Billy Ferran from San Diego Hits the Garage to Stay Sharp

This is Billy Ferran in San Diego. I have been playing in the San Diego North County MSBL for over twenty years.  I know everyone is anxious to get back on the field and compete.  I am on the board of directors for our league, and we have told our players we plan on playing ball again this year. But with this viral pandemic, it’s not possible to predict when that might be, so – take care of yourself and your family, stay positive as we WILL get through this and as soon as we can resume the season, we will do so. We normally play a spring and summer season. That structure will most likely be modified, but we expect to play again.  

My baseball journey began in the first grade. My Little League years were spent in Germany, where we won the European championship when I was eleven years old and flew back to Williamsport for the Little League World Series.  I played for UC Berkeley in college, did a brief month-long tour of Asia and then hung up the spikes. I spent twenty years flying the F14 Tomcat in the Navy and played a fair bit of softball. Twenty years after college, a fellow Tomcat driver introduced me to adult baseball. Of course I loved it, but I was really surprised how much I missed it!

I have played 18+, 28+, 35+, 45+ and 55+. I played one 60+ tournament locally. I know the youngsters are wondering “how much fun could that be?”  But trust me, there was some really good baseball in that tournament. I’ve been fortunate to have enjoyed success at each level, both locally and at the national tournaments. I will be 65 years old in July and just retired as a 737 Captain for American Airlines for over thirty years. 

It was always so interesting to me to get to know my fellow pilots, and in general they were all so accomplished that I normally walked away from the flight feeling like such a slacker!  These are folks with multiple degrees, second jobs, kids and grandkids – all quite impressive. 

My story was not so interesting, but I told the truth – “I’m a baseball geek that loves to fly airplanes”.  Of course I subscribe to MLBtv, so if my Giants are playing I’m watching. Or I’m watching college baseball or softball. If the local high school team is playing, I’m at the game. If I’m not watching ball, or flying a jet, or at the gym, then I’m working on my swing in my garage. I have a net, a tee, and a soft toss machine from Jugs. I have an L-screen if anybody wants BP.  I have been using the Blast Motion tool to record video and metrics of my swing. I think it has helped me a lot. When I’m done hitting, I throw into the net to keep my arm in shape. The only thing stopping me from doing it MORE are a couple of herniated discs in my back most likely from flying fighters and cat shots off the carrier. 

My local gym is closed. My layover hotel gyms have been closed. But there are ALWAYS things you can do at home or on the road to stay in shape and ready for when the season gets going. I have several stretch bands that can be used to work all muscle groups. Push ups are good, crunches are good, and stretching is a MUST!  My go to cardio is spin class, but of course that has not been available. So I get on my bike every day and ride the neighborhood hills for an hour. 

I had meniscus surgery in December and played my first baseball this year at the MSBL Kick Off Classic in Las Vegas. The knee did well. We made the championship game on Monday, but the tourney was cancelled Sunday night because of the virus issues. And now like everyone else I wonder – when will we play again?

Nobody has the answer now.  But I encourage everyone to stay positive. Stay healthy. Do SOMETHING physically every day. That is really important for general health and well-being. But it’s also important to keep us ready when baseball begins again. I look forward to seeing all my friends and competitors on the field soon!