Tag Archives: CJ Beatty

This Season, Think Outside Your Home Stadium – Fan Perspective

Major and minor league spring training is getting under way. Guys are heading to Arizona and Florida to begin yet another season of their careers, and I am beginning to wish some of my favorite players “Good Luck” for the upcoming season.

But slowly I’ve come to the realization that, while these players are still “my guys”, the majority of them no longer play for “my teams.” I’m sure this realization will come back again when the independent players head to their spring training in a few months too.

For reference, the Pittsburgh Pirates, their affiliates, and the Washington Wild Things are the teams that I would consider “my” teams, more based on location than anything else at this point.

The one player I credit with helping my love for baseball grow, Paul Maholm, is now a Cincinnati Red. Since leaving the Pirates, he’s been a Cub, a Brave, and a Dodger. I’ve followed him everywhere.

My favorite player, Stewart Ijames, had his contract purchased from the Wild Things by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Along with Stew, three of his former teammates, guys I’ve gotten close to, are also heading to spring training with the Dbacks : Scott Kalamar, Troy Marks, and Al Yevoli. The DBacks fans have welcomed me with open arms. They are hands down some of the nicest people I have ever met in baseball.

My mentor and motivator, CJ Beatty, is a member of the Chicago White Sox organization this year.

I can keep going, but you get the idea. I know a lot of guys in a lot of places. I’m not a fan of just one team or one group of players anymore, and it’s been the most amazing and eye opening thing I’ve ever done as a fan.

So this is my challenge to you for this season: think outside the box, AKA your home stadium. Become a fan of the entire sport. Get to know players from other teams. For once, get rid of biased opinions on other teams and fan bases. Even if you don’t think that you have those opinions, if you’re used to one team or one stadium, you probably do.

My baseball playing friends as well as this blog have done wonders for expanding my knowledge of teams and players outside the Pittsburgh area, but that’s not how it all began.

It all started in the left field bleachers at PNC Park. Our season tickets have been next to the visiting bullpen for years. There’s only an aisle and a fence separating us from every team that visits PNC Park during the season.  I used to just sit there and cheer for the Pirates, minding my own business. But then I thought, “Why don’t I start talking to these guys? They seem personable enough.” From that day forward, my entire baseball life changed.

Some teams are standoffish (and rightfully so… some of the things we hear Pirates fans yell at them are ridiculous), but most are bored and don’t mind talking and getting to know you. We have NL Central players and coaches that know us on a first name basis. They greet us as soon as they walk in and ask how we’ve been. I won’t lie. It’s pretty awesome. Over the years, I’ve found myself looking more and more at other players’ stats. I circle home stands on the schedule that I’m excited for based solely on the visiting teams.

I’ve gotten to know players on a first name basis from practically every NL and some AL teams. I had a competition last year with the Braves rookie pitchers that I could pack a bullpen snack bag better than they could. I won and got a ball signed by the entire bullpen in the process. That was totally unexpected but greatly appreciated. I never ask bullpens for anything (that has to do with baseball or autographs), but I will ask for the occasional package of candy, gum, or to fill my water bottle!

I’ve become a better baseball fan and a better person since I’ve opened my horizons. I’ve gotten to know players on a personal level and not by what’s on the front of their jerseys. If I would have kept the bias against the Phillies that most Pirates fans have, I wouldn’t have met pitcher Jake Diekman or learned about his struggle with Chrohn’s Disease. Likewise, I’ve met some of the most amazing fans just by striking up a conversation while they were visiting the area.

I’m not a Pirates, DBacks, Braves, Reds, Phillies, White Sox, whatever fan anymore. I’m a baseball fan.

So when you’re sitting in your home stadium this year, whether it’s the majors, minors, or indy ball, strike up a conversation with the visiting team.  Talk to a fan that made the road trip to your town. Get rid of any preconceived notions. Expand your mind. You might just realize what you’ve been missing in your one team world.

Mr. Motivation – CJ Beatty is a Mentor On and Off the Field

“Never be afraid of failure…because without failure SUCCESS becomes nearly impossible.” – CJ Beatty 

My last blog post on player Tim Henry and his baseball story, Holding On To A Dream In The Pecos League, featured a “Motivational Nuggets” video produced by CJ Beatty.

CJ, a member of the Chicago White Sox organization, is many things. He is a man of God, a talented baseball player, a business owner, as well as a motivational speaker and life coach with a story to tell.

I first met CJ in 2013 while he was with the Washington Wild Things, and we have since formed a friendship that is irreplaceable. Personally, he has been the motivation I needed to get into shape and take control of my life. I lost 50 pounds, ran my first 5k, and gained a new outlook on life thanks to him. He has been my motivator, confidant, supporter, and my friend.
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Me and CJ in May 2013 and again in August 2014 (the day that his contract was purchased by the White Sox.)
“Champions are not born at the end of battle…Champions are born in the midst of battle.” – CJ Beatty

CJ is a lot of things to a lot of people and has helped so many with their dreams.

He’s the perfect example of how a baseball player should be both on and off the field. Often times, he is the first one at the field for extra practice, and the last one to leave after games, always taking the time to meet and talk to his fans.

He is an exceptional motivational speaker and can reach everyone through his words and videos. He has been through adversity, been tested in his faith, experienced the ups and downs of baseball and life, and has lived through failure and success.

CJ is more than open to tell his story and share it with anyone who is willing to listen.

On the baseball side, CJ was drafted out of North Carolina A&T State University by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 26th round of the 2009 MLB draft. He played two seasons with the Cardinals, reaching High A Palm Beach, until his release before the 2011 season.

Not wanting to give up his dream of playing professional baseball, CJ turned to indy ball. He spent the 2011 season in the North American League with Edinburg and San Angelo. In 2012, he started the season with the Lincoln Saltdogs in the American Association but ultimately ended up back in the North American League with the Fort Worth Cats.

After the 2012 season in America, CJ headed to Australia to play for the Brisbane Bandits over the winter. His performance in Brisbane led him to sign a contract with the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League for the 2013 season. He spent the entire 2013 season and the 2014 season with the Wild Things until he was signed to a contract by the Chicago White Sox in August 2014.

After being named an All-Star twice and tearing up the Frontier League, CJ earned a second chance at affiliated ball.  He finished out the 2014 season with his home town team, the High A Winston-Salem Dash, and then once again headed down-under to play with the Brisbane Bandits.

He plays the game with true heart and is always the biggest supporter for his teammates. I have witnessed first hand how he can help a team come together and become a band of brothers.

“Support others around you to MAINTAIN your balance in life.” – CJ Beatty

Baseball is what he does, but it also doesn’t define who he is. That is what led him to start his own business, Motivational Nuggets. CJ uses his experiences in baseball to tell a much bigger story as a motivational speaker and life coach.

CJ’s energetic and passionate speeches are designed to motivate and inspire a wide range of audiences. Everyone can benefit from his “Motivational Nuggets” – athletes, students, and anyone else just looking to improve their life.

CJ has been a true inspiration to me and to many others I know.  I am eternally grateful for everything that he has done in my life.

Check out the Motivational Nuggets YouTube Channel and see his inspirational videos for yourself!  

You can also follow CJ on: Facebook, Twitter, and on his website.

“I am God’s instrument…and I’m not afraid to be played.” – CJ Beatty