There is something to be said about teaching; being able to help individuals grow towards future success. I consider myself a teacher of business. I had the pleasure of sitting down with another teacher, Wally Backman, who over the course of his career managing in the minor leagues has melded some of the most gifted baseball talents in the Major Leagues today. Check out insights below from one of the most respected men in baseball:
On managing at the Triple-A level: “…Knowing that you’re a part of developing players to get to the Major Leagues…when they do go to the Major Leagues and they have success I take a lot of pride in knowing that I was a piece to the puzzle that helped them get there.”
The big factor between players in Triple-A versus MLB: “…you think about what that one thing is that will get him over the hump. I always try to tell the guys, ‘This time when you go to the Big Leagues, don’t come back…’ Try to motivate people that just because you get to the Big Leagues you have to understand that you’ve got to work harder to stay.”
On attitude, energy and leadership: “All players want to be led. I feel I do those things…I really believe that every players wants some leadership in front of them.
On playing in the Major Leagues: “It was always my dream just like it was for every other little kid.”
On learning from parents and applying those lessons to a managerial style: “It’s all about respect. Always have to have the respect of your players. Be honest with your players.
On the ’86 Mets: “What stands out the most was our desire to win…when we went to the ballpark there was only one goal in mind and that was to win that ballgame on that given day.”
On the learning process: “Even today I’m still learning. Once you think that you’ve got it all figured out then you’re doing the wrong thing. I think you learn a lot from your players, which has helped motivate me to try to get the most out of players.”
On his love for baseball: “I want to win another World Championship.
On taking things for granted: “Just because you’re in the Big Leagues, your commitment to the Big Leagues is about winning a championship... and you always have to have a desire to get better.”