Bobby Link is the new face of baseball and softball at Salem High School as he will coach both teams this upcoming season. In the rapid fire question and answer with Link he spoke on his time in the Detroit Tigers' and Cleveland Indians' farm system, how he can help his student-athletes and more.
The Rockdale News: In your mind, what do you bring to Salem as far as coaching softball goes?
Bobby Link: I've coached women and softball many, many years as a personal instructor. Basically I hope I can bring some stability.
RN: What will the identity of your team be this season?
Link: Basically kids learning the game, and working hard to be better as the game. Working really hard to get better at the game, that's the best way to say it.
RN: When you meet with the team, what are you going to try to relay to them as far as your coaching style and stuff like that goes?
Link: As long as they're on time, work hard and do what I ask we'll have a great time.
RN: Would you say you're a player's coach?
Link: Yes. I learned that from Sparky Anderson.
RN: Where are you coming from (before coaching at Salem)?
Link: The last head coaching job I had was in south Georgia. I coached at Duluth High School for a long time. I played professional baseball for seven years before I got into teaching and coaching. I coached at Florida community college in Jacksonville. I've coached football, basketball, swimming - lots of different sports. I was in Gwinnett County teaching at a middle looking to get back into coaching.
RN: Where'd you play baseball?
Link: I played for Saint Leo college and then I went and played for Detroit and Cleveland. I got drafted out of high school and I got drafted again in college in the third round. I got drafted again my senior year and signed with Cleveland. I played with them for three years. They weren't giving me the opportunity to pitch at the next level and then Detroit did.
RN: So you were a pitcher?
RN: Righty or lefty?
Link: Right-handed. If I was left-handed I'd probably still be playing (he said jokingly).
RN: That's true. I guess you never can get enough of the southpaws.
Link: I was anywhere from 88 (mph) to 94 when I was finishing up. My slider was anywhere from 78 to 82 and then my changeup was 68 miles an hour, actually it was a screwball. Learned it from Mike Marshall - he was pitching coach in college. I pitched a lot. I think I still have a record in Division II for consecutive appearances.
RN: I'm gonna look it up coach, you probably do. (I checked, and he didn't have the record anymore. It's now owned by Jason Herz and Trevor Schulte. However, he is tied for ninth with an array of other players in most games pitched in a season.)
RN: As far as pitching goes, what do you bring in softball?
Link: We're meant to pitch underhand not upright and overhand. I am knowledgeable about it, but I'm still studying the game. When I'm done livin', I'm done coaching.