Canzano: Pat Casey sounds off on finding talent, coaching and why he walked away from baseball
1-on-1 with former Oregon State coach.
Pat Casey won three national championships at Oregon State. He joined me this week for a 1-on-1 discussion about life, baseball and why he walked away from coaching.
Listen to the full interview with Casey here:
Casey, 63, hung it up after the 2018 championship season. He said he considered returning for another year but just couldn’t do it.
"I was drained,” said Casey. “I didn't feel like I had that edge to come back and do it the way I'd done it. I thought that was not fair to the athletes there."
On his dreams as a kid growing up in Newberg:
“Back when I grew up there wasn’t a lot of social media around to tell me anything was out there further than the edge of Newberg. I don’t know what my goals were. When the fall was around I thought I would be an NFL player, when it was raining I thought I would be in the NBA, and when the sun peeked out… I thought I’d be a big leaguer.”
On fewer high school kids playing multiple sports:
“I think it’s a great way to find out who is competitive and how athletic they are in other sports… it’s changed drastically and takes away from the high school experience.”
On building a team with the right blend of talent and culture:
“Professional sports is a prime example. There are times where there are too many superstars on one team and maybe they don’t have that team aspect of what we’re trying to do. I don’t think it’s much different in college. When you look at the guys we had and where they came from and how they blended it’s a very unique thing… we didn’t have to have the most talent but we were extremely talented… there are times the most talented team wins it, but there are times when the most talented team goes home and watches other teams win championships.”
On the danger of the transfer portal:
“There’s a process to everything. When you’re a kid you want to drive when you’re 13. You go to your parents and say, ‘If you don’t let me drive I’ll transfer to the next family.’ There are things that are important about development and discipline that we may not know are good for us until we go through it. When you take away the fact that some of them should and have to go through it in order to get something out of it I really think you’re making a mistake. I see these student-athletes who work hard, so many of them are dedicated, but they’re so young… I learned from my mistakes and players learn from disappointment. I’m all for the student athlete and their well being… I’m a little bit worried about it.”
We talked about several Oregon State players who went on to play in Major League Baseball and what it’s been like for Casey to watch ex-OSU star Mitch Canham take over the program. It was a really candid talk with a great subject.