Bobby Haney was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 38th round of the 2006 MLB June Amateur Draft from Kings Park HS and by the San Francisco Giants in the 22nd round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft from University of South Carolina. While at the University of South Carolina, Bobby was part of the College World Series championship team. Prior to 2010, the Gamecocks never managed to win a national title in any major sport and the win inspired Bobby to write his first book. Follow Bobby Haney on Twitter.
A lot of young baseball players (and their parents) dream of “going pro” someday but according to the NCAA only one in 200 high school senior boys will eventually be drafted by an MLB team. What did you do to set yourself apart in order to be one of those 200?
It was truly an honor to be selected in the baseball draft out of high school, which not many kids get a chance to do. I had a major passion for the game of baseball growing up. In high school, I would set myself apart from everyone else by practicing after I got home from practice. I just loved the game that much and didn’t care what anyone thought. All I wanted to do was play baseball.
Did you ever want to play any other sport other than baseball? What is it about baseball that you love so much?
When I was younger I grew up mainly playing basketball and baseball. At age 13, after my surgery on both my feet, I put basketball away and had to mainly focus on my true love, which was baseball. But I was extremely passionate about basketball while growing up in New York.
The thing I love most about baseball is that you play every single day. No matter what happened yesterday you can always prove yourself the next day and put yesterday in the past, and fast.
What kind of influence did your parents have on your sports career?
My parents had a tremendous influence on my baseball career. From talking to every scout and coach, to taking me to the Burger King’s that are open till 12 after a summer baseball game. My parents have dedicated so much to my baseball career I really can’t express it. They have done everything for me and I owe them more than my life. You need a great support group in your life and my mother and father are number 1.
What are some of the most valuable things you learned from your time as a South Carolina Gamecock?
Playing for the University of South Carolina is not like anything else. It’s special to become a Gamecock. The coaching staff and the will to win was the thing that stood out to me the most. The fan support that we have in South Carolina was the most overwhelming part about college. Growing up in major sports town and not knowing anything about college sports, it was a big eye opener when I arrived at South Carolina. The fans treated us like we were major league athletes. After we won the College World Series over 50,000 Gamecock fans lined the streets cheering us on during our parade. I have never seen anything like it.
How did it feel to be drafted by an MLB team?
The feeling you get when you are drafted by an MLB team is a nervous and exciting reaction. It makes you feel like you have an easy chance to get to the major leagues.
What inspired you to write a book so early in your career?
The true inspiration behind me writing my book was mainly because of us winning the College World Series. But the other part of the inspiration was a young boy named Bayler Teal. He was diagnosed with cancer and was a true blessing for our team throughout our season. The night before the World Series Bayler passed away. We then went on to win the College World Series with Bayler looking over us. It was a story that someone needed to write about. It was a dream come true!
Do you have any advice for young baseball players that dream of following in your footsteps?
Children and young adults are going to hear this their whole lives; the only advice I have to give is do what you love to do and do what you are truly passionate about. Whatever you’re passionate about make sure that you work your hardest at all the time. Never ever, ever give up!