The Richland Royals baseball team is busy at practice. Head coach Chuck Wells is optimistic about his current players, but it's hard to top one who came before them.
"His athleticism was off the charts and that part was pretty remarkable," Wells said. "And then once he got to his sophomore year, that's when we really realized that this young man was different."
Trent Grisham played a big role in Richland's success and now he's doing the same for the San Diego Padres. But memorable home runs are nothing new for him. His most memorable blast coming in a high school game at Arlington High School.
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"He hits a home run that goes over the fence. Their field backs up to their building and actually goes through the window during class," Wells said.
Perhaps symbolic of a "smashing" career that was on the horizon. Grisham notched his first three home run game in the majors in August -- without batting gloves no less. It's a tradition dating back to his days in the batting cage at Richland.
"At some point, he tore his batting gloves and his mom said, 'Well I can't go buy you more batting gloves right now.' And so he just started hitting without them," Wells said. "I think when he went to Team USA they told him to put batting gloves on because he was developing blisters real bad and he had a horrible (batting practice) round and so he threw them out and he hasn't used batting gloves since."
From a horrible round of batting practice to the division round of the National League playoffs is a long way from Grisham's high school home.
"This (Globe Life Field) stage is not too big for him and no matter what the situation is going to be, he's going to get in the box and he's going to be ready to throw down with whoever's pitching," Wells said.