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Casey Stone Answers Your ‘Ask The Tigers’ Questions

Casey Stone Answers Your ‘Ask The Tigers’ Questions

May 24, 2001

Below are Casey Stone’s answers to the selected questions that you submitted this past week to “Ask The Tigers”. ClemsonTigers.com would like to thank you for all of your questions submitted. We would also like to thank Casey for his time and sincere effort with “Ask The Tigers”. ___________________________________________________________

Casey, I’d like to start by saying I love your on-field intensity. You’re great to watch. My question is what do you think about your critics over your height? Best of luck in the Regionals, get the guys to Omaha again!Eric Sprott Clemson, SC

Thanks for the comment on intensity. I feel like that is the way I’ve got to play because of my size. As far as the critics go to my height, I feel like I’m living proof that size doesn’t matter. It all comes from within, within your heart. I hope that I have proven that that is one of the most important factors, playing with your heart, and playing with a passion for the game.

Casey, What coach or individual has made the most impact on your baseball skills and in what way? Thanks so much for having the biggest “heart” of any Tiger player in years!Rick Lott Central, SC

The coach that had the most impact on my baseball skills would be Coach Mark Smith from Abbeville High School. Coach Smith coached me from the 8th grade to the 12th grade and it was there at Abbeville where I learned the style of play and hustle that I play with today. Also, Billy Dean Minor, a Legion coach that I had from the 10th grade until my senior year of high school. Those two men played a big part of my baseball success and then also getting me here to Clemson.

Casey, I went to Clemson baseball camp with you one year and was wondering how that experience helped you reach your long-term goals of where you are today? Adam McClain Clemson, SC

The summer of the baseball camp was really big. It introduced me to the campus, and to the coaches. It was the first opportunity for the coaches to see me play and see some of my baseball skills. I don’t think it was just the camp, or just one thing. I think it was a hard struggle to come here and to play ball here. It was just a combination of a lot of hard work and a lot of struggles to get to where I am today.

Casey, Has being a star in baseball always come easy? I’m 11 and been playing since I was 6 but I haven’t been able to make the all-star team like my friends have, Dad says I need to work even harder if its important to me.Andrew Waters Inman, SC

Being a baseball player has not come easy for me in any way. It has really been a struggle, especially with my size, I’ve had to overcome a lot. But the main thing I’ll say, is to play for fun. As far as anything else goes, the all-star teams or things like that, you can’t get caught up in that. You play the game for fun, and that is the only reason you really play it. Good luck in your success in ball, Andrew, but the most important thing to always remember to have fun, and not get caught up in the all-star teams and the winning and losing. It still is just a game, and it’s a game for fun.

Hey Casey, What has been the highlight of your baseball career at Clemson and what enticed you to become a tiger?John Caudle Columbia, SC

The tradition here at Clemson definitely enticed me to become a Tiger. The tradition of excellence and winning. I only lived an hour down the road, and that definitely was a factor. I wanted my parents to be able to see me play.

The highlight of my baseball career would definitely be winning the Super Regional here at Clemson last year and celebrating with all my teammates. Having a chance to go to Omaha was something that we had worked so hard for. Last year just celebrating on the field after beating Mississippi State was just an unbelievable feeling.

Casey, Where did you get the work ethic to help develop into a top player? Being a friend of Coach Smith, Abbeville’s coach , you remind me alot of Mark. Good luck in the future.Kenny Jenkins Ninety Six, SC

Coach Mark Smith in Abbeville played a huge part in getting me where I am today, and developing me into the player I am today. I think that I owe a lot to him, because of his style of play and hard work really poured onto me. I really appreciate getting to play for him and everything that he taught me.

Casey, I am 9 years old and I wanted to ask you if you are going to go pro and what team would you like to be on?Brett R. Hester Marion, SC

I’m not sure if I’ll go pro, with my size and everything, it is really hard to tell. If I get the opportunity, I definitely would like to get a chance to play ball after college.

My favorite team has always been the Atlanta Braves, even when they weren’t very good. So I guess that is who I’d like to play for if I had the chance.

