I wandered over to the Indiana State – Ohio State baseball game that was being played on Field #6 at North County Regional Park where the Snowbird Baseball Classic is being held, I just finished up listening to the UConn Broadcasters who were calling another game against Auburn on Field #3. The day was gorgeous and perfect weather for baseball, slight breeze and 74 degrees without a cloud in the sky, I was feeling satisfied that I was off to a decent start with my first 2 stories and had a good idea for the UConn students. Now to find another story because this week, baseball games are spotty until Friday and I need to make sure I had a story for Tuesday. I wanted to find someone from Indiana State since I did someone from the other 3 teams that were playing each other this weekend. Problem was that I was a little mentally tired and I was hoping that someone or something would present itself. I walked down the first base side and behind Indiana States bench and onto a mound where some parents were watching the game, I set my lawn chair up almost at the end of the parents next to a guy who was probably a dad to one of the players.
“As a parent you are constantly nervous,” Scott stated, ” It wasn’t like that when I was playing, there was always butterflies but you had a sense that you had little bit of control over the game.” I was sitting next to Scott Steen, a 49 year old, salesman for a steel company, who married a North Dakota girl, as he put it. Scott is the father of Taylor Steen, a sophomore catcher for the Indiana State Sycamores (if you just thought Larry Bird, I did the same thing). Scott has been married for 23 years he has 3 other kids, Logan, Alexi and Jada. His wife Carla and he brought their family down to watch Taylor, it worked out great because a friend just moved down to this area 2 weeks ago and they had a place to stay for the weekend; until they head down to Marco Island for the rest of their vacation, the plan there is to relax on the beach and have a few cocktails.
I asked Scott if he played baseball and I was surprised by his answer, he was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the first round, 15th overall of the January draft back in 1985, as a third baseman out of Ventura Junior College in Ventura, California where he grew up and cheered on the LA Dodgers. Scott was the youngest boy of the 5 his parents had along with his 2 sisters, his brother Rick also pitched in the minor leagues for the San Francisco Giants. His parents are originally from Grand Forks, North Dakota but were “California Dreaming” and moved to Ventura in 1956.
Click on this link to see who was drafted before and after Scott in 1985(http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/?query_type=year_round&year_ID=1985&draft_round=1&draft_type=janreg&).
Brook Jacoby who played 3rd base in the major leagues from 1981 until 1992 for the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Oakland A’s and is currently the Cincinnati Reds hitting coach was a family friend and had a major influence on Scott. He worked with Scott to develop his hitting and fielding. Scott got to play all over the south for 3 years in the Carolina and Florida State Leagues, he said there was always pressure to preform since there was a new crop of prospects coming in every year. Arm trouble forced him to reconsider his future, he said it was very hard emotionally when that dreamed died, but would love for his son Taylor to have the opportunity to play pro ball just to experience it but he does stress to him to get his education so he has something to fall back on.
After baseball Scott went back to college at the University of North Dakota where he played basketball for 2 years, while there he met his wife Carla, got married and had the 4 kids, all of which participate in sports. Scott said he worked with Taylor a lot as he was growing up, especially on work ethic, Taylor was a 3 sport athlete. I asked him if he is a laid back dad or an overbearing one when it comes to the kids and sports, he said he falls somewhere in between, he told me he was giving Taylor some fatherly advice after Taylor struggled in a hockey game, Taylor shot back at him, “How many years did you skate?”, Scott said that hit home with him since he never did skate and he realized it is easy to criticize when you don’t know what it is like, he tries to just enjoy watching his kids but like he said, “you are constantly nervous because you want them to do well.” Scott said that it was quite different when he grew up playing compared to today with regards to kids sports, there wasn’t as much specialization and pressure to preform at the younger ages when he grew up, he doesn’t know if it is good or bad just that it is different.
I enjoyed watching the game with Scott which Indiana State came back to win against Ohio State in a very exciting finish 8-6, it has been great just being out in the crowd listening to the moments of excitement that this game brings, it makes me happy, enjoy your time on Marco Island Scott you have a beautiful family!
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