U.S. Markets closed

The voice in Rhys Hoskins' head that pushes him to persevere

Tim Brown
MLB columnist

CLEARWATER, Fla. – She would tell him to persevere. Just like that.

Keep going, Rhys-ie. Keep trying. You’ll get it, Rhys-ie. I know you will.

He still hears it in his head, in her voice, “Persevere, Rhys-ie,” just like that, going on nine years since she’s been gone.

Maybe that’s why he ended up in baseball, too, though who’s to say exactly how and why these things go the way they do. But what happened is Rhys Hoskins kept at the baseball thing, all those hours and days and years spent hitting some and missing more, because that’s the game. Everybody misses more. The difference is most go home. The rest, they persevered.

“There are so many parallels between this game and life,” he says. “This game is going to offer you nothing but failure. Time and time again, nothing but failure. Like life. Like baseball. So grab your bat and get back in the box. You’re going to get more at-bats. And keep wanting to step in the box.”

The Rhys Hoskins story played out last summer at the bottom of the NL East, the division decided months before. So, yeah, the kid with a funny name – you say that “Rice?” “Riss?” “Ryez?” (It sounds like “Reese”) — hit some home runs in the homer-happiest summer ever. In fact, he hit 18 in 170 at-bats, across 50 games. Historic stuff.

There was Judge and JD and Bellinger and Stanton and then some guy in Philly, oh yeah him too, and what was the name again?

There’d be time to get to know him the next year, to measure the swing and see what it looked like out from the shadows of pointless games played in the fat of a rebuild, against other people’s rebuilds, and thinning rotations, all the stuff that made Rhys Hoskins interesting if not yet relevant. No, that would come the following season, starting from zero with everyone else, starting with the assumption the Philadelphia Phillies had found the homegrown young man around whom they could retake an organization.

The Rhys Hoskins story played out last summer at the bottom of the NL East. (AP)

And what makes it so promising is where Rhys Hoskins came from, all that persevering that’s already behind him, all that kindness and perspective and eye contact and get-after-it that came with him. He wasn’t drafted out of his high school outside Sacramento. He was barely recruited by colleges but ended up at Sacramento State. Maybe it was because his life wasn’t just baseball. He played football, in part because the quarterback, Nick, had been his friend since the two were in diapers. And Nick needed a receiver. He also played basketball, because he liked playing basketball, and that seemed a good enough reason for everybody.

Then, his mom succumbed to the cancer that had been killing her since almost before he could remember, and every day he watched her live anyway, and wring every smile and kindness from that very day, and if she’d never actually said the word he still hears in her voice, she wouldn’t have had to.

So Rhys Hoskins kept showing up. More than that, he tried to make his days count as much as she made hers count, tough as that was. And when she was gone his dad would stand behind the batting cage, or sit in the bleachers, or dial his phone, and he would say, “Hey, quick hands, line drive up the middle,” and what his boy would hear was, “Persevere, Rhys-ie. Persevere.” Because it’s the same thing, really. When life gets hard and the failure comes time and time again, the challenge is to grab on to the simplest acts, the simplest notions, and to let them do the carrying for the next inch or two. Lose the noise. Lose the regret. Lose the fear. Stay in the middle of the field.

It sounds so easy that way. It’s not. And after hitting those 18 home runs in his first 34 games, he actually hit none – and batted .135 – in his last 16. So that’s when he went home — to San Diego, actually — for the winter, thrilled by what he’d done, reflecting on how he’d finished, sorting what baseball can be from what it usually is. He returned to a new manager (Gabe Kapler) and a position (left field) he’s only just getting to know and an organization that may have gotten better (Carlos Santana) and with plans to get a lot better (Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, etc.). He puts in his time, gets his at-bats, refines his footwork, and for the clubhouse talent show has expressed some interest in ribbon dancing. (“It’s not really a talent,” he says, smiling.)

The rest is what you already know about Rhys Hoskins. Quick hands. Middle of the field. Take a breath, Rhys-ie. Breathe. Persevere.

“That word,” he says. “It’s not always going to be easy. You have to persevere and know it’ll be OK in the end. Looking back on her life, I think she just showed that in her fight. In her zest for life. It taught me that there’s a positive in everything, even in life’s hardest things.”

