2014 MSBL Honor Roll Inductee: Rod Shipman, Halo Baseball Club

Rod Shipman (far right) at the annual Bud Kuhn Wood Bat Invitational at Angels Stadium. Rod is flanked by his sons and most of the grand kids

By Steve LaMontia, Executive Regional Director

Biographical Information:

Your name: Rod Shipman

City or town of residence: Yorba Linda, California

League name: Halo Baseball Club

Town where league is based: Anaheim, California

Where did you grow up? Brea, California

High school and college: Brea High School, Fullerton College-AA, Pepperdine University- BS in Administration and University of San Francisco-MPA/MPH

What do you do for a living? Businessman with various interests. Also a Certified Public Board Director and Non Profit Board Member as an Independent Lead Director.

Family information: Wife Judy and we celebrate 43 years in April 2014, two sons Mark married to Erica with two children Samantha and Zack and Phil married to Sarah with two children Hannah and Caleb

General Questions:

Describe your baseball resume: (list levels played, any major accomplishments, etc.) Played from 7 years old at every level into college before being drafted and going to Viet Nam. Played all three outfield positions, 3B and 1B. I was known as a throw right and hit left handed power hitter. The focus was always on playing, team and winning.

What is your greatest baseball moment, either watching or playing? This is a tough question because I have seen so many moments in my life time as a player, coach, manager and owner of Halo Baseball club with (4) teams. I have had some real great personal moments as a player and as a coach, a manager, owner and as a fan from little guys to MLB players.
When did you start playing for MSBL and how did you hear about it? We formed Halo Baseball Club as a 501c7 in October 2004 after attending an Angels 2004 Fantasy Camp. We received written permission in 2004 to become an affiliate and use the Angels Logo and the name Halo baseball Club with adherence to certain standards as such. We launched at that time and joined MSBL based upon our research. We started with two teams of developmental players who mostly had never ever played baseball even some not even Little League.

Do you still play? Not right now due to a right knee and disc issue with the lower back for all of 2013. At my age coming back for just one more at bat, one more pitch, one more inning, one more game is what drives all of us and keeps the blood pumping.

What team and age bracket? We have a 30+ developmental program with our youngest at 34 and oldest at 67 years old with now four teams in 2013 competing against each other.

What is the best thing about your league? The culture of developing players, coaches, managers, men, fathers and husband to be the best. Watching men who have never played years ago and work hard, get added instruction, train, play and focus on a position to learn how to play it instinctively and then see them compete and win against far more talents and experienced players. That is our significant difference. We play on Sunday afternoons to facilitate the men being with their families at church, etc. We open all of our games with prayer at the mound.

Do you participate in any MSBL national tournaments? Yes, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and expecting in 2014.

What is the funniest thing you have ever witnessed on a ball field? I would say funny for those watching me with at my age over the past 10 years have had some hilarious moments of doing something bizarre like making a pitch in Stockton Single A field and the ball coming out of my hand at the top of the release and just dribbling down the mound towards home plate, or fouling a ball into my left eye on a high pitch and knocking myself out cold, or calling for an infield fly and pulling a Lasorda and rolling back head over heels several times.

Questions just for fun:
Who is your favorite player of all time and why? Ted Williams – The greatest hitter of all times a WWII veteran and he spent 2 ½ hours on my swing with me in early 1970 after hitting two home runs off of then Washington Senators #1 draft pick in a JC winter game.

Who is the best player in the majors right now? Best young player by far is Mike Trout; best current player would be Miguel Cabrera just because how he is so consistent at the plate both in average, on base, situational hitting, power and RBI production.

Who is the greatest pitcher of all time and why? This is a tough question because pitching has changed from going a complete game to specialists. For me it would be Nolan Ryan and the boys and I got to see his last game ever at Angel Stadium and we witnessed again how strong he prepared pregame, the strength during the game and what he does after a game in post game preparation. The very next game he was injured and done.

Are there any additional personal comments you wish to add about your playing or life thus far? There are three places that I feel safe, happy and peaceful. That is home, church and a baseball field. Baseball is considered slow and yet so much is going on in so many ways. So many choices, reads, tells, changes, and dynamics of calls and injuries, you think you have seen it all and then you see something never seen before. For me it is about the choices we make determines the paths we take in our journey to eternity. Playing, coaching, and managing with my two sons since they were little still till today is what it is all about.

Are there any comments about MSBL you wish to share? The organization continues to take feedback and continues to evolve and grow. It is getting cleaner, sharper and crispier with tournaments and its operations. As an owner of a club, a league and four teams it is a challenge to always improve, get better, service more needs of your customers and stakeholders in every way possible and do it first class. I try to give feedback both positive and improving in writing to MSBL and it is received and discussed and debated as such.