Mills E. Godwin Baseball: Welcome

Welcome to the Mills Godwin Baseball Blog

Mills Godwin Baseball has a strong tradition of competitive baseball excellence. I stressed team baseball and a "We over me" attitude. Godwin High School has won 2 State Championships (1987 and 1999), 9 Central Region Championships and 22 District Championships with 500 wins since 1981 (554-169  .766 winning percentage). Numerous players went on to play at the college and professional level. This site is not affilated with Godwin High School.


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Wednesday, April 30
Godwin Players in the Pro's

While we continue to congratualate and watch Eric Fornataro as he pitches in the major leagues for the St. Louis Cardinals we also continue to follow the careers of the rest of the Godwin Baseball players playing professionally.  

Reed Gragnani (2009) is playing in Salem, Virginia for the Red Sox in Class A Advanced baseball.  Starting at 2B for Salem Reed has been on fire at the plate batting over .350 most of the season.  He already has 3 triples.  Looking forward to Reed moving up to AA sometime this season.

Reed Garrett (2011) was drafted by the Texas Rangers and spent the summer pitching for the Spokane Indians in the Northwest Short Season League.  Reed started several games but now it looks like they have moved him to the bullpen where he has experienced great success.

Best of luck to Eric, Reed Gragnani and Reed Garrett this 2014 baseball season!

 



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Wednesday, April 23
Eric Fornataro Becomes First Godwin Baseball Player to Play in the Major Leagues

Eric Fornataro, Godwin Baseball 2006, has been called up to the Major Leagues by the St. Louis Cardinals.  Eric is a relief pitcher.  Eric got the phone call while playing for the AAA Memphis Red Birds who were in Nashville at the time.  He quickly had to go the Mall and buy a suit which the Cardinals require on all road trips.  At 8am on Thursday, April 17, Eric boarded a flight for Washington, DC where the Cards were playing the Nationals.  I attended the game with Coach Thomas, Coach Strine and his daughter Molly, and Coach Seidenberg.  We got to speak to Eric briefly before and after the game.  I spent the weekend in DC hoping to see Eric throw his first major league pitch but he never was called into the game.  On Monday the Cards opened a series in New York vs. the Mets.  Down 2-0 going into the bottom of the 8th the Cardinals brought Eric into the game.  He got a F8 and back to back 6-3 plays from his defense.  As Eric left the mound the Cardinal announcers said, "Eric Fornataro has a 1-2-3 inning.  Welcome to the major leagues".

Eric left Godwin and went to Pensacola Jr. College in 2007.  He was seldom used at Pensacola.  The next season he transferred to the Number 1 JUCO in the country, Miami Dade CC and promptly worked himself into the role of number 1 pitcher on the staff.  At the end of the the 2008 season Eric was drafted on the 6th round by the Cardinals and given a $150,000 signing bonus.  Eric has pitched at every level of the Cardinals organization and finally reached the majors this year.  Congratulations go to the Fornataro family.  Mom Cindy, Dad Mark, Brother Chris and Eric's fiance Kayla Cox.  They have supported Eric every step of the way and through Eric's hard work, perservence and belief in himself Eric has become the first Mills Godwin Baseball player to play in the Major Leagues.  We are so proud of what Eric has accomplished. 



Wednesday, March 20
Matt Moses Elected to the Mills Godwin Athletic Hall of Fame

Matt Moses, Godwin Baseball 2003 has been elected to the Mills Godwin Athletic Hall of Fame.  He will be inducted in November of 2013.  More information will be posted in the fall so those that want to attend can attend. 

Matt was a 4 year varsity starter for the Eagles.  He was the 2003 Gatorade Player of the year in 2003.  He was All District all 4 years, all regional and Va. State Player of the year.  He was selected as a high school all american by the ABCA his senior year.   I will post his career stats later but he was the first Godwin Baseball player to be selected in the Major League draft when he was taken in the first round of the draft by the Minnesota Twins.  He signed a bonus of  $1,450,000.  He was the donor of the Godwin Baseball score board that is the finest in the state of Virigina.  Matthew went on to play as high as AAA ball with Rochester before ending his career in 2010.  He is moving to North Carolina soon but he will return for his Hall of Fame induction in November. 

Congratulations to Matthew on his honor of being the 3rd Godwin Baseball player inducted into the Godwin Hall of Fame.  Congratulations also to his parents, Jerry and Dawn, brother Mitchell and sister Haley. 



