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Practice Paying Off for Jon Nelson

LF Jon Nelson (Photo/Seattle Mariners)

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - I'm walking through the clubhouse on day two of the San Antonio Missions' season, two-and-a-half hours before game time. It's a day after Jon Nelson's walk-off home run brought 7,447 fans to their feet, just as much for its unworldly distance as for its game-ending implications. I pass the indoor cage and what is the late-night hero doing? Taking batting practice.

That is, taking more batting practice. "It's something that I've always done to get not just physically prepared, but mentally prepared as well," Nelson said. "I'm kind of a guy who likes a routine and sticks with it." After taking his share of cuts at the plate with the rest of his team, Nelson retires to the clubhouse for extra swings. It pays off in the end, as for the second night in a row...

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