Doing the little things: Meet the Minor League pitching coach with a Big League attitude on life
EL PASO, Texas -- Sometimes the smallest things can leave the biggest mark - that's why you can find Mike McCarthy, the pitching coach for the El Paso Chihuahuas, high-fiving kids as they run the bases after every Sunday home game.
McCarthy spends his days helping professional baseball players be at their best on the mound, but being at his best off of it, is really his full-time gig.
"Whether it's high-fiving kids or sending a text good morning to your family or holding the door for someone at the hotel or whatever it is, those little things matter and they make a world of difference to people," McCarthy said.
McCarthy first realized the impact he could have when he was playing college ball for Cal State Bakersfield. He told ABC-7 they got blown out at an away game, but he remembers seeing some fans of the team in the stands.
"One of my teammates and I went over and signed their poster and took a picture and we were 21 and 22 and didn't know much about life yet but in that moment I noticed I made a difference in their day."
For the rest of his college career, his 6 and a half years pitching for the Red Sox system and now coaching in Triple A, McCarthy has made 'making a difference in someones day' his mission.
And it's why he's traveled around the world with Baseball Miracles teaching kids about the game.
"It's been great we spread the game in a positive way and work with under privileged kids that wouldn't have had a chance otherwise," McCarthy said.
For McCarthy, giving back to the game that gave him so much is incredibly important.
"My family went through a lot of struggle in divorce and addiction and challenges that we don't talk about a lot but baseball was an outlet it was an opportunity for me to have a secondary family and reliability," McCarthy said. "I hope that I'm just facilitating a positive environment for the kids and setting a good example for them and that they continue to learn those life lessons while they're playing the game."
The next 'Kids Run the Bases' at Southwest University Park is Sunday, Sept. 17. First pitch is at noon and anyone 12 years and under can run the bases at the end of the game.
Unless there are roster moves that need to be made after the game you can almost guarantee McCarthy will be right there high-fiving every kid as they round third.