the undamentals so well and so wewould constantly work on those. He’dhave me and my brothers out at thehigh school all the time, especially aswe got a little older, taking groundballs, hitting, all o that. He alwaysmade time or us.“It wasn’t just my dad. He was ourcoach, but my mom was right thereas well the whole time, taking us togames, always supporting us. We werevery ortunate growing up having botho them there or us. That made ahuge dierence.”
Doing things because you want toand doing things because you have toare vastly dierent propositions. Je had seen plenty o parents push theirsons to the point where their boysdidn’t want to play anymore. He saidhe learned pretty early, though, that hissons wanted to be out there and weremotivated on their own.In Kyle’s case, however, pursuingsports wasn’t initially smooth sailing.Seager was born with ventricular septaldeect, which is a medical way o saying he had a small hole in his heart.Although it’s a common conditionthat’s present at birth, it still createdchallenges early on.“There was a lot o caution romdoctors about what he’d be able toaccomplish,” said Je. “They werebasically telling him he was going tobe limited. Kyle’s attitude has alwaysbeen, ‘OK, but I’m going to exceedwhatever you think my limits are.’ He’sdone that his whole lie.“That makes where he’s at noweven more rewarding, because he hadto overcome a situation right rom thebeginning, which he did. As the restric-tions kept dropping o, he just keptgoing at it, working real hard. He’sachieved an awul lot.”Limited to non-contact sports, hepursued soccer, basketball and baseballwith zeal, playing soccer until hissophomore year and hoops throughouthigh school.“One o the big things the doctorstold me about my heart conditionis that all the running when I wasyounger, especially playing so muchsoccer, was a big help,” he said.Seager viewed the condition assimply a part o his everyday lie andnot some obstacle he suddenly had toovercome. As such, he never allowedit to become an excuse or to keep himrom pursuing his interests and dreamswith the utmost passion and eort.“You pretty much have to outworkeverybody. I know a lot o guys aremore physically gited than me, but i I can outwork them then I can levelthe playing feld and we can go romthere.”Seager has leveled the playing feld,and then some.
One of the Big Boys
April 18, 2013. Seager is six gamesinto what will become a career-best 16game hit streak, but isn’t in the startinglineup against the Tigers and their ace Justin Verlander. The night beore,he collected one hit in six at-bats andstruck out twice to drop his battingaverage to .203. He’s simply getting abreather as Wedge looks to get sometime or his bench players.By the bottom o the seventhinning, however, Seattle’s HisashiIwakuma and Verlander are locked ina scoreless duel. With two outs and aMariners base runner at frst, Wedge is
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looking or a dierence maker. EnterSeager, who steps into the box againstthe 2011 American League MVP andpromptly laces a frst-pitch astball intothe let-feld corner or a RBI double.Advantage Seattle, 1-0. Endy Chavezollows with a hit and a hustlingSeager scores by a hair to double thescore, 2-0, which eventually holds up.These are the type o dramaticmoments that Seager dreamt o as akid while playing ball with his atherand brothers and later starring atNorthwest Cabarrus High School,where as a junior he began to realizethe possibilities. A month later he is atYankee Stadium taking BP, preparingto hit out o the three hole. He is, aterall, one o the big boys now.Wedge appreciates the daily eorthe sees out o his third baseman,and the ongoing aggressive, no earapproach that Seager displays at theplate.“[This approach] has continued
Kyle Seager’s good old-ashioned hard work has paid o at the plate.