Her name was Cathy. Is Cathy. It’s her voice he hears. He looks up and smiles, like it’s OK, like it has to be. He’s 24 years old. He’s trying.

“Not that it was forced upon me,” he says. “That’s just how life went.”

More from Yahoo Sports:
NFL star explains how taxes can make athletes go ‘broke’
Peyton Manning ditches his 31 Papa John’s franchises
Ohtani’s response to Kershaw’s filth? Laughter
Is Colorado State on the verge of a historic hire?

  • Why Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Stock Closed 11% Lower on Friday
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Why Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Stock Closed 11% Lower on Friday

    Analyst Pierre Ferragu from financial firm New Street Research set his price target for AMD at $18 per share, arguing that the stock has been priced for a level of success that simply isn't realistic. "AMD's stock price reflects a scenario we don't believe possible," Ferragu wrote. In particular, Ferragu sees larger rival Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) getting its manufacturing act together as we speak.

  • What happens if you win Mega Millions' $970M jackpot?
    News
    Associated Press

    What happens if you win Mega Millions' $970M jackpot?

    Despite the terrible odds — one in 302.5 million for those keeping score at home — someone will eventually match all six numbers and win the Mega Millions jackpot, which now stands at $970 million. Here are some answers for someone holding that prized lottery ticket for what would be the second-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. Lottery officials recommend winners take a deep breath, put their winning ticket in a safe spot and consult with a reputable financial planner before popping over to the lottery headquarters.

  • Why Valero Energy, eBay, and New Age Beverages Slumped Today
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Why Valero Energy, eBay, and New Age Beverages Slumped Today

    Some major market benchmarks managed to hang onto their gains, but the Nasdaq Composite, and Russell 2000 indexes posted losses of 0.5% to 1.25%, and the S&P 500 was virtually flat. Valero Energy (NYSE: VLO), eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY), and New Age Beverages (NASDAQ: NBEV) were among the worst performers on the day. Valero Energy dropped 10% after the refinery company announced that it would buy back all outstanding units of its related MLP, Valero Energy Partners (NYSE: VLP).

  • Tesla slides after Elon Musk announced lower-cost Model 3 (TSLA)
    Business
    Business Insider

    Tesla slides after Elon Musk announced lower-cost Model 3 (TSLA)

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter on Thursday that a lower-cost Model 3 was immediately available for order on the company's website. The electric car will have a base price of $45,000 and is eligible for federal and state tax rebates. Tesla shares were down more than 3% Friday after — they gained as much as 2.2% earlier in the session.

  • This Marijuana Investment Firm's 11 Top Cannabis Picks for Explosive Growth
    Business
    Motley Fool

    This Marijuana Investment Firm's 11 Top Cannabis Picks for Explosive Growth

    The marijuana industry has become a hotbed of investment activity, and players of all sizes are looking to get into the action. On top of all the interest from ordinary investors, cannabis companies have seen demand rise from sophisticated institutional investors that have experience with deploying larger amounts of investment capital in search of high-growth opportunities. One of the most interesting marijuana investment specialists that investors can follow is Canopy Rivers (NASDAQOTH: CNPOF).

  • Kmart employee chokes up as he makes his final announcement before the store closes permanently
    Business
    Yahoo Lifestyle

    Kmart employee chokes up as he makes his final announcement before the store closes permanently

    Joshua Englert, manager of the closing Kmart store in McMurray, Penn., says a final farewell to customers. Some shoppers might be sad to see Kmart stores go, after the chain’s parent company, Sears Holdings, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday. Taking to his Facebook on Sunday evening, Englert posted a video of himself saying, “Attention, Kmart shoppers” over the store’s PA system for the very last time after working at the superstore for 18 years.

  • Will Cloud Growth Shine When Microsoft Reports Earnings?
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Will Cloud Growth Shine When Microsoft Reports Earnings?

    When it comes to cloud computing, Amazon Web Services is the undisputed leader, but many in the tech industry were surprised by the continued strong showing by Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), which jumped into second place and is gaining on the leader. Investors will be watching several areas of the company's business when Microsoft reports the financial results of its fiscal first quarter after the market close on Oct. 24. Let's take a look at the company's recent results and several business segments that are likely to be key components to Microsoft's success or failure when it reports earnings.

