Wednesday , July 23, 2014 - 1:29 PM
Yogurt, Thing 1 and Thing 2, Caderade, Supa G, Big Papi, Nasty, Southpaw, Clutch.
To many of you this may sound like a weird list, perhaps a grocery list. To those who know better, it’s the nicknames you’d hear chanted from the dugout for the 11U Ruckus baseball team players when they get up to bat. It’s the shouting that will carry them to the Gil Hodges Little League World Series, who hasn’t had a team from Utah represented since its beginning in 1935.
The team lineup for American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC) champion team Ruckus actually reads: Cade “Caderade” Harris, who got his nickname from drinking so much gatorade last season. Aiden “Southpaw” Taylor (southpaw for being the only true lefty on the team); Miles “Mini Papi” Gage earned his nickname from loving “Big Papi” (and in Miles’ own words – he looks like him too). Batting fourth is Garrett “Supa-G” Richman.
The Masons — Memmott “aka Clutch” and McCloy “aka Nasty” — bat six and seven followed by the Marin twins, Alex (Thing 1) and Isaac (Thing 2). Trent Greek, “yogurt”, rounds out the batting lineup for team Ruckus.
What’s more impressive then where they’re going is from where they came.
Supa G (aka Garrett) wasn’t always so “supa.” He’d only played city rec baseball before trying out for Jeff Brody’s new 10 and Under competitive baseball team. (Coach Brody had coached the previous nine years in a higher age bracket). Garrett didn’t make the first cut of the team.
Once the final team had been chosen, coach Brody needed one more player, so he decided to take a chance on a tall, gangly, then 9-year-old. Together Brody and Garrett (with tons of parental support and dedication as well), molded Garrett into a first-baseman with unbelievable stretch (so much so that he could do splits on first base that would make a high school cheerleader jealous), and a batter who hits fourth in the lineup.
Garrett currently leads the team in RBIs and , in his words, loves “hanging out with his friends,” on the team. He chose jersey No. 17 after Todd Helton, retired first-baseman for the Colorado Rockies. His favorite team, however, is the Pirates because his dad introduced him to them.
Coach Brody, meanwhile, doesn’t have a son on the team. He works full time, and then spends at least six hours a week at practice with the team, and a minimum of 10 hours at games during the baseball season. He loves America’s pastime and can’t think of a better way to spend his free time. He’s been volunteering his time and knowledge of the game to kids in the greater Ogden area for the past 11 years. And, because the kids he coaches know he believes in them, they step up and dedicate themselves to becoming what he knows they can be.
Another awesome outcome from this team: The Marin twins — Alex and Isaac. They were on another competitive baseball team for the 2012/2013 season. They sat the bench. They rarely batted. And were told over and over to just be patient, without being given the opportunity to improve and get better. They lost their enthusiasm for baseball and about gave up on the game. Coming to team Ruckus has helped the twins love baseball again. They each have their own ways to get pumped up before games. Alex watches YouTube “baseball pump up videos”, while Isaac says he must eat cookies his grandma gives him.
Also part of team is Aiden “Southpaw” Taylor, who was on another team as well during the 2012 season, playing various positions, but never pitcher or catcher. When that team dissolved, he came to Ruckus. Coach Brody asked Aiden what position he’d like to try. He answered, “catcher.” Aiden (wearing jersey No. 24 because of Ken Griffey Jr.) is now back-up catcher for our team and is one of our outstanding pitchers – a position he never even got to try on his previous team.
Miles Gage wears the same number as David Ortiz, No. 34, and loves he gets called Mini-Papi. He’s been playing with Coach Brody since he was 7, and this is the winningest year they’ve had. He’s enjoyed improving as a player and as a team this year. And to help contribute to his success, he has a routine for putting on his pants (right leg in first) and spitting on his hands (like Big Papi) when he goes up to bat. He is our go-to catcher since he’s a wall behind the plate.
Mason “Clutch” Memmott is new to Ruckus this year, and has loved feeling included in everything. Mason McCloy, who hears the chant of “Nasty” when at bat, was actually cut from two teams. Currently, he brings great effort in right field and a great at-bat every time. He also is a back-up pitcher.
Trent Greek, aka Yogurt, had never played competitive baseball until starting with Ruckus last fall. He wears jersey No. 27 because that’s the number he and his older brother always choose. He likes David Ortiz because he’s a good hitter, which is fitting because Trent packs a ton of power into his swing, so if he makes contact, that ball is flyin’.
“Caderade” Harris joined Ruckus mid-season 2013. When displaced from his previous team, Cade’s parents remembered seeing Coach Brody running warm-up drills 3 years prior and were in awe of his efficiency and preciseness with his team then. He was one of the first thoughts for Cade when they were looking for a good match as a coach, and they haven’t been disappointed. Coach Brody has helped Cade love and understand baseball like never before. Cade is, in turn, dedicated to the team so much that he chose forgo his favorite football camp in June because he recognized with only nine players on the roster, his team couldn’t afford him to get hurt.
At one point, Ruckus had 0-26 record. And, so far this spring season team Ruckus’ record is 50-13.
Through this experience these boys have learned that hard work pays off, don’t let others determine what you can or can’t do, and dream big. Their blood, sweat and tears have gotten them to where they are, and it will get them to Brooklyn too.
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