Reed family's success driven by father's love
Two brothers drafted in 2010 by different Chicago clubs
CHICAGO -- The batting cages at the home of Scott and September Reed in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., were taken down some time after June 8, 2010.
They didn't violate area building codes or present some sort of health hazard with their private baseball facility. It's just that the people who used them the most and gained the most from their existence, Addison and Austin Reed, officially moved forward to professional baseball on that summer day.
Moved on to professional baseball, that is, as pitchers taken on the same day in that 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
Both of these California kids had new Chicago baseball homes, with the White Sox selecting Addison in the third round out of San Diego St. and the Cubs picking Austin in the 12th round out of Rancho Cucamonga High School.
It was a surreal deal, as the Reeds' proud father now remembers it. And as Father's Day approaches, the Reed hurlers understand they wouldn't be in this special position without their father's guidance and devotion.
"I honestly can't really remember a day, from the time I was three or four to the time I was going into high school, a day where we didn't go outside and do something baseball related," Addison said. "Him throwing to us, hitting us ground balls. Whatever it might have been. Every day we did something, and he didn't force it upon us or anything. It was something we loved doing."
"We never wanted to say, 'Try something different,'" said Scott, who stressed credit for success goes to the whole family dynamic, including his wife and daughter, Autumn. "But if they were going to make that commitment, give it their all. 'Do what you love, but give it everything you have.'"
Addison currently resides as the White Sox closer, having saved 19 of 21 opportunities after setting a franchise rookie record with 29 saves during the 2012 campaign. The 24-year-old has been a workhorse of late, pitching in four straight games through Tuesday night, and coming off the first three-inning outing of his career June 5 in Seattle.
That particular appearance extended to 55 pitches after Reed was sent in to protect a 5-0 lead in the 14th inning at Safeco Field, only to give up a five-spot that was punctuated by Kyle Seager's grand slam. Usually after Addison pitches, his mom and dad will text words of encouragement such as "nice job" or "way to go."
On this day, keeping the White Sox victory in mind, an amused Addison recalled his dad's text had a bit more of a sarcastic tone, asking him, 'How did your day go?' Scott admitted that when Addison's inning starts going in that treacherous direction, he might turn away and check back at the end.
But the resolve showed by his son in Seattle brought about a great sense of pride.
"It would have been easy to fold up the tent and call it a day," Scott said. "He battled, and as a parent, that's what I took away from it.
"Way to go out there and shake it off and keep going. I would like to think I could take a lesson from him, going about it with the same confidence, because he still has a job to do.
"This might sound stupid, but as a parent, that's a teachable moment," Scott said. "Bad stuff can happen, but you can still make a positive out of a negative. It might be a little bit painful, but it still became a good moment."
Austin hopes plenty of good moments await on his baseball horizon. He split time between starter and reliever during his first two seasons in the Cubs organization, but he has been strictly a reliever like his brother over the past two. The right-hander has pitched in 17 games this season for Daytona.
Having his sons pitch in the same game at either Wrigley Field or U.S. Cellular Field would be filled with excitement but also mixed emotions because Scott "doesn't want one to fail and one to succeed." At that moment, he can reckon back to all the one-on-one games where he served as all-time pitcher for his sons or to the numerous times the diehard Angels fan took Addison and Austin to watch baseball.
There also will be thoughts of those batting cages, constructed so if Scott got home too late from work to go to the park, then the kids still could play baseball from the comfort of home. That work paid dividends on Draft day and every day since.
"Draft day was awesome," said Addison, adding that the family celebrated a bit after his pick and then went to a celebratory dinner after Austin was taken. "Both of us sitting there and we both knew we had a chance to go on that day and both got called. I don't know how many people can say they got drafted on the same exact day as their brother."
Because of Addison's accomplishments, Scott usually leaves pitching advice for Austin to his older brother. Addison's biggest message to Austin is that he's waiting for him in Chicago.
"Both of us in a late-game situation, battling against each other," Austin said. "That would be awesome."
"Our worth ethic, our attitude, it comes from our parents," Addison said. "Good day or bad day, there's nothing you can do about it once it happens, so you might as well start preparing for the next day and attack that the best you can. It kind of just happened that me and my brother fell in love with the game of baseball at an early age. We never saw ourselves doing anything else."