  • Why PBF Energy Inc and Other Refining Stocks Are Getting Clobbered Today
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Why PBF Energy Inc and Other Refining Stocks Are Getting Clobbered Today

    Shares of PBF Energy Inc (NYSE: PBF) tumbled as much as 10.9% on Friday, joining a sectorwide sell-off that also saw refiners Valero Energy (NYSE: VLO), Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX), Marathon Petroleum (NYSE: MPC), and HollyFontier (NYSE: HFC) take it on the chin by sinking more than 5% at one point in the day. A trio of factors seems to be driving these declines.

  • Hillary Clinton under fire over Lewinsky comment
    Politics
    Fox Business Videos

    Hillary Clinton under fire over Lewinsky comment

    Madison Gesiotto, National Diversity Coalition for Trump, and Democratic strategist Al Mottur on how former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that her husband’s affair with Monica Lewinsky was not an abuse of power.

  • Business
    Benzinga

    Jim Cramer Shares His Thoughts On Amarin, AT&T, McDonald's And More

    On CNBC's "Mad Money Lightning Round", Jim Cramer said Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ARWR) is a great speculative stock. Cramer is willing to endorse AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), but he thinks Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) offers more safety

  • BNSF to invest $200M in new infrastructure project
    Finance
    American City Business Journals

    BNSF to invest $200M in new infrastructure project

    BNSF Railway will invest upwards of $200 million to build a new bridge in Seattle. The rail bridge spanning Salmon Bay in Seattle is 104 years old and needs to be replaced, said a spokesperson for the Fort Worth-based railroad, which is a subsidiary of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A). This is an example of the large investments railroads routinely have to make in their infrastructure.

  • Suddenly Toxic, Saudi Prince Is Shunned by Investors He Courted
    World
    Bloomberg

    Suddenly Toxic, Saudi Prince Is Shunned by Investors He Courted

    Now Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman could become the biggest risk to his own project. Everything changed when Jamal Khashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 and didn’t come out. Prince Mohammed, who’s denied any knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate, still has his defenders -– notably Donald Trump.

  • ‘You are a disaster’: Cleveland-Cliffs CEO berates analyst on earnings call
    News
    MarketWatch

    ‘You are a disaster’: Cleveland-Cliffs CEO berates analyst on earnings call

    Shares of Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. fell more than 6% Friday after Chief Executive Lourenco Goncalves slammed analysts during the mining company’s earnings call earlier in the day, accusing them of failing to understand numbers and targeting a Goldman Sachs analyst for most of his angry remarks. Cleveland Cliffs (CLF) stock hovered at its lowest since Sept. 11 and was on pace for its largest percentage loss since late June. Goncalves fired his first salvo soon after the conference call’s first remarks wrapped up.

  • Cramer's 5 favorite tech stocks right now, including Appl...
    MSFT
    CNBC Videos

    Cramer's 5 favorite tech stocks right now, including Appl...

    Jim Cramer reveals his top "power" players in the information technology space, including consumer tech plays, software giants and a fintech kicker.

  • Here’s why you shouldn’t retire super early — even if you can
    Business
    MarketWatch

    Here’s why you shouldn’t retire super early — even if you can

    Despite the many perks of early retirement — waking up whenever you want, for example — it wasn’t the easiest decision. Earnings tend to peak around 48 for men and about 39 for women, according to an analysis by PayScale.

  • Valero to fold logistics arm back into parent company in $950 million deal
    Finance
    American City Business Journals

    Valero to fold logistics arm back into parent company in $950 million deal

    Less than five years after it was created as a master limited partnership, San Antonio-based pipeline and storage terminal company Valero Energy Partners LP is merging back with its parent company.  Valero Energy Partners (NYSE: VLP) announced after close of market on Thursday that it is merging with Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO), its general partner Valero Energy Partners GP LLC and Forest Merger Sub LLC, a subsidiary that was incorporated in Delaware as a merge vehicle by Valero on Tuesday. Under a merger agreement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Valero will buy all outstanding shares of VLP stock at $42.25 per share in a transaction that is expected to be worth $950 million.

