by Nathan Bittle, 2012-07-05T13:23:13.000-07:00July 05 2012, at 01:23 PM PDT
I just wanted to take a minute to tell everyone “thank-you” for sticking with us over the course of the last 5 years, whether you have been a Hustler for one or five of those years. As a coach I have been extremely blessed to be able to coach some great young men over this time. I have seen these boys grow as players and people. I am truly proud of each one of them and can honestly say that I know they have all gotten better over the time they have been with our program. Things were not always easy, as is the case with any family or group of people that stick together for a period of time. Despite the fact that some people came and went over the years, I feel pretty confident in saying that our core group stuck together longer than any team in our area by far. While we had our share of drama, so does every team that I know of, but by keeping the focus on why we were truly doing this “to make our kids the best baseball players they could be”, we were able to stay together. This venture was always about the “baseball”, not the “winning summer games” and that is in my mind why the winning came at a greater rate as the years went on. We won around 180 baseball games in 5 years and like I have told parents and players in our program for years, “winning happens because you are prepared to win and because you are better than your opponent”. I feel that we have beaten quite a few teams with greater talent level over the years and have only lost a handful that maybe we shouldn’t have. That is because our kids are tough and realize that baseball is not a game of size but of smarts and fundamental skills. I hope that you feel good about the time and financial investment you made with us, as it was something I took very seriously when deciding on how to coach and run this team. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of coaches. Those guys truly were good coaches of the game, and great friends to me. (I wouldn’t say that if I didn’t mean it). I am looking forward to seeing all of your kids play as they continue their baseball careers, and hope that they take a thing or two from the “Hustlers” years with them. They will always be my guys and I will make every effort to see as many of their games as I can. Please keep me updated with game schedules and I will do my best to make it. Please know that we are not quitting, just taking a new path, which is often something we need to re-charge our batteries. This isn’t a “grass is greener” type thing at all. I have truly loved the last five years as a whole and will miss it when November rolls around and all the planning would begin again for next year. Thank you for trusting me with your child and know that once you coach a kid, you always coach a kid. I’m available any time for any outside voice you think your child might need. Good Luck and I’m sure I will see you at a ballpark a time or two.