Episode #008 – Peter Caliendo – Coaching Players and Coaches for 35+ Years

“There is no way you can do this on your own. You have to meet some guys to help open some doors for you.”      – Pete Caliendo

Pete brings unmatched experience and expertise to the development of baseball skills to players and coaches. His vast knowledge and worldwide presence have earned Pete immeasurable respect within the baseball community. Those who have crossed his path greatly admire his devotion to the game of baseball.

He is currently the President of Caliendo Sports International, a worldwide baseball company that trains individuals, teams, coaches, parent, and deals in professional baseball operations worldwide. Pete’s company takes teams, coaches, players, and parents all over the world to experience international and cultural experience. Training volunteer coaches have been a specialty of Caliendo Sports International for over 35 years.

In addition, Pete also serves as the Vice President of the International Sports Group. They are nonprofit teaching coaches around the world.

He can be reached at the following links and social media handles:

Twitter@baseballout

www.baseballoutsidethebox.com Podcast

www.baseballmadeeasy.com 

www.caliendosportsinternational.com 

 

Pete shares with us in this episode:

  • How his parents came to the U.S. from Italy for a better life
  • The importance of having mentors along your journey
  • His start at the world-famous Mickey Owen Baseball School
  • Believing in the process and having faith in doing the right thing
  • And much. much more

 

How We Met

I stalked Pete on the internet a couple of years back I was researching international baseball opportunities. I was looking for anyone that had any experience in the area of baseball overseas.

Coaches, trainers, players. Anyone that might be able to connect with and maybe even learn a thing or two. Linked In is where I finally got in touch with Pete and as it turned out, we were both headed to the same place to work an international clinic together.

I was a late addition to the coaching staff of Nanaimo Minor Baseball Association’s Winter Clinic in February of 2016. There was a mutual connection right away as it seems to be the norm as of late. Pete and I knew a lot of the same guys in and around baseball. We both grew up midwest guys and had a lot to talk about.

Over the course of the weekend clinic, Pete and I shared each other’s interest in podcasting and social media along with coaching philosophies and thinking outside the box in today’s tech world. In fact, Pete has a podcast called Baseball Outside the Box which you should check out as soon as you finish listening here.

A year almost to the day that we met and Pete and I have stayed in touch. He plans to retire someday in my old stomping grounds of Costa Rica. Pete is another one of many teachers I have met along the way, and he has a tremendous amount of energy and life for the game.

Enjoy!

Love the Game. Live the Dream

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Episode #007 – Rick Magnante – Big Leaguer in Life

(Photo credit: www.moviepictures.org)

“The gratification and intrinsic value that I have gained from these experiences as a player, coach, teacher and mentor for over close to forty years I would not change for anything in the world”      – Rick Magnante

Rick Magnante has a lot to share. He is a guy that can tell you first hand that loving this game will set you free. Following your passion and having trust in yourself first will bring you joy.  Magnante has been in and out and back into baseball as a professional player, scout, coach in the minor leagues with Milwaukee, San Diego, Detroit, Cleveland, and eventually Skipper in the Oakland organization for 13 years.

His teams have been championship teams as well as shitty basement dwelling clubs along the journey. He scouted and signed the likes of  2002 AL Cy Young winner Barry Zito along with Eric Byrnes, Bobby Crosby, and Ryan Ludwick. As a young man trying to feed his family and not quite sure where baseball would fit in as he ran an insurance business, he decided to find out the answers.

The last four decades of persistence he demanded of himself along with the belief it was not only possible but inevitable brought him to the point that solidified his career and benchmarked his legacy as a Big Leaguer in life.

 

Rick shares with us in this episode:

  • How belief in yourself is a crucial first step; one that can not be skipped over
  • Expecting something to happen by waiting on the sideline will never happen
  • How he became Manager of the South African National Team for the WBC
  • Running an insurance business for over a decade while waiting for his opportunity to work in professional baseball
  • And much. much more

 

How We Met

A mutual friend introduced Rick and I. I was operating my academy in Sherman Oaks, CA and looking for the next step to take in my career. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be scouting or coaching at one level or another. I spent some time thinking it over and decided to look for answers within other people doing those jobs.

