Published on Monday, May 16, 2016 by Payton McKeehan
Standing on the pitcher’s mound, dirt blowing at the pitcher’s feet, all eyes on him, but he’s only focusing on the batter standing sixty feet away. The crowd grows silent, no one breathes for the game is too intense and the pitcher needs one more strike. Senior Landon Minor carries the weight of the pressure with ease each time he takes the mound. He has the mindset of an athlete, of a leader.
Landon has spent the last decade and a half working toward a single goal which was finally realized when Texas A&M offered him a scholarship for baseball.
“Ever since I was little I wanted to play college baseball and being able to go to A&M is a dream come true,” Landon said. “Its both intimidating and exciting. I know it’s going to be hard and it’s going to be a struggle, but it’s going to be fun and I’m looking forward to it.”
As Landon goes off to play college ball, his coach doesn’t doubt his ability to play at the required skill level.
“Landon will continue to work just as well as he has in high school because he’s dedicated to the sport and he has the knowledge of the sport,” Baseball coach David Powers said. “He’ll do whatever it takes to be successful.”
Junior catcher Leon Denena has stood by Landon’s side ever since they had been introduced to the game, creating a bond in and out of baseball.
“It’s fun and easy to catch Landon because he spots his fastball well, locates his pitches, has control over everything, and he knows how to run the game,” Leon said. “He’s very good at controlling the game.”
Leon has watched Landon control the game from the pitcher’s mound ever since Little League.
“I caught him in Little League and he was the hardest throwing kid there, so it was kind of scary to catch him,” Leon said. “Now I watch him improve and get better and now he’s one of the best pitchers in Bryan, which is pretty cool because I was there at the beginning and I’m there right before he goes to college.”
Powers sees something other than just a good baseball player in Landon, he sees drive and a personality that stands out among the rest.
“Landon is a young man of character,” Powers said. “It’s fun to have him on the team because he does other things besides baseball. He gets along with everybody, he’s a good leader, a good friend and a fun young man.”
Teammates see how Landon leads by example on the baseball field and in life.
“He’s very good at getting everybody in the right frame of mind,” Leon said “He’s not always a vocal leader, but he’s very productive and he does well on the field, he gets the job done.”
Through all of the years Landon has played baseball, he has learned many lesson that he has been able to apply to his life.
“Baseball has humbled me,” Landon said. “It’s a very humbling game because you have to be able to deal with failure. Playing baseball over the years has really helped me grow as a person I think I’ve become a better person because of baseball.”
Baseball has also taught Landon how to deal with adversity and endurance to keep trying harder.
“The game has taught me to be able to deal with failure,” Landon said. “You have to be able to lose, and lose bad, and still be able to come back the next game and play as good as you can. You always have to look for the bright side of things and hope for the best.”
Baseball is a sport where nothing is final until the end of the game, if one’s endurance can keep up with it then they could turn their losing game around and win, and that’s Landon’s favorite part about it.
“I like never knowing what’s going to happen. A team could be down by 10 and still win a game,” Landon said. “Being able to compete and never knowing the outcome is my favorite part.”
Landon has always enjoyed baseball but sees pitching as having its own special beauty.
“Pitching is like an art,” Landon said. “You have to be able to throw the ball here and there and be able to change speeds whenever you want. I feel like that’s something I’m pretty good at and that’s why I like pitching; it’s fun to me.”
Coach Powers sees Landon’s leadership skills in how he sets an example for the rest of the team.
“Landon is a really good leader, not so much a vocal leader as just the way he carries himself on the field,” Powers said. “He’s a young man of character on the field and in the classroom.”
Though playing in the majors is always the ultimate dream for baseball players, Landon is focusing on the present and his future at A&M.
“I can’t say what the future holds right now,” Landon said. “But I’m going to A&M and I’m going to work as hard as I can, and I look forward to the future from there.”