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General | General | 10/1/2021

The Lead Off: October

Clint Hurdle     
Photo: Perfect Game
“Tis’ the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

Does the title confuse you? 

That’s fair.

Let me explain.

I love October! Two wonderful events happen every October and I love both of them.

MLB Playoff Baseball and Halloween.

It’s going to get crazy cool with the Wild Card Games and ensuing playoffs. 162 games matter until they don’t matter any more once the playoffs start. The Wild Card games are genius and heartbreaking. I’ve been involved in 3 WC games. One good...two hard. Eight trips into October Baseball. Never the last team standing, however, it still gives me chills.

Halloween, on the other hand, is a Hurdle Family tradition. We own Halloween. I’ve been dressing up since I was 6 years old and have never stopped.

2011 (Wizard of Oz)

2020 (Schitt$ Creek)

The Colorado Rockies got so hot in October the city renamed it Rocktober!

Alrighty then...

I’ve been on Staff with Perfect Game a few months and I’ve been a part of two very big events: the National Showcase at Tropicana Field and the All-American Classic at Petco Park.

Over 300 players participated at the Trop. It was a blast to watch. We measured everything! All the players activities were captured on video as well. It was a well-oiled production. From Skills & Drills to competition in games, players were watched by a small town of college coaches and MLB scouts.

The two things we will never be able to measure as an industry is the size of the player's heart for the game and their guts! These two parts to the player create the difference and separation of talent more often than not.

I also look for “want to” and “how to”. Are they having a blast while competing or do they look like they’re taking an algebra test in a dentist chair?????

We had conversations with about 100 players after and during the National Showcase, communicating with them and their parents/parent they were being considered for the All-American Classic in San Diego. That list was the whittled to 60 players chosen for the Classic at Petco.

I had the unique opportunity to manage the East Team. My good friend Luis Gonzalez managed the West. Friday night we had a scrimmage game and got first looks at our teams. There were more scouts in the stands to “eyeball” our guys on the Diamond at Fowler Park.

Saturday night we had an incredible gala to celebrate the Classic, the All-Americans and the award winners!

This party was Big League.

By the way, this is a list of some of the dads who showed up:

CC Sabathia 
Mark McGwire 
Andruw Jones 
Matt Holliday

Perfect Game is good enough for these guys and they know a little about baseball. They trust us with their sons.

Sunday morning we had the Home Run Derby and it turned into a full-blown spectacle with a clutch finish for an exciting ending to a great morning.

Sunday late afternoon was game time.

The West had won the last 6 games and the talking was getting loud! The East team throttled the West 9-0. However...11 pitchers took the mound for the East and dominated for 9 innings and spun a NO-HITTER! Are you kidding me?

It was the first time I had ever been on the right side of a NO-NO. Forty-five years in uniform and professional ball, I’d never been a part of jumping up and down side of the no-hit gem!

It took PERFECT GAME for me to experience the All-American Classic no-hitter!

Until next month 

Tis’ the most wonderful time of the year!

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