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Another write-up: "Josh Hancock: A True Warrior"

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by Troy, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. Troy

    Troy New Member

    Constructive criticism, welcome and embraced with open arms:

    Most people think they can point and pick when they’re going to die. When you’re a kid, you set out goals in life, and push hard for them. As you grow older, you learn life lessons, and what’s important in life. That importance is finding a balance in what you love, and what you set out to do. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, Josh Hancock, set out what he wanted to do, and accomplished it.

    Hancock, 29, died in a traffic accident early Sunday morning. He ended his career having pitched for 4 different ball clubs in 6 years. His dream was to make a team’s roster, and win a world championship. Josh accomplished that. He had been called fat, overweight, anything relevant to having his game insulted over years. He worked hard in the gym, he made an effort, and he eventually excelled.

    He never got a full chance with Boston, Philadelphia, or Cincinnati. He moved from team to team over a short span of a career. Of course he knew his opportunities would be seldom, so he never stopped working hard. He wasn’t the most talented guy of the bunch, but he had heart, and he brought that heart every single time he came up to the mound.

    With that heart, he achieved one of the goals he set out — make the roster of an MLB team. That MLB team happened to be the St. Louis Cardinals, in 2006. Appearing in 62 games, he went 3-3. As mentioned, he wasn’t the ace of the bullpen, but he had the passion to play the game he loved, with teammates that loved him, winning a championship in that same year with the Redbirds.

    As I cap off this article, I applaud John Hancock. Not for what he did for the Cardinals, but the way he did it; the instance that he wanted to prove that he had what it takes to be a Major League pitcher. He didn’t fall back on waiting for a team to call him; he put in the extra hours and work, doing what it took to become a legit pitcher. Thank you, Josh, you are a true warrior.
  2. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member

    Troy, thanks again for posting.

    Your first sentence really stood out. What you wrote is generalizing and is that really a strong generalization? I don't know. For me, I don't think I can point and pick when I'm going to die and even at that it doesn't make sense. Do people really sit around thinking, I'm going to die August 21, 2070...

    But I think from your previous post it says you're a sophomore in high school? I know when I was a sophomore in high school, putting someone's life into perspective was a difficult task. Hell, even now, I find it difficult to do.

    You paint with broad strokes here.

    You say Hancock reached his dream of making an MLB team and winning a world championship. (What baseball player wants to be a lifelong minor leaguer and not win world championships.)

    You say he worked hard after being called overweight and eventually overcame that.

    You say he never got a full chance with Boston, Philly or Cincy, wasn't the most talented guy, but had heart.

    You say he had a passion to play the game he loved.

    You say he wanted to prove what it takes to be an MLB pitcher.

    Ok, well, I'm sure you can say this about a lot of players. When I read this, Troy, it just seems as if it was written by someone way outside looking in.

    I watch a little baseball, but not much. I never heard of this cat before he died and after reading this I still know nothing about him. This is where Simmons-esque writing falls flat for me. If you were a beat writer for the Cardinals (or simply had access other than watching the games on TV) and were around this team over the last year, you would have stories or you could talk to players and have them relay stories to you regarding Hancock. These stories could support your claims of he worked hard and lost weight; this was a game he loved and so on.

    You skim the top of the story on Hancock. You're missing a lot of information and stories to describe to the reader what this guy is all about.
  3. Troy

    Troy New Member

    Thanks again, dawgpound. I appreciate the time you've given in to read, and critique the two separate parts of my work. I'll try to build off of the tips from the flaws that you pointed out, and learn more from it.

    This site has been excellent so far.

    Poor start by me. I wanted to start strong, and come out with something great, but it floatered away from me. Granted, I am in fact a sophomore in High School, however with death comes emotional wounds to the deceased's close friends/family. I know first hand what it's like to lose someone close. I'm not going to list on and on, but I lost my father when I was in the 7th grade, a close uncle in the 5th grade, and two of my older friends who were very close to me died last June (graduation) in a car accident.

    While I've been use to tragic moments, I somehow wanted to include how I know losing someone feels like. However, that would have been irrelevant to the whole article.
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