Discover more from Bedtime Baseball
Daniel Stands Out
Be uniquely you
Introduction (For the Grown Ups)
Tonight we have a story about about being a little different. If this is your first time reading Bedtime Sports, (or you need a refresher) check out our "How To" post.
Questions in italics are designed to spark a conversation. Encourage your audience to participate, but also feel free to answer the questions yourself and incorporate answers into the story.
The man dancing emoji (🕺) indicates a section where you can add kinetic elements to the story. Mime an action and encourage your audience to join in.
Happy story telling!
The Story: Daniel Stands Out
(3 minute read)
The world is full of people. All types of people. People who have deep, gravely voices, and people with high, soft ones. People with long hair, and people with no hair. People who like baseball, and people who do not. (Can you believe it?) As you meet these people, you’ll find that in spite of your differences, you still have something in common with almost anyone, whether it’s the color of your eyes, or your favorite flavor of ice cream, or even your birthday. We are all human, after all.
(Wait, remind me, what was your favorite Ice Cream flavor?)
But even if you find someone who likes the same ice cream, shares the same birthday, and maybe even looks like you, you would still discover that there are some things about you that are different. That’s because you, and every one of us, is unique.
Do you know what unique means?
Unique means to be one-of-a-kind, unlike anything else. And the combination of all of your characteristics and experiences makes you a truly unique person.
[think about some things that make your listener unique]
I think you are uniquely…
What are some things that make me unique compared to other grownups?
Sometimes, being unique, means that you stand out. Daniel Vogelbach joined the Mets in 2022 after a mid season trade. And if showing up in the middle of the year as part of a trade wasn’t enough, when Daniel steps into the batter's box, he definitely stands out. Remember Polar Bear Pete - the guy so big he got his nickname from a POLAR BEAR? Well, when Pete and Daniel stand next to each other, Pete looks more like an polar cub.
Because Daniel Vogelbach is a uniquely big baseball player.
Maybe, if he played football, Daniel wouldn’t stand out so much. He’d fit right in with the other six foot tall, 270 pound lineman pushing people around. But in a sport like baseball, next to guys like Eduardo Escobar, Francisco Lindor, and Jeff McNeil, Daniel stands out. He is not the prototypical baseball player (That’s a fun word, isn’t it? Pro-to-ty-pi-cal)
How do you feel when you stand out, or look different, in a group of people?
How come you feel that way?
Sometimes if someone looks different, people say they don’t belong. Some people used to look at Daniel and say, “Hey, maybe baseball isn’t the sport for you.” They would say that, with a big body like his, he would probably get hurt trying to run the bases. Or that since he can’t jump and spin like Francisco Lindor, he’ll never really be good enough at defense to play for a major league team. Some people even made fun of how he looked.
But Daniel doesn’t let other people decide whether he belongs somewhere or not. He may not be the fastest guy, but he can still run.
He may not be the best defender, but he is willing to put in the work.
Daniel decided that if he was going to stand out for being big, he might as well stand out for some other things too.
Daniel stands out by taking good at-bats. He is so good at taking balls and getting walks that sometimes he even gets to hit leadoff.
Daniel stands out by being a good teammate. He loves to joke and laugh, and make other people feel like they belong too.
Daniel stands out in his bubble gum game. Seriously, check it out.
So while Daniel looks a little different than your prototypical ball player, his size is just one of the things that makes him special.
And when you feel like you may be a little different than everyone else, just remember that the things that make you unique, are the things that make you uniquely you. And that’s what makes you special too.
Good Night Sport.
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Sources and Videos
Grateful for the insights from Daniel's High School Coach in this interview by Corey Brock at the Athletic.
Cody Potanko writes about Daniel hitting leadoff for the Pirates.
Christopher Crawford at VICE sports discusses some of the mold-breaking MLB player's body types and the perceived challenges they would need to overcome.
And, we couldn’t do a story about Vogey without including this gem:
Art & Illustrations
In baseball, if a hitter has the same dominant had as the pitcher, it can give them an advantage because of the way the ball comes across the plate. If you split up a batters statistics against right handed pitchers and left handed pitchers, you can see the difference in a statistic called "Platoon Splits"
Daniel Vogelbach has a career OBP of .817 against righties and .489 against lefties.
What had do you think is Daniel's dominant hand? Why do you think these numbers are so different?
A characteristic is a feature, or something that describes a person or thing.
"The combination of all of your characteristics and experiences makes you a truly unique person."
Prototypical means the first, or most common type of something
"Daniel Vogelbach is not the prototypical baseball player"
The leadoff hitter is the first batter for a team every game. You usually pick someone who is really good at getting on base, so that the next people in the lineup can get some hits and help them score. They are usually really fast, and not power hitters - so Daniel was a unique leadoff hitter!
"He is so good at taking balls and getting walks that sometimes he even gets to hit leadoff"
What are some of the things that make you, you? What are you most proud of? On a blank sheet of paper, make a drawing of the things that stand out about you. Feel free to share a picture of your drawing on social media and tag our accounts!
More Story Ideas
Daniel Vogelbach stands out in more ways than one. You could tell a story about...
A time that you stood out for something. What was it? Why did you stand out? How did you feel, and what happened?
Someone who you remember standing out. Why did they stand out, and why do you remember it?
Something about your child that always stands out to you when you see them with other people.
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