By Jill E. Wolforth
I remember my mother saying “As I get older, each year seems to go by faster”. I’m finally feeling that same way as 2015 seems to have flown in and then right back out again.
As we bring in 2016 it’s only appropriate that we once again began the year at a baseball event, the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Convention. This year’s event was held in Nashville, TN at the Opryland Resort & Convention Center. The hotel is a show in and of itself with its massive size and layout. (The first time we ever stayed there, we got lost and it took us 45 minutes to find our room.)
It was our 18th year exhibiting at the convention. Our first time as an exhibitor dates back to 1999 in Atlanta, which was also the first time Coach Wolforth was asked to speak at the event. We were reminiscing this year and laughing at the fact that our son Garrett is 18 years old but has been to 19 ABCA conventions, as his first one was when he was 3 months old. He hasn’t missed one during his lifetime.
The Baseball Ranch staff gathered together for a quick Coach Wolforth visiting with other coaches at
picture before the opening of the exhibit hall our booth in the busy ABCA exhibit hall
We sure have come a long way since then and the really special thing each year is catching back up with old friends and hearing how they’re still passionate about their teams and their training. They all know that once the ABCA gets here, the season is right around the corner.
We have been so blessed to have so many wonderful coaches that we have been able to share this journey with. It is a real honor to visit each year with those that have laid the ground work ahead of us such as Charlie Green, Gary Pullins, Gary Ward, Keith Madison & Bob Bennett, just to name a few. Each year, we are reminded of the very big shoes we have to fill when it comes to character and integrity within the sport.
It is also exciting each year to see the advancements that are made in training, equipment, and technology and how so many people, nearly 5,000 attendees this year from all over the world, were gathered together in this one venue. Whether they were coaches, exhibitors or both, they all were there with a common goal of making the game of baseball better.
It was a treat to bring in the New Year with so many old friends but it was just as exciting to see so many young coaches who are eagerly beginning their coaching journeys and are anxious to learn and share. The energy, passion and enthusiasm from everyone there was contagious and we hope that we were able to contribute just a little ourselves.
I can tell you we are REALLY excited about 2016 and what it has in store both things already planned and those that the Good Lord will add along the way. We hope you will plan to be a part of it!
Keep an eye on our website www.TexasBaseballRanch.com as all of the 2016 camp and summer program information will be posted soon.