“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.
Love the Game. Live the Dream