  • The Mega Millions Jackpot Is Now $970 Million. Here's What That Could Buy
    Finance
    Fortune

    The Mega Millions Jackpot Is Now $970 Million. Here's What That Could Buy

    You know the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are insanely low. The jackpot for the Mega Millions drawing, set to take place Friday, Oct. 19 at 11 p.m., is currently estimated at $970 million. Generous souls will give some of their jackpot winnings to charity or start one of their own, but if you’ve got a quirky sense of humor, it’s worth pointing out that the $970 million Mega Millions jackpot is enough to pay for a McDonald’s Happy Meal (hamburger, not Chicken McNuggets) for every person in America.

  • Is CenturyLink, Inc. a Buy?
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Is CenturyLink, Inc. a Buy?

    Legacy landline telecom CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) gets plenty of grief. And understandably so, considering that its legacy business, copper wire landline and internet connections is a steadily declining business while fiber and wireless technologies

  • Now is a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ chance to invest in US pot companies, investor says
    Finance
    Yahoo Finance

    Now is a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ chance to invest in US pot companies, investor says

    With some Canadian pot stocks posting triple-digit return rates this year, many retail investors have looked north to pour cash into cannabis. U.S. cannabis companies are worth a lot more than their current valuations suggest since federal illegality has put undue pressure on the industry, said David Wenger, a New York attorney and senior editor of the Cannabis Law Digest.

  • The Legal Way Canadian Marijuana Stocks Are Tricking Investors
    Business
    Motley Fool

    The Legal Way Canadian Marijuana Stocks Are Tricking Investors

    Following nine decades of prohibition, recreational marijuana is officially legal in Canada, albeit the extent of who can buy, whether the plant can be homegrown, and where product can be purchased really depends on the province. The important fact here is that legalization is expected to usher in billions of dollars of added annual revenue to the industry. This expectation of a surge in sales -- Wall Street is looking for approximately $5 billion in added annual revenue once the industry is up to speed -- is what's behind the more than two-year rally in marijuana stocks.

  • Frustrated GM investors ask what more CEO Barra can do
    Business
    Reuters

    Frustrated GM investors ask what more CEO Barra can do

    General Motors Co (GM.N) Chief Executive Mary Barra has transformed the No. 1 U.S. automaker in her almost five years in charge, but that is still not enough to satisfy investors. Ahead of third-quarter results due on Oct. 31, GM shares are trading about 6 percent below the $33 per share price at which they launched in 2010 in a post-bankruptcy initial public offering. The Detroit carmaker's stock is down 22 percent since Barra took over in January 2014.

  • Marijuana investors may lose 90% of their money in Canada, so consider the really big prize elsewhere
    News
    MarketWatch

    Marijuana investors may lose 90% of their money in Canada, so consider the really big prize elsewhere

    Marijuana presents a tremendous opportunity for investors over the next few years. Naïve investors are excited. The reality is that professionals will pick their pockets, and many naïve investors who are excited now will end up losing 90% of their investment.

  • Freeport’s Q3 2018 Earnings: What’s the Word on Wall Street?
    Finance
    Market Realist

    Freeport’s Q3 2018 Earnings: What’s the Word on Wall Street?

    Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) is scheduled to release its third-quarter earnings results on October 24. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect Freeport to post revenue of $4.5 billion in the third quarter. Freeport posted an adjusted EBITDA of $1.6 billion in the third quarter of 2017.

  • Business
    Motley Fool

    Why IBM’s Brief Growth Streak Just Stalled

    Unfortunately for its shareholders, there was a speed bump on the road to rebound last quarter: The company reported this week that revenue shrank, and growth in its vital "strategic imperatives" businesses slowed. Seriously, when IBM's legacy mainframe business is the strongest performer in a given quarter, one has to see that as a problem.

  • Why ServiceSource International Is Imploding Today
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Why ServiceSource International Is Imploding Today

    Shares of ServiceSource (NASDAQ: SREV), a provider of outsourced inside sales and customer service solutions, are being obliterated today. The stock is down 46% as of 11:07 a.m. EDT on Friday after the company shared preliminary third-quarter results and revised its full-year guidance.