Thursday, November 24, 2016


I believe there are no limits and I believe that when the doubters come knocking, your only concern should be about what you can do as a person and not worry about anything else around you. If you are passionate... if you have drive... if you believe in yourself, be thankful for all you have and dig deep and grind.   Just grind! And even when there are obstacles... grind some more until you've reached your goal.  It's the way I was raised... it's the way my wife and I raise our own kids, and when I met a kid named Ty Hensley 4 years ago when he was drafted by the New York Yankees, I saw that same drive in this young man.  

We at BYB remember it well.  2012. The kid was on Cloud Nine being signed by the greatest organization in the world, because they saw his drive, his potential, his courage to be great.  I remember our first interview with him. He felt blessed, and he was thankful, and much of that confidence and perseverance doesn't only come from within himself, but from his parents who, as I've said numerous times here... raised him right.

Now many of you have reached out to me and asked me how Ty Hensley is doing.  This is a man that has had setbacks; 2 Tommy John surgeries. An unfortunate scuffle that resulted in a wired shut jaw, and a surgery to repair a hip, and not in that order. And to be honest, for any other person, there would be severe doubt surrounding them and their career at that point.  If that was you, you'd almost feel like you couldn't go on any further. You'd wonder if what you signed up for really isn't your life's path. Am I right?  

But if you believe in dreams... dedication, the belief of not letting a person or team down, when you fall, you get back up.  That's Ty Hensley, folks... and I have news for you... Ty's fine.  

(Photo Credit: Robert Anderson)
After numerous notes to me asking if I "knew anything", I decided to take a moment to reach out to Ty and his family.  After all, I knew exactly what he was going through. Being driven is his life.  Distractions? He doesn't need him.  I waited.  I actually waited a long, long time because I didn't want to be a pest, and I didn't want to break the dude's stride.  In short, I get it.

Finally, on Monday night I sent Ty and his mother a note. Now look, Marci is a friend of mine. She's a great mom, she loves her kids and raises them to be respectful, hardworking and, here's that word again... "driven" young men.  I love that. I raise my kids the same, and so, we clicked and talk about our children whenever we can.  But this time it was to be very specific.  I threw away the script... I went in direct with Ty and Marci and asked the question so many of you have asked me.... "How is Ty doing?" 

(Photo: AP Images)
I am thankful for my friendship with the Hensleys, and on this Thanksgiving day, four years later form the first family interview with them, I wanted to share with you Ty's note to not only me... but to our Bleeding Yankee Blue family.  

Look... players come and go in baseball.  Fans get tired of guys who don't hit, can't pitch and get hurt.  But there's something very different about players when you see their human side and get to know them.  Ty Hensley can be great.  Yes, he's had a few tough breaks, but the story is real and when he makes it to the major leagues as a New York Yankee, and trust me, he will... You will understand exactly what I see in this young man.  

I share with you now, Ty's note to the Bleeding Yankee Blue audience. A note I got permission to print and it's an exclusive conversation that you will only see here on BYB:

Hi Robert,

Thank you so much for checking on me and your continued support.... About a year ago I deleted all my social media accounts and stopped reading anything that was written about me. I had work to do to get healthy, and little did I know a redo in the near future of my Tommy John. I didn't need anyone's opinions good or bad. I needed focus. It was my goal to emerge stronger and better than I ever have been. I am happy to report that I feel I have done everything I can possibly do in order to get back. 

I am throwing again (flat ground) and feeling great! I am stronger, more athletic, and more flexible than I have ever been in my life. I am just going to continue the course and put it all out on the field. If I have done everything I can possibly do then at some point you just have to turn it over to a greater plan. 

I know that everything I have been through the last 4 years was for a reason. In my mind, that reason was to get the physical obstacles out of the way that could prevent me from being the major league pitcher I always knew I could be for the long term. Only time will tell if that reasoning is accurate. 

I am very blessed that I was drafted by an organization that believes in me as a person as well as an athlete. Going into this Thanksgiving week, I truly want to thank the Yankees for being the team they promised they were when they drafted me. I want to thank you guys at BYB for caring and believing in me, for my current health, and the love of family and friends in my life. 

And to think, some call me the "Unluckiest 1st Round pick in Yankees history." 

I have to respectfully disagree.
Have a great Thanksgiving. I'll see you in the Spring!

At some point, you just have to think about the journey, be it Ty's or your own and say to yourself... "Am I doing enough to be where I want to be?"  Everyone has a different path in life. You could sit on the couch and never work a day in your life... but what good is that? Or... you can understand the importance to learning to walk so you can run, fighting toward goals and busting through obstacles.  Gaining confidence, control of your destiny... working hard and never, ever, ever giving up on yourself.  

And when you're there... when you've achieved your goal, you can look out all around you and be thankful for all the hard work you put in,  all the people that supported you and believed in you.  And in the end, no matter what, win or lose... know you left it all out on the field... because you were courageous and believed in dreams.

This applies to everyone, folks. 

Ty Hensley is the example. He has a dream. Hell, that dream was introduced to me by his mom when she sent me this photo above of a young Ty Hensley starring out into a baseball field as a kid.  He was dreaming big.  That dream is still inside of him.  

I love this kid. We back him at BYB and on this Thanksgiving, I encourage you to think about the journey, grab it... and make it what you want in life.

Never lose your drive. 
Never lose control. 
Never give up. 
Always, always... always be thankful for all you have.

Thanks to Ty, Marci and your family.  We appreciate you guys here very much.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Robert Casey
BYB Chief, Managing Editor & Head Writer

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