Shepard continues a long-standing summertime tradition
Baseball is a game in which failure is much more common than success.
Nowhere else would an individual be considered an above-average performer when he makes good only 30 percent of the time. But no one criticizes a .300 hitter.
As a coach, Frank DiFoggio understands that as well as anyone. He also realized long ago that being properly schooled in fundamentals is the best way for a player to maximize his potential.
And that isn’t only true for those who toil at the sport’s highest level.
In fact, a dedication to the basics is probably more important for a high school athlete whose skills are still in the developmental stage. However, the standard use of aluminum bats often allowed athletes to play through flaws by enabling them to send balls flying even on desperation swings.
In 2004, DiFoggio decided to try something radical to ensure that his Shepard players wouldn’t rely on shortcuts. In the summer of that year, he had the Astros use wood bats for the first time.