One morning he’s out early on a practice field with Peter Bourjos, feeding ball after ball into the machine for the outfielder to lay down an impressive spray chart of bunts.
Later in the day he instructs a group of prospects at first base how to go about disrupting not just the pitcher, but the entire infield with how they vary their lead off the bag.
It is all just part of the Spring Training routine for St. Louis Cardinals great Willie McGee.
“I was blessed with some ability and a good work ethic from my parents and a lot of prayer and just trying to do the right things,” says McGee. “Nobody’s perfect. That formula worked for me and that’s what I know. That’s what I’m concerned with–passing that on. My way. Letting them know you have your style, you do it your way but I do know you have to put in time and effort to be successful. If you do that, that’s the best chance you got of success–it’s not guaranteed, but that’s the best chance you have is by applying yourself and working at it. That’s the stuff I love. If I don’t get another trophy, if I don’t get another pat on the back, another award I’m still going to be a happy man as long as I’m able to do things that I love doing in life.”
Besides his work in Spring Training, McGee also works with Cardinals minor leaguers at various points of the season in his role as a Special Assistant to the General Manager.