Helping People Is What MVP Is All About

July 13, 2019 0 By Michael
Kendall Ford from Columbus State University received a try-out in-between game of the 2019 MVP Classic. Photo (c) 2019 Harold Michael Harvey

“Helping people is what we are all about,” Greg “Goody” Goodwin said after he had arranged a try-out for Kendall Ford in between games at the 2019 MVP (Mentoring Viable Prospects) Classic. Ford is a graduate of the MVP program. He recently graduated from Columbus State University, where he played the middle infield positions.

“I wanted a chance to continue playing baseball. I called Coach Goodwin and asked him who he knew who could give me a chance to showcase what I can do,” Ford said after an impromptu try-out with the Washington Nationals.

“Ford is a good kid. He represented the MVP program well when we had him here. I told him I did not have any pull, but I would see if I could set up something for him. All we try to do here is help people,” Goodwin explained.

Eric Robinson Independent League Coordinator and Area Supervisor/Scouting for the Washington Nationals. Photo (c) 2019 Harold Michael Harvey

Eric Robinson, Independent League Coordination and Area Supervisor/ Scouting, hit grounders to Ford at both shortstop and second base. Then he took Ford down to the batting cage to observe his batting skills.

Kendall Ford showcasing his fielding skills in a private tryout during MVP Classic. Photo (c) 2019 Harold Michael Harvey

Ford showed good footwork and hand skills. He was winded following the infield drills as Robinson did not have another fielder to give Ford a break between the reps.

“I would not sign me after that workout, but I am glad I got a chance to show what I can do,” Ford said following the work-out.

Robinson, a native of Cartersville, Georgia and a former minor leaguer in the old Montreal Expos organization, said “he [Ford] is not ready for the Nationals, but I think his bat work was good enough for me to make a few calls to clubs in the independent league to see if they can use a second baseman.”

“Sometimes,” Robinson said, “a kid can get with an independent club and work himself up to signing with a major league team. I will see what I can do for him”

Last year Brandon Baker requested a tryout during the tourney and pitched himself into a contract with the Texas Rangers. This year Baker is progressing in the Rangers farm system. He recently sustained a back injury which has him on the Injury List.

A pick-off attempt during a game between Atlanta and Carolina. Photo (c) 2019 Harold Michael Harvey

Meanwhile, back at the MVP Classic, Detroit and California tied 4-4, Better Bros defeated Chicago 5-3. Manny Upton’s Virginia team beat Florida to earn a spot in the Championship game against the Atlanta club that beat Carolina 7-1.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. Harvey is a Past President of the Gate City Bar Association. He is the recipient of Gate City’s R. E. Thomas Civil Rights Award, which he received because of his pro bono representation of students arrested during Freaknik celebrations in the mid to late 1990s.  He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine, Medium, and Black College Nines. Contact him at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com.