Big 12 baseball: Baylor catcher Josh Ludy is Oklahoman's Player of the Year
Ludy commits to improving his defense, waiting for his chance to play
Less than two years ago, Josh Ludy couldn't even crack Baylor's two-deep at catcher.
So entering his junior season, it was time for a difficult sit-down conversation with coach Steve Smith.
Photoview all photos
NewsOK Related Articles
Not a confrontation, but a consultation.
“Josh showed up in my office one day, and I think he was afraid that we didn't want him,” Smith said. “He's an Indiana kid, so he'd come south. And that's not the first time I've had a kid come in to have that conversation. But most of the time when they come in, they come in with a chip on their shoulder and it's almost like, ‘Play me or I'm leaving.'
“Well he came in and the longer we talked he teared up. My sense was this kid wants to play so bad and he's hurting deep inside because he thinks we don't believe in (him).”
Smith, however, believed.
Now everyone's a believer, after Ludy helped power the Bears to the Big 12 regular season championship, belting nine homers and driving in a league-high 54 runs. Eight of Ludy's long balls came in conference play, when Baylor raced to a record 18-0 start en route to a 20-4 finish.
Ludy is The Oklahoman's Big 12 Player of the Year.
Not even Ludy saw all that coming in the fall of 2010.
“We had two other guys ahead of me,” he said. “But one of them ended up leaving after the fall. And then me and (Joey) Hainsfurther split time until the end of the year.”
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 77840Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 16227OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant tours Moore, meets with residents
- 13741Oklahoma tornado: Names of dead released; missing individuals located
- 12057Clippers' Donald Sterling hints coach let go to keep Chris Paul
- 11953Oklahoma tornadoes: ‘All I could do was sit there and hold her'
- 11115Oklahoma tornadoes: Red Cross text donations not designated for Oklahoma
- 11023Oklahoma tornadoes: Oklahoma tornado victims identified