming High School. My graduating class was only 160 kids and football is the big thing there (Football is the big high school sport in Ohio). I actually thought I was going to play college football as a kicker. I thought I had a better chance at football than I did at baseball even though my childhood dream was to be a big league pitcher. I was not highly recruited for baseball and if it wasn’t for the summer program I played for, I would not have had the chance to play college baseball. I played for Midland Baseball and that is where I met one of the most influential coaches of my life, Mike Maundrell. Coach Maundrell taught me everything I know about pitching and taught me exactly what I needed to do to be successful. Midland is the best summer baseball program in the country and attracts kids from all over the country. There is a great number of major leaguers that have played for them and it was an unbelievable experience to be able to play for them. I learned more about baseball in those three years than I did at any point up until then. I committed to play baseball at Marshall University.
I spent four years at Marshall, earning my degree in Business Management with minors in marketing and entrepreneurship. In those four years, I learned a tremendous amount about baseball and life. I really think those four years prepared me for professional baseball because I lived on my own and learned how to deal with factors outside of baseball. I never really had great success in college baseball and at one point, I was ready to transfer out. My mom and dad are the only ones that know how many break downs I had because I was so frustrated. I was working harder than everybody and I was still not getting the results I wanted.
After my sophomore year, I went back home to play summer baseball in the Great Lakes League for the Cincinnati Steam. I went home because I needed to decide if I wanted to go back to Marshall or transfer somewhere else. That summer was the deciding factor because I got to spend time with my family and play with some very close friends that I had played with growing up. I went back to Marshall as a Junior and there was a new pitching coach. Joe Renner was a coach at Midland so I kind of knew him even though he was a new coach. I was very excited to work with him and after the summer I had, I was newly energized and ready to get back to work. I continued to work hard and ended up earning the Friday night starter role. This was a big jump for me because I had never started and the previous 2 years, I was pitching out of the bullpen. I struggled in the starter role and had again, another frustrating season.
After my Junior year, I went to play with the Rochester Honkers in the Northwoods League. Playing there was truly the best experience for me since playing for Midland. All the guys on the team were great guys and we all became pretty close. The guys on the team taught me how to have fun with baseball again and relax. I was taking the game way too seriously and was not playing up to how I thought I should be playing because I was too uptight. Going into my senior season, the coaches wanted to put me in the closer’s role and I couldn’t have been happier. I embraced the role and told myself I was going to have more fun that year. Senior year turned out to be much more fun than the previous three years because I was more laid back. After my senior season, I went home to wait and see what would happen with the draft.
I won’t lie, I was hoping I was going to get drafted, but as day three approached, I was slowly beginning to think that I was not going to get a chance to play professional baseball and keep my dream alive. My dad and I went golfing on day three of the draft just to try to get my mind off of things, but I was still thinking about it. I was on my phone all day and when I learned that it was late in the draft and I still had not gotten picked yet, I began to talk with my dad about where I go from there. I did not know if I wanted to go to grad school or try to get a job in the real world. As soon as the draft was over, we were just finishing golfing and that’s when I got the call. Nick Manno, the area scout for the Blue Jays, called me and explained the situation to me. He said he knew that money did not matter to me and he knew that all I ever wanted was a chance to prove myself and play. He offered me a free agent contract and I gladly accepted! My dream was still alive, and I couldn’t have been happier!
From there, I was off to Florida for a mini-camp and to keep my dream alive, just like every other little 12-year-old, to be a big league pitcher…
Thank you to Ian Kadish for preparing today’s MLB Guest Blog. Please feel free to contact Ian on Twitter (@BearJew36) or through his website (http://livinginthelifeofian.blogspot.com) for comments and questions. We also thank Ian for sharing the photographs used in today’s feature from his own private collection.
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