The Value of History & Perspective

By Coach Ron Wolforth-


To Know Where You Are Going,
It’s Often Critically Important
To Remind Yourself of Where You Have Been


As a former History teacher, I know intimately the value history plays in our daily lives.  Almost every single day at the Texas Baseball Ranch I’m reminded of the all too frequent lack of perspective of our young people and, even at times, their parents. Of course, this lack of perspective isn’t limited just to baseball, but let’s start our conversation this week with baseball history, and the benefits of having a deeper and broader knowledge of the game we all supposedly love and cherish.


Almost every single day at TBR, we show our pitchers video clips and pictures of Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, and Greg Maddux, among others. I am stunned that so many young people do not know who these recent icons are, let alone the earlier era pitchers such as Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Bob Feller, Dizzy Dean, and Whitey Ford just to mention a few. 


Every Elite Pitcher’s Boot Camp I do a mindset presentation and introduce the segment using a picture of Barry Zito who trained with us one entire off season at the Ranch. In the past several camps, nearly everyone in the audience had no idea the name of the pitcher in that picture.  Barry Zito is not just some MLB pitcher. Barry won the CY Young in 2005 and in 2012, went 15-8, and was a World Series Champion going 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 3 post season starts including outdueling another Ranch client, Justin Verlander in game 1 of the World Series. Yet, almost no one in the room, supposedly filled with “baseball people”, recognized him.


What does this mean?


Well for starters from a practical standpoint, if a young man and his parents really got to know Barry Zito’s story and all of his ups, downs, twists, and turns, and how he persevered and overcame obstacles, it would almost assuredly be a benefit to them in their journey when they faced their own future obstacles and naysayers.


At TBR I continually encourage our athletes to become students of their own history, the history of their school, and the history of baseball. I promise them that such efforts will be incredibly valuable to their growth and personal development.


My mother passed away this past May and  I recently returned to my hometown to celebrate her life with my two sisters, family and friends.


One of the first things I did was take my wife and my daughter to all of my important landmarks growing up and share with them my stories about each place. The picture below is the baseball field where it all started for me. It has since been named “Hendrickson Field” honoring my legion coach, Coach Dale Hendrickson.

Then we actually stopped in on Coach Hendrickson at his home. Coach Hendrickson, other than my father, was the most important and powerful influence in my life and my baseball career.  The impact of these two men on who I am today is immeasurable.

All of you have a similar story and I urge you, when and where appropriate, to routinely reconnect with your “mother ship” and with the essence and foundation of who you are and why you value the things you do. 


In short, I believe it’s important to never let yourself forget who you are and where you came from.


I believe this lack of “connection” with our past is a real issue today. I recently saw a study that less than 50% of today’s college students could pass a basic test on the founding of the USA, the Revolutionary War, The War of 1812, or the Civil War.  So much of what they “think” they know is lacking, inaccurate, or incomplete.


From the baseball perspective, less than 10% of attendees at the Ranch would have any clue the team we were referring to when we said:

The Murderers Row (The 1920s Yankees)
The Gas House Gang (The 1930s St. Louis Cardinals)
The Big Red Machine (1970s Cincinnati Reds)


It’s simply a shame our young people are not more steeped in history… of their country, their sport, and of their family.


History is the glue that binds us together. I encourage you all to significantly improve your connection with the past, it will be a very beneficial resource in improving your future.


Until Next Time,

Stay Curious and Keep Fighting the Good Fight.

Coach Wolforth


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We are proud of the fact that The Texas Baseball Ranch® has been an integral part of many young players lives and has played a significant role in the development and success.   We’d love to share with you the same training that has helped so many other young men.  Our next Elite Pitchers Boot Camp is sold out but we still have a few spots remaining for the Labor Day weekend.  More information is available at or call (936) 588-6762.

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