After having several meetings again after the initial meeting with Rick, I was leaning towards a move to the scouting world. Mags had exposed some very valid points as it pertained to my future and the decision I was trying to make as a late 30ish husband and father. I won’t get into it entirely here but let’s say he explained in great detail the pros and cons of both coaching and scouting and how it pertains to one’s personal life.

He talked to the A’s about bringing me on board to help in some different roles that included “bird-dogging” prospects, organizing and running a SoCal Scout Team for the A’s to participate in the local Scout League. Then came the organization and execution of Oakland’s West Coast Annual Pre Draft Workout in front of all the brass.

These workouts are where I was able to show my abilities as it pertained to being a leader and physically running a professional try out. Throwing the BP, hitting the fungo, interacting with the players, etc.

This eventually led to an invite as a volunteer assistant coach alongside Rick while he managed the Short Season Rookie Class Vancouver Canadians in 2009. I was fortunate enough to learn from hitting coach Casey Myers and Pitching Coach/former Big League pitcher Craig “Lefty” Lefferts. The knowledge I picked up that summer was priceless.

Our friendship grew and when I finally asked Rick to be my mentor things started to shift in my mind and in my actions towards being a scout and learning the ropes from an experienced and well-respected teacher already making his mark.

I owe a lot to Rick Magnante and would not be writing this after interviewing him for this podcast if it weren’t for a ton of information and wisdom that he so graciously passed on to me. I can only hope that you will pick up a gem or two in this episode and get inspired and motivated to follow your dream of loving the game and living the dream.

Enjoy!

Love the Game. Live the Dream

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Episode #006 – Alan Jaeger – Mental Training

“If it is something that you truly love and you want to pursue – you have to be different and be willing to do more than the next person is willing to do.”      – Alan Jaeger

 

Alan founded Jaeger Sports on the principle that athletes need to develop both their physical and mental skills in order to be successful in game situations.

As a result of several years of coaching and personal study was Alan’s Mental Training Book, Getting Focused, Staying Focused, and the DVD, Thrive On Throwing, Jaeger Sports’ signature Arm Heath, Strength and Conditioning Throwing Program. Along with Alan’s passion for Yoga, this Book and DVD serve as a driving force behind all of Jaeger Sports’ training programs.

Since 1991 Alan, as a personal trainer and consultant has worked with over 200 professional players. Including 2002 Cy Young Award Winner Barry Zito, and All-Stars Dan Haren and Andrew Bailey. Alan has also consulted with many schools and organizations. The Texas Rangers and the 2004 National Champion Cal State University, Fullerton baseball team.

Jaeger has a teachers training background in Yoga. He is a practitioner of Far Eastern Arts as Zen and Taoism. Alan’s intention is to help athletes merge the “mechanics” of the Western athlete with the “insight” of the Far Eastern mind. These two practices position athletes to best realize their potential on and off the playing field.

Alan shares with us in this episode:

  • How digging under all the rocks will maximize your networking efforts
  • When he worked at TGI Fridays while building his consulting business
  • Overcoming depression during his playing career
  • Patience in building your passion into a way to earn a living
  • And much. much more

 

How We Met

I first heard of Alan Jaeger through the baseball community in Southern California. I was a young coach looking for answers to helping my players with anything and everything I could sink my teeth into.

As always I was seeking knowledge. Hitting philosophies, pitching mechanics, player evaluation tips, mental training, you name it. Alan agreed to meet me at a restaurant in the San Fernando Valley.

I simply wanted to hear about his long-toss program to help players improve arm strength. When I left that initial meeting I was blown away at how much more this guy had to offer. I loved his “east meets west” philosophy and his overall energy towards helping people. He was not the typical pitching guru that bombards you with facts and opinions on mechanics.

I had to get this guy and his team out to the field to do a clinic with my players. More importantly, I needed to learn what he knew for myself. I have adopted Alan’s philosophies and followed his programs ever since.

Getting together with him for this interview was a must and I am so happy I am able to share this with you.

 

Enjoy!

Love the Game. Live the Dream

 

 

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Episode #005 – Eli, Kelvin and Silvio Delgado – Baseball Beyond Borders

“Not everybody is willing to work as hard as they say they are.”  Eli Delgado

 

The Delgado brothers explain the importance of relationships in baseball and how you can break into the business simply by shaking hands and introducing yourself. They discuss the amount of work and resources involved in training an international prospect in Nicaragua as well as developing young players in the United States simultaneously.

