You guys all know how important it is to have a solid foundation in your life, right? That's why you read BYB. You understand we love the idea of family here. It's that support system that helps nurture and provide confidence in our children, in our spouses, in our lives. It's not a religious thing, although, you can go there if you'd like... The truth is, it's a life thing and it's damn important.
That picture above is of Marci Hensley, Ty Hensley's mom and a terrific person. She and her husband Mike appear to be incredibly parents. I say that because from what I can tell, Ty and Jake Hensley work their tails off to be the best, not just in sports, but as human beings.
This is Ty Hensley in 2013 rehabbing from injury. He's with his teammates. Since the day we first interviewed him in 2012 (Read EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: TY HENSLEY: YANKEES 1ST ROUND PICK), we've always been in touch.
We were there when he was signed. We were there when he was hurt. We were there when he was on the mound in Staten Island this past year. We believe in this kid, but it's goes further than baseball. We believe in him because we see the drive in this kid. We see respect in this kid. Respect for the game, but respect for others.
I will never forget when Ty asked if he could thank the Bleeding Yankee Blue readers. It was the equivalent of a Thank you note in cyber space. TY HENSLEY THANKS THE BYB READERS was published in January 2013. In that note, he wrote:
"I just wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate the support you have shown me, my family, and now a cause I believe in. I can't tell you how much my life has changed since the night of June 4th. There have been big highs and big lows and I don't even have full season under my belt yet! I had no idea what uniform I was going to get to wear, but I don't believe in accidents, I believe in purpose. It is on purpose I am in pinstripes and from day one BYB has made me feel like a real Yankee, and part of something bigger than myself."
You know why I'm impressed? Simple. It's just good manners. It's basic life skills. As you know, being on Facebook or Twitter, people need to learn a thing or two about that.
I teach my kids the same values Marci and Mike teach their children. When you see it outside your circle, you recognize strong young individuals with determination and focus. That's why I've always been drawn to the Hensleys, to the Sabathias, the Posadas. The values all ring true and are very, very similar to mine and how I raise my own children.
I was once asked by Greedy Pinstripes about our interviews at BYB (Read YUP, I WAS ACTUALLY INTERVIEWED). This is that exchange:
TGP: Who do you think has been your favorite interview while on BYB?This is true. I like learning about how people tick. I've learned how many tick, how their lifestyles are and appreciate them all very much. Throw the Hensleys in that category. They're top notch.
Casey: I would love to give you 1 interview that was my favorite, but you have to understand something, it’s not an interview… it’s a courting. I am personally invested in meeting these people, learning about them and wanting others the hear things they’ve never heard before, you know what I mean?
What's this all about? Respect. Friendship. Kindness. Ambition. Drive.
All of the above.
It's the holiday season. It's the last kick off before Christmas. I saw more disrespect in the stores than I ever did on Saturday, but I noticed something else. I saw a ton of respect. I saw a kid around 12 years old hold a door open for an elderly woman. Unfortunately I also saw a man about 30 with his headphones on cut in front of her on the way into the door.
Be aware. Be respectful. Teach your children right. Understand kindness.
(In Photo: Ty Hensley as a kid)
It all goes back to that kid from Oklahoma. A little kid with a big dream. A little kid that was raised right. You can't make that up. At any point Ty Hensley could have packed it in. "I don't want to work to get better, I'm tired." He could have said that during surgery... he didn't. He jumped hurdles to make it to Staten Island.
What's next for Ty? His next step... and one day the RiverDogs and then Scranton. And soon enough... standing on the mound at Yankee Stadium. Those are big dreams and if you believe you can... well, then you can do anything. And that's being raised to have drive and determination. That's a testament to Marci and Mike... and it's nice to see.
I leave you with this. Something very touching. I wrote COMING BACK STRONGER about my own son's ordeal with a recent injury and now recovery... unrelated to baseball, but directly affecting his ability to play. In it, I wrote:
"Months later, the (bone) chip was removed. After rehab, and a long break, my son has the itch again, but you know 12 year olds, they think they can just pick up where they left off after 1 workout. He quickly learned that wasn't the case.
'How'd you do today?' I asked him after his return. 'I sucked,' He said. He was depressed. 'Don't worry, it's December, not April. Plenty of time.' He nodded and went up to change."
Ty wrote me on Twitter shortly after that article's release:
@BleednYankeeBlu @Mike_Tursi @ZeppieriTony @mhensley17 @MarianaBichette @Jeterlover @StellarMaria tell him to keep pushing! Work hard!Stand guy guy.
— Ty Hensley (@TyHensley17) December 19, 2014
I tip my cap to the Hensleys. In fact, I tip my cap to all that believe in kindness, in determination, drive, ambition and just wanting what's right for you and your family. Shoot for the stars. Never give up. Grind it...
and be a nice person. It's the right thing to do always, but especially during the holiday season.
Love you guys. Thanks.
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