Son rises for Phillies outfielder

Rookie outfielder follows his heart

Phillies' prospect Larry Greene has been drawing inspiration from the birth of his son.
Phillies’ prospect Larry Greene has been drawing inspiration from the birth of his son. (Neil Ward/Toronto Observer)

CLEARWATER, FL — Larry Greene’s proudest baseball moment is the birth of his son.

The rookie left-fielder is now the father of a two-week-old boy named Mayson James Greene.

There is no greater emotion than to have a child, and Greene looks to his son as his role model.

“I try to do everything I can for him,” he said, relaxing in the bleachers of the Philadelphia Phillies’ minor league complex in Clearwater, Florida. “He’s probably my biggest role model.”

The number 24 on his jersey that he wears during Spring Training also holds significance to him and his son.

“This year, we got our son’s crib and we put his stuff together and number 24 was sitting in his crib,” said Green. “So, I was like, ‘well, I guess I must be wearing number 24 this year.

“It was a part of the decoration and stuff, so it was probably telling me something.”

Drafted by the Phillies in the first round, 39th overall, of the 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft, his love of baseball began at the age of four when he first started T-Ball in Nashville, Georgia.

However, when you see Greene up-close and this 6-foot, 235 pound frame looking at you, one might ask why he’s not playing football.

“I think my mom had a lot to do with it [his decision],” said Greene. “Before she passed, she was telling me always go with your first heart and go with your first love and baseball is my first love.”

When his mother passed away it was hard for him, however he continued to press on.

He not only overcame that personal tragedy but any injuries he’s endured throughout his career by working hard.

He would like to compare his playing style to Ken Griffey Jr. because he gave 110 per cent on every play and he worked hard.

That’s what Greene tries to do each and every time he plays and when he won the MiLB.com Organization All-Star award for having the best season in the system, it solidified the effort he puts in his game each and every day.

“You got to grind every day. It’s every day you got to play and do your best. That’s all you can do,” said Greene.

One of the people who has helped pushed him to be a better a player is Andy Tracy, manager of the Williamsport Crosscutters, a minor league affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. He asked Tracy to push him and to work him, make sure he’s on the grind every day.

The numbers show his progress as in 70 games for the Crosscutters he had 70 hits, 26 RBI’s, two home runs and a .272 batting average.

To prepare himself mentally before each practice or each game, he puts his music on and he thinks about what he’s got to do that day, the situation of the game. Thinking baseball and letting it come naturally to him.

When Greene isn’t playing baseball, he loves to fish and to hunt or go shopping and hanging out with his buddies.

His advice to other young people is to dream big, work hard and you can do anything you want to.

Good, solid advice from a man who acts upon his words for himself and his son.