Young baseball players on Vancouver Island got a treat this weekend as they received instruction from a World Series champion.
Christopher Trotman “Trot” Nixon, a member of the 2004 Boston Red Sox, was a guest coach at baseball clinics held at Arbutus Meadows Equestrian Centre in Nanoose Bay between Friday and Sunday.
“What I want to do is, I want to show them how I grew up,” said Nixon. “The passion that I had for the game of baseball. What I needed to do to get better, the people that were influences in my life that I paid attention to and realized that in this game of baseball, you have to put in a lot of work to get what you want out of it.”
As a 2004 Red Sox member, Nixon and team were down 3-0 in the American League Championship Series versus the New York Yankees. They erased that deficit and went on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, ending what was known as the Curse of the Bambino, an 86-year baseball championship drought.
When the Red Sox were down 3-0 against the Yankees, Nixon said the team didn’t over strategize.
“We tried to say OK, instead of having to win tonight’s game, or having to win the next four to advance, let’s just worry about winning the first inning,” said Nixon. “Go inning by inning, try to win the top half of the inning and try to win the bottom half of the inning, put some runs on the board to win. So when we simplified that, it made things a whole lot easier to comprehend the situation we were in.”
While some of the attendees were very young in 2004, they still found value in Nixon’s instruction.
“It was really good learning about the fielding, not fielding it on your inside, your outside … and for the infielding, catching it, not bringing out to the side, bringing it right up in the middle,” said Connor Dawson, a player from Nanaimo.
“One of the things I thought was amazing was when we were out in the outfield, [Nixon] was telling us about how instead of dropping your foot back to run back for a play, switch your hips, which is so much more effective, helps with balance and your timing and your speed,” said Eric Luchies, from Victoria.