Their academy (Cinco Estrellas) in Nicaragua is responsible for training and developing over 30 players that have been signed. Their efforts have led to over 30 prospects signings in the past 7 years.

Silvio (42), Kelvin (40), Eli (38) were born in Nicaragua and moved to Los Angeles in early 1980’s.  As they grew up adapting to the American way of life they played many sports while remaining true to their family roots of baseball.

They have since figured out how to stay in the game by teaching, coaching and mentoring young players in both U.S. and Nicaragua.

They are currently in charge of player development at Sierra Canyon High School in California.

 

We discuss a wide array of topics in this interview:

  • The difference in Latin players vs. American players’ options in baseball and life.
  • How to get involved as a coach or trainer and NOT have to quit your job.
  • The challenges of running an academy in Nicaragua and getting players signed.
  • How baseball has plenty of opportunities to be involved outside of the actual product.
  • And much, much more.

 

HOW WE MET

In November of 2010, I was finally given the opportunity to attend MLB Scout School through a sponsorship form the Oakland Athletics.

The catch was, I had to fly to Boca Chica, in the Dominican Republic and pay my own way. No problem. I’m in.  Kelvin Delgado was employed by MLB as one of the Spanish to English translators for the 2-week course. I was one of only six students (out of 36) that did not speak fluent Spanish.

So, needless to say, I was hanging on everything Kelvin had to say in and out of class. We got to know each other quickly and realized soon that we were practically neighbors back in California. We agreed to connect when we returned to the States so I could meet his brothers to develop a game plan towards working together.

Enter Eli and Silvio. It was the Delgado brothers that orchestrated an idea that was completely unorthodox to any aspiring scout looking to land a job with an MLB organization.

After several failed interviews with teams looking for Area Scouts in SoCal, I was willing to try anything. Having an academy in Nicaragua (Cinco Estrellas) that developed players they suggested I use them to attract the attention of a Scouting Director willing to send a young aspiring scout to explore.

At the time Nicaragua was only averaging less than 10 players signed annually. The country possessed the presence of approximately 8 MLB teams. We drafted an itinerary and budget. With their help and contacts, I emailed every team in baseball. I received two replies. The Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Both International Scouting Directors were curious and agreed to meet with me in Arizona during Spring Training 2011.

It was there and then that Mike Daly from the Rangers took a chance on me and our plan. He agreed to send me as the scout who would eventually be responsible for finding the first Nicaraguan born prospect signed by the Texas Rangers. Melvin Novoa was a 15 yr old catcher when I first met him that May of 2011. He was educated, trained and developed in the Cinco Estrella Academy when the Rangers signed him in November 2013 for $300,000.

I owe a lot to the Delgado brothers.

Eli educated me on the international side of the game and behind the scenes business aspect. Kelvin took me under his wing and opened my eyes to the developmental challenges in his world.

He made sure I understood the culture first and the frame of mind needed to evaluate the talent pool for players this young. Together they all opened my eyes to a world that I knew nothing about. They showed me the real-life struggles of not just ballplayers in Latin America but real people surviving and living in a third world country.

I am grateful for our friendship and proud to be their brother in baseball and in life.

Muchisimo gracias Delgado hermanos.

Enjoy!

Love the Game. Live the Dream

 

 

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Episode #004 – Arden Pabst – Learning to Stay Stubborn

“I look up to my Dad. If we are talking about role models in life. My Pops is #1. It’s not any baseball player.”        – Arden Pabst

 

In this episode of the show, I introduce you to a young man by the name of Arden Pabst.

Now, Love the Game Live the Dream is about proving that anyone with enough passion and drive can have a career in this sport. You don’t have to be a professional player to do so.

I felt like the show needed to hear from a young guy just starting out on his journey to “living the dream.” So in this episode, we will hear about Arden’s dream to make it to the Major Leagues someday.

He is only in his second full season of pro ball at the age of 22. He was drafted in the 12th round by the Pittsburg Pirates in 2016.  Prior to being drafted Arden played his college ball at Georgia Tech for three years as a catcher.  Before that, he won a state championship at Harvard-Westlake HS in Studio City, CA.