Casey, You are my favorite player and I would like to be a baseball player in a few years. What advice would you give to young players that aspire to play at a high level but might be small in stature? Good luck in the Regionals! Tucker Smith Abbeville, SC

Tucker, thanks for the email. I hope that I have proven that size doesn’t matter. It all boils down to heart, and passion for this game. The advice I would give to a young baseball player, is to go out there and always remember that it is just a game for fun and it is a game that you play out of love for the sport. Never let anyone discourage you and tell you that you can’t play because of your size or whatever, that should only give you more incentive to play. It also helps when you have the best baseball coach in the country as a father. Listen to him, and pay attention, because he played a big part in getting me where I am today.

Case, I don’t have a question just some statements. It has been a tremendous pleasure to watch you play for the last nine years. You have been a great ambassador for both Abbeville and Clemson. You are living proof that it is not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog! Good luck this weekend.Sincerely, Coach Smith Abbeville, SC

Coach, thanks for the email. I really appreciate all that you’ve done for me, and all the continued support. You still remain one of the most important people in my life. Thanks for all the lessons, they still stick with me today.

Casey, How strong do you think our regional is this year? Do you think that clemson has a good chance to go to omaha? Do you think that the NCAA was right for suspening u for a post season game.Daniel J. Little Abbeville, SC

I think we have a very strong Regional. At this point in the year, all the teams that make it to the final 64 are playing some good baseball. By this time you have to beat the best teams, and that is what it is all about. I feel that Clemson has a great chance at going back to Omaha, because of the strong tradition that we have here and we got a little taste of it last year.

I understand, totally, the NCAA suspending me for one game. It is important to keep you emotions in tact, and unfortunately I wasn’t able to do that. However, I hope that people understand that that is not at all what I reflect. I feel like sportsmanship is one of the most important parts of playing any sport.

Casey, how much do you think the team missed Mike Proto and Patrick Boyd this season? You’ve always been one of the most exciting guys on the field, good luck in everything that lies ahead.Robert Key Easley, SC

Thanks. I think that the team really missed both of these guys because experience is such a big factor in baseball. Both of these guys brought a lot of experience to the team, along with great personalities. These two guys were really missed.

Casey, Who have we recruited as blue-chip players for outfielders and pitchers for next year that should/could make a significant impact?Ben Wagener Midlothian, VA

As far as specific players, I am not really sure of names, but I know that Coach Corbin is the top recruiter in the country, so I know we have some great players coming in as always. I have heard some talk about two catchers coming in that are supposed to very strong and could possibly start immediately. But as far as individual players, I am not sure. I wouldn’t ever worry, it all comes down to Coach Corbin and every year he is going to have one of the best classes in the country, which is what keeps Clemson running as smoothly as it does.

Hey Casey, I’m a big Clemson Tigers fan and I was wondering if you think the 2001 Tigers are better than the CWS 2000 Tigers. Do you think you have a better chance this year of going to the CWS and going a farther and maybe even winning? How do you like the chance of facing your arch rival USC in the CWS? Aaron Epps Spartanburg, SC

It is really tough to compare the two teams. The team this year may have a little more talent than the team last year. Our homerun numbers are up, and at times our pitching staff this year has been unbelievable. Last year, at times, we struggled with power and with pitching. However, the CWS team from last year had a lot of experience and that goes a long ways. This is a young Tiger team this year, but as the season has gone on, experience has played a big factor. And with the games under our belts so far, hopefully we are going to pick it up in the playoffs and start playing like veterans. I think that we have a great chance of going to the College World Series and possibly winning it, just because of our talent. The pitching staff is what is going to win for us in the post-season, and I feel like this is one of the strongest pitching staffs we’ve had here in a number of years.

I would love to get another chance to play South Carolina. They have had a great team the past two years and it is a lot of fun playing them. I would love to see both of us out at the College World Series. I think that would say a lot about the state of South Carolina.

I really appreciate your support and enthusiasm. We look forward to seeing you in Doug Kingsmore this weekend. Go Tigers! Casey Stone

Next week’s guest on “Ask The Tigers” will be Dallas Maverick and former Clemson Tiger, Greg Buckner.

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