NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s been 18 years since Homer Bush stepped on the field as a Major League Baseball player.
“I was a guy that just got on base by any means– walk, base hit area, really didn’t matter but just be aggressive; be smart and aggressive on the base path,” Bush said.
It’s a style that worked well for Bush. He spent a total of seven seasons in the big leagues, posting a career average of .285.
He won a World Series with the Yankees in 1998 and was later traded to Toronto in the blockbuster deal that sent Roger Clemens to New York and David Wells to the Blue Jays.
“I didn’t think there was no way I was going to be in that deal,” recalled Bush. “But, you know, the more I thought about it, Roberto Alomar, I had left a void that they were trying to fill. So, I had had a good year in ’98, so it was kind of like the perfect situation for me. So, I went there, I had some success, couldn’t stay healthy, but it was kind of like the perfect team in a perfect situation for me and for the organization.”
The 49-year old is now enjoying his first year as manager of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in the MLB Draft League. He is learning on the fly in his first go-round leading a team, while, at the same time, also cultivating a new crop of prospects for Major League teams to consider selecting in the MLB draft in July.
“I really wanted to be a hitting coach and just take that as far as I can take it. But, you know, this whole managerial thing is not working out too bad, he said.
“You know, I’m learning a lot. I think this is a perfect league to get your feet wet if you’re trying to get into managing in professional baseball and you’re going to see a lot of similarities. But in this league, you really have to focus on the athlete and that’s what development is all about. So, you know, it doesn’t make it about, you know, where I’m looking to go and what I’m looking to do. If I can bring the best out of these young players along with the coaches, everybody has success.”
The Scrappers return home on Monday when they host the Trenton Thunder. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m. at Eastwood Field.