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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

All-Star Dreams Come In All Shapes And Sizes

When Greg Laile, 55, was younger, he loved to throw a baseball.  He still does.

Like most of us Laile dreamed of playing/pitching in the Major Leagues. Also like most of us, he realized at an early age that he didn't have the ability.  His father confirmed it but gave him some sound advice.

"You're not physically gifted," his father told him. "You have to work harder and find a way to be more valuable to your team."

Laile took the advice.

At 5'8' and not a hard thrower the competitive Laile still pitched in adult leagues until he was 46. Then he volunteered to pitch batting practice at Western Hills High School. It led him to one of his biggest thrills.
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Laile was chosen to throw batting practice to the World Team managed by Cincinnati icon
Tony Perez in the Futures Game that precedes the All-Star game as part of the week long event.

On Sunday, for one day of my life, I was at the top of
my craft," Laile said. "It will be extremely difficult to say the least to top THAT day. It now seems surreal. (I) Met some amazing baseball people. The pro coaches treated me as a peer.(I) Ate like a king in a major league clubhouse. I hope everyone gets to experience at least one day in their lives like that."

Phil Cook helped Laile get into coaching. Laile coaches the pitchers at Western Hillls, the starting point for Major League stars like Pete Rose, Ed Brinkman, Don Zimmer, Jim Frey, Tuffy Rhodes and Art Mahaffy.

Laile also lends his time to pitching in the Reds' Urban Youth Academy where he works alongside former Reds' minor leaguer Cam Satterwhite, a Moeller High and University of Cincinnati baseball alumn.

Satterwhite recommended Laile for the chance to throw batting practice for the Futures Game.

Professionally edited by ML Schirmer
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