Grant Baird is a multi-sport athlete who models his gameplay on several sports legends. The criteria for athletes he admires are character and work ethic, two qualities that are easily noticeable in Grant. The Lee’s Summit High School senior shared a little insight into how he developed such a huge sense of family and how it impacts his game.
First, what sports and positions do you play?
I play baseball and football for Lee’s Summit High School. For baseball, I’m primarily an outfielder and I’m the quarterback for the Lee’s Summit High School football team. I would really like to try golf, too, but I don’t have time between academics and the sports I play.
You were on the LSHS baseball team that made it to state last year. What can say about that experience?
That was totally the best time of my life. We didn’t have any superstars, we were just a bunch of guys who like to have fun. I credit our run to how loose we were on the field and how that led to us becoming a family that season. We didn’t have enough gas to win the state championship but it was still an incredible experience.
That’s awesome. It’s great to hear that you guys picked up on the importance of team, too. Are there any players you can point to who have influenced your strong drive for team and character?
First, I have to say, my dad. He’s really been an influence and helped me to understand the importance of collaboration and working together for the benefit of the team and community. I also look to guys like Pete Rose, Drew Brees, and Andrew McCutchen. Rose is on my list because of the intensity he played with. I would definitely pay to watch him play the game!
Drew Brees is the player I admire the most. His leadership and work ethic are as good as it gets. I try to model my play on and off the field on him.
You mentioned McCutchen. Is he your favorite current baseball player?
I really like Cutch and would love to watch him play, but my favorite player is Mike Trout. He stays consistent with the best batting numbers in the MLB each season and plays fearlessly.
What other favorites would you share with our readers?
Celtics are definitely my favorite basketball team. My dad loved them when I was little and it rubbed off on me. I love how hard the current team plays even though they’re not that big and they don’t have all the superstars like the Warriors.
Miracle is probably my favorite movie. Seeing how an underdog hockey team dominated a seemingly invincible Russian team is totally inspiring. The story shows what can happen if you trust in the process and in your coach, and truly become a team and a family.
What tip would you share with a young IE player?
Get in the cages–you can never be in the cages enough. Over the years, I’ve learned that the more time you spend in the cages getting your timing down and seeing the ball and hitting line drives, the better you will play in games. There is no substitution for reps.
That’s great advice! Can you close by sharing what playing at Inside Edge Baseball Academy has meant to you?
Playing at Inside Edge has been a great experience. I’ve played here for several seasons now, and Todd Clausen and Dave Silvestri have taught me so much about the game. Both of them are at the top of my favorite coaches list. They have an indescribable effect on you: they somehow bring out the best in you, which, in return, results in hard play because you don’t want to disappoint them. That, magically, results in you giving 110% in every game–without even thinking about it. That leadership quality has really worked for me. As a result, I have seen my skills and understanding of the game take a huge leap forward. I can’t thank either of them enough.