The Power of the Bracelet: Featuring Brett Phillips and Lance McCullers Jr


Today is my one-year anniversary of writing for Climbing Tal’s Hill. In the last year I have cherished the experiences of providing my opinion, game recaps, and sometimes venting on this or that. The pieces I am most proud of, however, are in regards to the two interviews (Richard Guill and Lance McCullers) that I have recently conducted. The relationship between these two provide a foundation for this post.

Everything here makes sense. There’s a photographer’s daughter, expressing her youth and creativeness, making memories with a group of professional baseball players. There’s young men (younger than me!) playing a game, chasing their dream, one superstition at a time. And this is all connected by a bracelet — known to those involved as “The Power of the Bracelet.”

The short version of the story is that Brett Phillips received a bracelet, started hitting well. Then a bracelet was also made for Vincent Velasquez, Lance McCullers Jr, Catfish Elkins, and Rio Ruiz. Phillips, of course, had a phenomenal season in route to earning the Astros 2014 Minor League Player of the Year award.

Fortunately I have been able to converse with Richard about the insiders’ perspective:

"“My wife and I took Brett out for supper and my daughter was wearing a bracelet. Brett commented that he liked it…. she made him one that he wore on July 8th where he hit a HR and then went on to hit 5 in 6 games! He got called up right after that and after a week or so he called and asked me if my daughter would make one for him, Vince, Lance, Catfish, and Rio. She did and we overnighted them out so they would have them for the playoffs and we kinda called their success the power of the bracelet.”"

Pretty cool story. Too often I, and probably a few other fans, get caught up in x and y statistics and whether or not the team we liked won or not.

"“[they] forget we are just kids chasing a dream.. doing all we can day in and day out to accomplish that dream, trying not to become that “didn’t make it statistic”. Minor league ball can be challenging, it can bring grown men to a breaking point.. it can make you feel smaller than a grain of sand but it can also be the most glorious and rewarding thing on the planet.” – Lance McCullers, Jr."

As other young men my age chase their dreams on the diamond, I’m chasing my love for baseball in whatever capacity that I can. Right now it’s writing and sharing whatever stories I can find on this site.  Good luck to Vince, Lance, Catfish, Rio, and Brett as they move through the minors and continue chasing their dream.

Thank you to Richard Guill for contributing to this post.