Known as America’s pastime, baseball has been a favorite of families for generations. Scott Brown’s family is no different.
Scott and his oldest son, Michael, have been coaching baseball teams featuring Scott’s youngest son and Michael’s brother, Mark, for the past five years. It’s a complete family affair.
“It’s just really special,” Scott said. “Having all of us together, watching Mark be successful; it’s been a lot of fun.”
Scott caught the baseball bug when Michael began playing in high school. Michael played on a traveling team that played games from Oklahoma to Ohio. He played against some of the top competition across the Midwest.
“I played a little bit of baseball, but I was terrible,” Scott said. “Michael got really excited about playing and that got me interested in it. I really learned a lot about coaching during that time.”
While Scott did a little bit of coaching for Michael’s team – primarily as a base coach – he got heavily involved with coaching when Mark decided he wanted to play. Scott started coaching Mark in Daniel Boone Little League.
“Michael and I wanted to make sure Mark got an opportunity to travel like Michael did when he played,” Scott said. “We’ve seen the good and the bad of coaching, and we felt like we could make it a positive experience for everyone. It’s been a lot of fun for all of us.”
This past year, Scott and Michael’s squad played around 50 games from late March to mid-July. Those games took place on the weekends and were played throughout Missouri. Scott said they played upwards of six or seven games in a given weekend.
“Just about every Friday night throughout the summer we would load up and get ready to play in a tournament,” he said.
To prepare for the season, the team begins practice in December. Using an indoor facility, the team gets in the batting cage and even has an opportunity to face some live pitching.
“I use an app to keep in touch with the players and parents,” Scott said. “We schedule practices through it and have all of our games listed there. We also keep score online, so all of our statistics and everything are uploaded.”
The majority of the team is from central Missouri. There has been some player rotation throughout the years, but there is a core that has been around since Mark was playing in Daniel Boone Little League.
“You learn really quick that every kid is different,” Scott said. “Baseball is a game of failure. You have to handle that failure a little bit differently with each kid. That’s why when you see them make a great play or win a tournament, it’s a huge deal. It’s fun to see the success.”
Mark, a lefty, is a pitcher and plays in the outfield. He gets in a few innings at first base as well. Michael was a second baseman and shortstop when he played. Along with the normal team practices, Mark gets in some extra swings at home. Scott has built a full batting cage at their house.
“It’s funny because my oldest, Michael, plays through my youngest,” Scott said. “It’s definitely a unique relationship.”
Mark will start at Rock Bridge High School this fall, and will suit up for the school’s baseball team as well. While Scott and Michael won’t be coaching him during the season, they’ll both be cheering him on.
“Baseball is a tough sport,” Scott said. “It takes a lot of desire and a lot of work. It’s a huge commitment. What I share with my players is not only applicable on the field, but in life as well. It’s always exciting to watch them grow.”