Arden and I discuss a variety of things:

  • He tells us about his recruiting experience as a young high school player
  • How his parents supported his dream.
  • How his love for basketball helped instill his competitive drive in baseball.
  • His advice to young players trying to get noticed by colleges.
  • The difference in his hitting approach now compared to college.
  • And much, much more.

 

HOW WE MET

Arden first showed up to one of our baseball camps at Sherman Oaks Baseball Academy around 2002-03 if my memory serves. He was one of those young kids that stood out right away. From his high socks to his Oakley sunglasses and eye black.

He threw better, ran better and hit better than 95% of the kids his age. On top of it all, he was a great kid. He was polite to everyone he met. He had a swagger that wasn’t cocky but exuded confidence.

You could tell his parents raised him to be a gentleman first and an athlete second. He got excellent marks in school and even played the cello. Yes Pabst, as we called him, was the kid every coach wishes they had nine of.

It was a pleasure watching him grow and mature into an excellent hard-nosed, grinder of a ballplayer. After re-connecting with him years down the road it is an even bigger pleasure watching him grow into a man and a future Big Leaguer.

I want to give a huge shout out to his mom Dorothy and his dad Tom for doing an outstanding job of raising and supporting such an incredible young man.

Enjoy!

Love the Game. Live the Dream

 

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Episode #003 – David Keesee – Find a Way

“I literally take the lessons that I learned in baseball and I live them every day.”                                          -David Keesee

 

In this episode of Love the Game. Live the Dream., it is my pleasure to introduce you to yet another great friend of mine David Keesee.

David is a transformational speaker, coach, & mentor who is known for his real & care-frontational approach. He specializes in training on mindset, influence, and performance. He is the creator of Sales Impact Academy & founder of The League.

As a head coach & mentor, his coaching programs & courses come from both personal experience as well guiding his students. David has conducted over 3,000 deep-dive coaching sessions with his clients & trained over 20,000 people in the areas of mindset, influence, & high-performance.

His authentic & direct approach has proven to create massive change & breakthrough for his students. His Find a Way daily podcast can be found on iTunes or on his website www.getintheleague.com.

Oh…I forgot to mention he spent 7 years as a professional baseball player.

In this episode David and I discuss a wide range of topics:

  • How his Mom took him from the hospital at 2 weeks old to his first Dodger game.
  • He was pronounced dead after getting struck by a drunk driver at 8 yrs old.
  • How he borrowed money for bus fare from LA to KC to try out uninvited.
  • The importance of always finding a way to get back up and move forward.
  • Life after baseball and how it taught him to succeed in business.
  • And much, much more.

HOW WE MET

I want to say it was the Fall of 2004 but I can’t say for sure. David came to my Academy in Sherman Oaks, CA to see if we could use any part-time instructors. It was perfect timing as we always held winter camps for kids ages 5-12.

David had just officially retired from pro ball and was looking to get into coaching. We talked for a bit and I knew immediately that not only was he the perfect guy to have around the kids but it was like looking into a mirror.

His infectious, witty and humorous personality immediately ignited our friendship. He continued to do private lessons for a couple more years following that first winter camp. Eventually, being the consummate professional that he is David sought out other forms of income and thrust himself into the real estate industry.

We remained friends and continued to get together and discuss life, business and occasionally play some music over a few cervezas. We lost touch for about 5 years while I was living in Costa Rica, raising a daughter and continuing my scouting/coaching career. During that time David was building his business.

It thrills me to no end that our friendship never died. Today we have kept in regular contact as we continue to push each other professionally and personally.

This interview was recorded from the Bay of Islands Radio studio in Corner Brook, Newfoundland where I was able to get David on the phone from his home in Santa Clarita, CA.

Enjoy!

Love the Game. Live the Dream

 

 

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Episode #002 – Ryan “China” McCarney – Be the Change

“The habit I am trying to form is just being more positive about life in general. Being more compassionate towards others. Trying to see things from other peoples’ point of view.”                        – Ryan”China” McCarney

 

In this episode of Love the Game. Live the Dream., it is my pleasure to introduce you to an incredible young man by the name of Ryan “China” McCarney.

China, as his friends and family call him, is currently the Vice President of Jaeger Sports. He spends his free time attempting to be the change by raising awareness as the founder of an incredible non-profit called Athletes Against Anxiety and Depression (AADF).

