Xavier Scruggs: Playing better for parents

St. Louis Cardinals Double-A first baseman Xavier Scruggs is back with news from Springfield as his club chases the Texas League title.

I apologize to everyone who follows my blogs. It's been way too long since I have written the last one. Plain and simple, I have just been too lazy. Ha ha. However, lately it has been brought to my attention that it is important for me to keep my follows/supporters/ fans posted on what's going on!

First of all, for those of you that have been keeping up with the Springfield Cardinals, you can see that we are playing great baseball. We are now in first place in the second half, and as long as we continue to play exceptional baseball, we will make the playoffs. That's extremely exciting because this team has been working hard to be great since day one.

Personally, I have been playing a lot better than when the season began. It was tough going through my early struggles, but battling and learning to make adjustments is what this game is all about. I owe much of my recent success to my hitting coach Philip Wellman, who has kept me focused on making those necessary adjustments. It hasn't been easy, but then again no one said it would be.

As we prepare to enter into August, I have learned that this Texas League weather is no joke. I find myself sweating as soon as I take a step outside. It is hot everywhere we go. It is hot in Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. My parents, who reside in California, were even shocked by the heat when they came to visit.

Having my parents visit me is probably the best time I've have all year here in Springfield. They have come twice - once early in the season and once around mid-season. This year has been the first time they have ever visited Springfield. They commented on how beautiful the stadium is and how exciting it is to see me play in front of so many people.

I am blessed to have such great parents who support me and enjoy watching me play. Not to mention that it is a plus in that they always bring me good luck. It seems like I always play well when they come into town. As an athlete, you are always trying to compete and play to the best of your ability. However, when your parents are watching, it is like there is just a little more incentive to play well. You want to make them proud.

The Wizard on the mound
During my parents' second visit to Springfield, they had the opportunity to reunite with an old college friend, Ozzie Smith. Ozzie came and threw out the first pitch at one of our games. It was his bobblehead day and I had the pleasure of catching that first pitch. It was like a dream come true being able to catch the first pitch from 'The Wizard'. My dad was able to video tape it as well. It is truly something that I will never forget.

Moments like that make the long bus trips bearable. Minor league baseball can be rough sometimes, but I know that there is nothing else I would rather be doing. I also know that it means everything will be that much sweeter when I see my dreams become a reality. All the things that I have gone through or experienced this season are only preparing me for the future and they encourage me to continue chasing the dream.

There have been so many highlights in 2012 that have nothing to do with me. The highlights of the season are really being able to participate and help out in camps for the kids, wearing pink on cancer awareness day, having hundreds on Marines on the field before a game, seeing my teammates/friends Sam Freeman and Trevor Rosenthal go to the big leagues, witnessing my parents reunite with Ozzie Smith, catching up with my old hitting coach from UNLV when we played in Corpus Christi (Scott Malone – now head coach at Texas A&M Corpus Christi) and speaking at one of the local churches here in Springfield.

Those are the things that I will remember more than anything. I can truly say this season has been memorable and we still have a month and a half left. I'm trying to add a title to the season's highlights.

As we hit the last couple of months of the season, I will continue to write the blogs and keep you posted as we pursue a Championship here in Springfield. I have a feeling it is going to get really interesting in the end.

Follow me on Twitter @Xavier_Scruggs.

Link to my earlier reports from the regular season, spring training and winter ball in Colombia.

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