Troy Glaus at the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup: "A Half World Away, the Same Game"
11/08/2023 3 Minute Read

Troy Glaus at the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup: "A Half World Away, the Same Game"

Former Olympic bronze medallist and MLB World Series 2002 MVP Troy Glaus was among the parents who travelled to Tainan City, Taiwan, to watch their children play in the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup. While witnessing the US successfully defend their World Title, Glaus took the time to share his thoughts about youth baseball and international tournaments with the WBSC.

TAINAN, Taiwan | During the VII WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup held in Tainan, USA defeated host Chinese Taipei two games in a row - in the last game of the Super Round and in the World Championship final to successfully defend their title of World Champions. Tyler Early, who shined both on the mound and at the plate with 2.08 ERA and 15 strikeouts while hitting four home runs and 12 RBIs, earned the honour of MVP, as Early’s father suited as Apollo Creed in the movie Rocky in the stands, leading and cheering for team USA.

Among the parents who travelled half a globe to the historical city of Tainan to cheer for their children representing the US, former Olympic bronze medallist (Atlanta 1996) and the Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball (MLB) legendary player Troy Glaus was one of the parents that concentrated on every nine at-bats and of his son, Ty, as he wrapped up the tournament with a .444 BA and 3 RBI while scoring five times.

Ty Glaus USA

Those were the only moments Glaus stopped signing autographs for fans once the news of his presence broke out on the tournament's first day.

Unlike many former Major League players' children who spent their childhood with their fathers in the big-league parks, Ty was born after Troy finished his legendary career. "[Ty] pretty much found the passion [for baseball] himself, and then I just helped promote it. I'd help him learn what I think is the right way to do things fundamentals-wise," said Glaus. "Certainly, on the field, but also on how you handle yourself as a professional, even though they're 11 and 12 years old.'

“Be A Good Teammate, Be A Leader”

In addition to teaching the knowledge of playing baseball, Glaus also has particular messages to Ty and the youngsters: "Whether you're playing or not, always be a good teammate, be a leader, things like that. Those things we discussed much more than the actual skills."

Glaus also has his take on the kids at this level playing many games leading up to being qualified to represent their own country on the world stage. "I think certainly when the kids are at this level when they're really, really good. They're playing on their travel ball teams and travelling around the country. To me, personally, I think they play too much."

As a parent, Glaus does think that “a lot of times the kids just need to be kids, you know, go to the beach, do stupid stuff like kids do, right?”

Having recalled that he played as a kid 20 Little League games and "however many All-Star games, and that was it. And then we played football, and we played basketball, and we played other sports” Glaus is a big promoter of kids playing as many sports as possible. “I always encourage him to play other things. He skis, and he will get into basketball this fall.”

"I think when playing multiple sports, you become a better athlete. Not necessarily a better baseball player directly, but a better athlete."

Glaus also talked about how difficult baseball is as a sport and how he is trying to prepare youth athletes to face challenges. "You know how this game is. It's very, very hard. It's tough, and you fail a lot. This is a game of failure [laugh], and it takes only the special few who can mentally handle that. [These kids] are not to the point where they're failing much yet, but they will, and I tried to instil in him certainly that I understand how hard this game is."

"Some kids will be able to block that out, and some will struggle. And until you actually go through it, you don't know how you're going to react."

“To Teach, Not Just To Tell”

Regarding how to prepare the kids to be mentally ready for the game, Glaus pointed out that his mindset of coaching focuses more on “teaching” rather than “telling”.

"There are times in everybody's life where the game will get going too fast, and you're not thinking clearly; All these kids out here, whether they're from Japan, Dominican, USA, Korea, or Chinese Taipei, right? They're all really good but susceptible to the game going too fast sometimes."

“I want our kids, the kids I coach, to be able to slow the game down and understand why things happen.”

"If I'm explaining something to the kids, whether it's a play or something, I always try to explain why. Why is this the right way to do it? Why is this what you should have done instead of just going out and doing it?

“I try to teach, not just tell. I want you to know why, and not just how. I think it’s the best way for them to learn it right. And they make mistakes, and then you correct them.”

Biggest Stage

"Every team is going to have guys that don't make their U-15 team or the U-18 team, and then you have other guys that maybe make all three right. I don't really know what the percentage on that would be, but you know, as these kids are sitting here and playing right now is the biggest thing they've ever done."

Approximately 50 USA team players' parents (and grandparents) travelled to Taiwan for the tournament. "15 hours from California and more from the East Coast is very difficult," said Glaus. "To us, whether our families or their kids or ties, friends or whatever, this is in their life so far. This is the biggest thing they've ever done."

And facing a crowd of over 6,000 and even a sold-out house of 8,500 fans for a U-12 Baseball World Cup Championship Final? "It's also part of the learning experiences as well," Glaus said

“But the game will still be the same, the batter is still 50 feet away [from the mound], and the bases are still 70 [feet away]. Nothing changes.”