He was drafted twice during his playing career. Once out of Vasquez High School in Agua Dulce, CA and the second time after his junior year at Cal State Northridge. China decided not to sign on both occasions. Instead, he pursued his business career by earning a degree in psychology.

After working with arm care expert and mental training guru Alan Jaeger as a pitching prospect in his teens China went to work for Jaeger Sports upon graduating from college. It has been 6 years since his first day of work and now he runs the day to day operations along with Alan and President Jim Vatcher. China is responsible for the persistent actions needed to place Jaeger Bands and the long toss program in all 728 Dick’s Sporting Goods throughout California.

McCarney is yet another baseball player turned businessman and philanthropist that explains how the loving the game has helped him to live the dream.

In this episode China shares:

  • How he was drafted not once but twice and chose not to pursue every young player’s dream.
  • How he recognized and deals with anxiety and depression on a daily basis in his life.
  • The importance of staying in school to him and how it made him love the game more.
  • His podcast Pursuit of Perfection and his book Off the Field.
  • The inception and mission of his foundation Athletes Against Anxiety and Depression.
  • And much, much more.

 

HOW WE MET

China and I met the first time when he was a college player working as a model for the Jaeger Sports long toss program. He was part of a clinic that Alan Jaeger and Jim Vatcher put on for myself and the coaches and players that were the Oakland A’s Scout Ball team in 2008.

The second time we met was through an order of J-Bands that I placed via email and China was the customer service rep that made sure my order was filled. He was just starting out at the company then.

It wasn’t until our third meeting earlier this year when I saw his first FB post on the foundation he started for AAADF. This is when I felt the strong urge to reach out to him personally and find out exactly what he was doing and how I could get involved. The more I got to know him the more I knew he was a perfect fit for this show.

The rest, as they say, is history.

This interview was recorded from the Bay of Islands Radio studio in Corner Brook, Newfoundland where I was able to get China on the phone from his home in Manhattan Beach, CA.

Enjoy!

Love the Game. Live the Dream

 

 

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Episode #001 – Brian Barden – Staying in the Game

“Being able to go to a big league stadium every day, and do that for a job, is so stinkin’ cool.”          – Brian Barden

 

In this first episode of the podcast Love the Game. Live the Dream., I introduce you to my good friend Brian Barden.

Brian is a former professional baseball player that spent 12 years playing for five different MLB organizations. His career started after being drafted in the 6th round of the 2002 MLB First-Year Amateur Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was a walk-on at Oregon State University prior to the draft and spent parts of 5 season at the Big League level.

He also spent two seasons in Japan playing for the Hiroshima Carp and won a bronze medal with Team USA at the 2008 Summer Olympics hosted by Beijing, China. Brian currently lives in Scottsdale, AZ where he coaches and mentors young players through his academy Sol Baseball. Brian specializes in educating his players on the recruiting process and teaching parents how to help their kids maximize their potential.

 

In this episode, Brian and I talk about:

  • How Barden’s college recruiting experience landed him at Oregon State despite being an undersized shortstop that lacked speed and power.
  • Why he decided to continue his pursuit of the Big Leagues after bouts of depression.
  • Some funny stories about playing baseball in Japan and being an American celebrity.
  • How he continues to stay in the game to help mentor young players and prove there is a way to get recruited in college even if you are not a top prospect.
  • And much, much more.

 

HOW WE MET

Brian and I first met at my baseball academy in Sherman Oaks, CA shortly after his first year in pro ball during the off-season in 2002.

He was the first professional player I ever had the pleasure of working with and training. He found me by looking for a place to take some batting practice without having to drive too far. It was a win-win, as I was finally getting an opportunity to take a break from the “grassroots” teachings of the game and work with college and professional players.

Being a young player looking to get better all the time he was very open to letting me try some of my newly learned training techniques and hitting philosophies from our very first meeting. Brian also loved being around kids and teaching the game himself, so it was easy to talk him into helping out with our winter camps in exchange for free training.

He is now living in Scottsdale, AZ and we keep in touch regularly as he works fulltime in his insurance business, part-time in his baseball business and is a single father to his three children Avery, Jaeger, and Rocklin.

Enjoy!

Love the Game. Live the Dream

 

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World Baseball Experience

World Baseball Experience