Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb is in it for the kids. On Saturday, MLB Network’s kid-focused show “Play Ball” will feature the young slugger.
According to an MLB Network representative, “Play Ball” features MLB stars discussing reaching the Majors, providing advice to kids trying to get better at the game, and sharing tips in one-on-one demonstrations with MLB Network analysts.
Lamb will discuss his hitting approach, which has proven to be a successful part of his career in Arizona. The 26-year-old has 64 HR and 226 RBI in his three short years with the Diamondbacks.
But, a big part of Lamb’s story is his connection to Seattle. Not only did Lamb grow up in Seattle, but he chose to forego a draft contract out of high school to attend the local University of Washington.
In fact, his favorite moment as a major-leaguer came when the Diamondbacks visited Seattle in 2015.
"“Probably playing [in] Safeco Field in Seattle in 2015, played the Mariners,” Lamb said. “It was just crazy, growing up, going to that field, and now I had all my friends, family [there]. All my friends from [Bishop] Blanchet High School [and] University of Washington came out, so that was definitely the coolest thing.”"
It was in Seattle where Lamb became the true athlete that Diamondbacks fans see today. He played soccer, basketball, football and baseball. He might be a professional baseball player now, but it wasn’t always his favorite sport growing up.
"“Probably basketball … because it was indoors. It was really whatever season it was,” Lamb said. “If it was soccer, soccer was my favorite sport. Baseball season, baseball was my favorite sport, watching [Ken] Griffey [Jr.] and the Mariners.”"
While kids are growing up in Phoenix right now and looking up to Lamb, he had his own idol as a kid in Seattle: The Kid himself, Ken Griffey Jr.
"“He’s the face of the city for sports. The backwards hat, the shoes, he was the first guy that started baseball swag,” Lamb said. “I’m a righty thrower, but it was ‘Do everything like Griffey.’ Everyone used a Griffey stance. My dad would put me at shortstop [and] I’d want to play center. That was the guy to watch and my favorite player.”"
For all the kids watching, whether that’s in Phoenix, or Seattle, or anywhere else, Lamb has a bit of advice.
"“Play as many sports as possible and have fun. Have fun with your teammates,” Lamb said. “Make sure you thank your parents for all the stuff they do, too. Just have fun with whatever you’re doing.”"
MLB Network’s “Play Ball” episode featuring Jake Lamb will air on Saturday morning at 7 a.m. (PST) and then again at 1:30 p.m. (PST).