Natchez High School senior Roderick Simpson played six games in three days last weekend at the Perfect Game Showcase in Atlanta. He said he played with players who went to college and the pros.
“It was a headache. “Six games in three days that played the best of the best from the world, it was an honor,” said Simpson. “You don’t just see people waking up and I think I want to be a baseball player. These guys spend three to five days in the weight room, on the court. It was a big challenge. I just had to go there, play my game and have fun. ”
It was an experience he never thought he could be a part of. While baseball was the first sport he played, it was also the hardest to learn. His path to success was “unexpected,” he said.
A performance on another showcase caught the eyes of coaches and scouts. His head coach Dan Smith recommended him to play in the showcase, and he was selected. Smith serves as an attorney for the entire team, he said.
“Coach Dan did his part to put me out there, so I had to do my best to show that coach Dan made the right choice,” Simpson said. “He is a great spokesman. Without him, I would not be where I am right now. I would not be as good as I am. I did not want to be at the level I am now. ”
Simpson’s mother Latoya Neal could see her son playing in the shop window. He said his mother is the reason he works so hard. She’s the reason he still plays baseball. Being able to play in the shop window in front of her was a special moment, he said.
“At one point in my life, it was just another sport I played,” Simpson said. “Now I can show my mother that I play to take it to the next level. I’m playing with the best of the best, and she’s there to look at me. If it were not for her, I probably would not be doing sports right now. She’s the reason I do it. ”
When he was growing up, and even now, he wanted to find a way to get out of the house. Baseball was another way to get him out and keep him busy, he said.
Now he is trying to take the sport and run with it. In addition to playing baseball, Simpson plays football for Natchez. Playing both sports can be useful, but they have their own challenges for time management.
In baseball, he will find any window to squeeze in more work. His mother is the driving force behind his work. Her victims have allowed him to play.
“Baseball is my passion, and I feel it’s a way for me to help my mom,” Simpson said. “There have been times where I have had to sit outside. She does the best she could. I could not have asked for a better mother. She gives me everything and I just have to give her everything back. Therefore, I plan to take my skills to the next level and go to the pros so I can give back. ”