Life in the Minors: Oldham's Online Journal
Tom Oldham at Spring Training (Photo/Joe Kaiser)
Tom Oldham at Spring Training (Photo/Joe Kaiser)

Posted Jul 16, 2005


Well, I’m back here with another journal for you guys. Thanks for sending your questions, whether it be by email or by visiting the InsideThePark.com message board. As I noted on the message board, I am going to choose some questions to answer on there, but also save some for the journal for the sake of being able to explain in more detail, which usually turns into rambling.

Anyways, the first question was what effect climate has on us as players and our performance? After playing in the desert during Spring Training, we each head to our separate teams and are faced with very different weather. In Wisconsin, the first couple months are miserably cold.. In California, it is much like Arizona, just not as hot. Here in Texas, it is hot AND humid! And in Tacoma, I’ve heard it gets pretty cool as the games go on. So with that national weather report in mind, it takes some adjusting right off the bat if your heading to Wisconsin or Tacoma, but out of Spring Training California and Texas are pretty similar. Right now, its as hot as I’ve played in and really its just causes you to fatigue a little quicker so you have to prepare for that.

The next question wanted me to explain the balk call. This is when a pitcher errantly does a number of things. Some examples would be not stepping at a 45 degree angle towards first on a pick off play for lefties, moving the left knee as the first movement before picking towards first for righties, or just not coming set while in the stretch. There are more examples, but those are the most common.

Ok, now to the message boards. The first person asked three questions: what aspect of my game would I improve, the most impressive hitter I’ve faced, and the last time I hit? Well, right now I’m working on staying closed with my breaking pitching and really working on the consistency of my delivery which will in turn make my pitches more consistent. The most impressive hitter I would have to say is Daric Barton from the Midland Rockhounds. He had a pretty good series against us and has a good approach. The last time I hit against live pitching would have been college, but sometimes we take pitchers batting practice, so I’m gonna count that.

To answer the question of what is the toughest part about being a minor leaguer, I would have to say the travel. You can’t ever complain about being able to come to the park everyday and getting paid for it, but the travel sometimes gets hard. The bus trips are long here in the Texas League, and our next trip we have a night game in Frisco, then bus almost 10 hours to Corpus Christi to play the following night.

Finally, the last question asked if I have a favorite baseball book and or movie? Well, I haven’t really read that many books about baseball. Oh wait, if the Catcher With the Glass Arm by Matt Christopher counts then that would be it, regardless if I was 10 at the time. As far as a favorite baseball movie, I would have to cross off Angels in the Outfield, The Scout, and Summer Catch, for lack of reality, and go with Sandlot because I’ve seen it so many times.

Well, once again thanks for the questions and for your continued support throughout this season!


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