Wednesday, December 19
Amazing Accomplishment of the 1999 State AAA Championship Team

 The 1999 AAA State Championship team from Godwin (our second AAA State Championship) is the only AAA team in state history to play all three games and not allow a single run in the State Championship Series.  Senior Tommy Edelblut (Godwin 99, VCU 2003 and AAA State Player of the Year) was the winning pitcher in our quarterfinal game with Potomac 2-0.  Senior Doug McCray (Godwin 99 and RMC 2003), won our semifinal final game at ODU vs. Lake Braddock, 6-0.  In the State Championship game at ODU, Edelbut took on an undefeated  24-0, George Washington team and we won that game 3-0.  In our last 11 games we recorded 9 shutouts.  At any level in any league that is quite a TEAM accomplishment!

Friday, December 14
A Change in the Culture of High School Baseball...But its Everywhere

Billy Berry, Godwin grad 1993 and the head baseball coach at Tenn. Wesleyn College, 2012 NAIA National Champions, once told me that he had two types of friends.  His regular friends and his baseball friends and his baseball friends were his closest friends.  I was always a believer in that type of feeling where athletics and high school sports were concerned.  I have always thought that playing for your high school was a special thing.....a lifetime experience to be cherished.  Godwin players have always grown up playing together.  They start at Tuckahoe Little League, moved on to Byrd Middle School, played for Godwin High School and Post 361.  Many moved on to play in college but still many of our players played together for 10-12 years.  Times have changed.  With the advent of AAU baseball, travel ball and showcase baseball players at all schools across the nation, players no longer play with their own teammates at their local high school except during a 20 game high school season.  The allure today is "I have to play for my travel team so I can get a scholarship."  Today its all about "me"  It is true in baseball and basketball and soon it will be coming to high school football.  Parents in some cases spend several thousand dollars to get "exposure" for their sons.  Many get division 3 offers and division 3 baseball is good baseball but you shouldn't have to spend a lot of money to play at schools that offer no scholarships for baseball.  I just think its sad when people decide that its more important to focus on the school you might play for NEXT rather than the school you are playing for NOW.  In talking to showcase and travel ball players I would frequently ask "how did you guys do this weekend" and the response was usually "I pitched 3 innings gave up one hit and struck out 4.  Only gave up 2 runs but one was unearned".......but they never told me how their team did. If I asked "did you guys win?" the response was frequently "I don't know.  After I came out the game my parents brought me home".......so much for competitive baseball.  It is truly the "ME" generation.  It is in all sports at all levels.   Last year we  had a player tell a teacher, "I don't need Godwin Baseball, my showcase team will get me all the exposure I need".  The player never understood the meaning of committing to his friends, his team or his high school.  He was committed to "ME".  I always told players to appreciate the fact that on a team, the Godwin team, they were a part of something BIGGER than themselves. That is special.  Not anymore and it is something that is not going to change in the future. 

Thursday, December 13
A Big Godwin Win in History.

I took over the team at Spring Break in 1998.  We played in a spring break tournament at Godwin.  On the second day of the tournament we had a 10am game and our starting pitcher was late reporting to school for the game so I benched him for that game.  Needless to say he was not happy.  He did start the afternoon game vs. Thomas Dale.  The first pitch of the game he hit the TD player in the helmet and I knew we were in trouble.  It got to 7-0 in the first with no outs and I was thinking if I really wanted to be the head coach at Godwin.  We finally got out of the inning down 7-0.  We scored a run and they scored to make it 8-1.  We scored 4 and they scored 1 making it 9-5 and I really thought it would be one of those 18-13 games you see in spring break games.  Then the game changed.  Thomas Dale had Matt Davis on second base and we had a passed ball that went to the backstop and bounced in front of our dugout.  Davis never made an attempt to go to third.  I leaned over to Coach Chris Bell and I said, "Chris they have quit trying to score.  We have a chance here".  I subbed Brian Hildebrand and he hit a triple to left field that scored 2 runs and he later scored to pull us to 9-8.   In the bottom of the 6th with 2 out Dale held a 9-8 lead with 2 Godwin runners on base.  Brock Lawson was on second when a ball got by the Dale catcher and our runner from 3rd scored easily.  All of sudden I see Brock coming to third and he never hesitated and he took off for home.  The Dale catcher was not watching or hustling for the ball and Brock slid into home with the winning run.  Quite a game for the Eagles that day.  That team was ranked 7th in the country at the time, finishing 21-3 after losing in the state quarterfinals.  A great group of unselfish players who played withh typical Godwin pride.

Wednesday, November 21
Something to think about.....

Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant     

"Coach'em hard.  Hug'em later"  

Do not trade what you want most for what you want most at the moment.





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