SI Vault
 
What It Means to Be the 1
LEE JENKINS
June 15, 2009
A record-setting contract, maybe even a leap to the bigs this summer, await draft phenom Stephen Strasburg, but as plenty of past can't-miss kids will attest, you can miss
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
June 15, 2009

What It Means To Be The 1

A record-setting contract, maybe even a leap to the bigs this summer, await draft phenom Stephen Strasburg, but as plenty of past can't-miss kids will attest, you can miss

View CoverRead All Articles
1 2 3 4 5

The Aftermath

ANDERSON: I pitch batting practice to my sons' Little League teams, and my wife gets on me for throwing too hard to the kids. But I can't slow my arm down. I can still get in the high 90s when I'm working out. I will pitch in the big leagues again. I don't know if anyone else believes that, but I do. It ain't over.

PRIOR: Unfortunately, there's no timetable for my return right now. It's good, it's bad, it's rehab. The Padres are giving me the time I need. The more I'm away from the game, the more I appreciate the intricacies of it. That's what I miss. I miss watching guys and knowing, 'This is what I would do in that situation.' I just want to play again.

BENES: One of the top high school pitchers in the country is here in St. Louis. His name is Jacob Turner, at Westminster Christian Academy, where my kids go. He's 17, and he throws in the upper 90s. I sometimes go watch him, and it brings back a lot of memories. My kids see the herd of scouts salivating behind home plate, and I tell them, "I remember when it was like this."

CLYDE: I give 150 pitching lessons a month now, to everybody from eight-year-olds to college kids. Right now I'm here with Dalton Barcello, a 10-year-old from Houston. "Get that elbow up, Dalton! Those balls are high, Dalton! Trust it, Dalton! Trust it! Trust it!"... You know, my grandson just called me an hour ago and said, "Grandpa, guess what we did today?" I asked him what, and he said, "We went on a field trip to the Ballpark in Arlington," and he said, "Guess what I saw?" And I asked him what, and he said, "I saw you. I saw your picture in the stadium." That was pretty cool.

KRAUSSE: I live in Kansas City and go see the Royals once or twice a year, but I only stay for four or five innings. That's all I can handle. I still sometimes have these dreams where I'm pitching that day but can't find my glove or my hat and am late to the ballpark and missed the bus and can't catch a cab. I went to counseling when I was out of baseball, and they said, "Lew, it's because in your mind you left the game before you were mentally ready, and you have to accept the fact that you had a good career and did things other people wish they could have done." This kid in San Diego sounds like he's got all the physical tools. God, I hope they take care of him emotionally.

Now on SI.com
David Sabino ranks the drafting performance of each team since 1999 at SI.com/bonus

1 2 3 4 5