By The Baseball Beginnings Guy
February 23, 2013
Trent Gilbert is a guy John Stevenson wanted. One day when the original old man ran into the hitter’s old man, he said he wanted his kid. John had instincts. John knew what lean, quick, whispy left-handed hitters who were slow blooming white boys looked like. He coached the original South Bay model himself.
I miss old John, but I’m glad he got his 1,000 wins, and I’m even happier that I went off script at that rubber chicken lunch to say so. I mean, I guess I could have just creeped out all the softball players by leering at them, but that’s what the other guy was there for, and I was reading my Tris Speaker book while he was leering anyhow.
That said, old Trent here is about as elegant a left-handed hitter as you can ever hope to find. There is nothing demonstrative about him. His personality does not command attention, but his actions do. He is cut from an old cloth, he reminds me of a ballplayer of another time, and I think in time, he’s going to make quite the name for himself.
Before the guys in the firehouse try to figure out what the hell I’m saying, let me just cut to the video and shut up. Go watch him hit and go watch him play second base. You find another American born infielder with these actions, you call me. I think old John was right. One reason is because I think John could smell a winner. Yes, John got his 1,000 wins. He saw this guy lead Torrance into the playoffs — and he always hit in the playoffs. And I do wish John would have seen him play second base as a true freshman for the University of Arizona team that won the College World Series. He hit in the playoffs and in Omaha, too. And over the summer, on a team that just got into the playoffs, Gilbert hit there, too, after taking some lumps as a freshman. Hey, a hitter always hits, and a winner always wins. So far, this guy has a pretty good track record going. But I bet John is still pissed he played at Torrance.