You could be at this website for a number of reasons.
You may know me personally. Maybe we struck up a conversation and I mentioned this site. It could have been a teammate, coach, or friend that threw out a mention.
Regardless, you're here. Now.
And you want to know who the heck I am.
Well, I'm an open book.
And I mean that. Truly! Heck, if you want to grab coffee or meet me face to face, here's my number: (317)-694-6726. I love meeting new people! But coffee is for the birds [you say] - and you want the facts.
So here goes.
My name is David Ledbetter.
I've grown up in Indiana most of my life - spent a little spurt in Wisconsin when I was very young, so I have to say "most". I am the oldest of three kids, one being my identical twin brother and my better-looking-than-all-of-us sister. I have the best two role models a kid could ever ask for in my father and mother. They've taught me more about life than baseball could ever teach me.
But baseball does teach a lot... so let's get to that journey.
Baseball became part of my life in T-ball, at the age of five.
The dream of pitching in the Big Leagues was very far away at this point, as I was much more interested in dirt and worms than I was with bats and balls.
I had no aspirations to be a professional athlete. I just wanted to play sports and compete! I wanted to get out there and make a difference for my team and be important. As well as make many friends who would laugh with (and at) me. Baseball didn't actually become a dream until high school.
It wasn't until we won back-to-back state championships (2A, mind you) with Heritage Christian that I was willing to commit to being a baseball player. I saw it in my future. Heck, I knew I wanted baseball to be in my future before I knew I wanted my girlfriend to be my wife! (We were high school sweethearts and dating at this time...)
But I didn't go D1. Big schools weren't too interested in a smaller guy from an even smaller school. They want the talent now - and they'll pay for it! But I didn’t care so much about getting to go “D1” as I did about just playing the game, getting a good education, and - most importantly - growing as a man. I elected to go to Cedarville University, a small Christian school, that was NAIA at the time. When I visited the campus, the people were friendly, inviting, and genuinely interested in me and I knew I wanted to value others like they did. College helps shape us not into who we are, but who we will be become. I wanted to be like these people (or at least those I had met...)!
I worked hard. Really hard.
I spent my mornings in the gym and evenings with the books (mixed in with a little shenanigan activity here and there). I can even remember a business class assignment that had us write down a 5 and 10-year timeline of our lives and I wrote about my life as a professional pitcher! Who says a kid can't dream, right?! But those years flew by. And God paved out some crazy circumstances for my twin brother and I to end up getting drafted in the SAME year by the SAME TEAM! Through getting hit by a truck, tearing an ACL, breaking a hamate bone, getting Tommy John surgery, skipping a vital year of summer ball to go to the Winning Inning in Clearwater, Florida and all the craziness that college brought, we got drafted in the 2013 MLB Draft.
Just absolute madness.
Thank you, Texas Rangers, for taking a chance on - not one - but two crazy kids from good ole' Indy with their heads in the clouds.
And that's how I ended up in pro ball. A ton of hard work, sweat, study, and chocolate milk! But that's only part of the story. I would go on to spend the next years growing, refining, and preparing my stuff for the Big League level. Every day was an opportunity to get just 1% better than I was the day before. And it was working - I was making it up in the "Farm". But, a word common in great stories, it wouldn't lead me to the Show. Nope, I elected to retire during my second year in AAA. I got to tell my dad that I would retire before him... what a millenial move, right?! You can, and should, read about that whole decision here (Retirement).
I would experience some huge seasons of great success and great failure.
There were times I wanted to give up because I didn't believe I could do it. I really thought that my talent would never measure up at the Big League level. Other times I'd be on the phone with my wife so she could coax me out of walking into the manager's office and demanding a Big League role.
I got to pitch in some of the best ballparks in the world: immaculate cities with downtown views and plenty of fun to go around! Places where you could feel the electricity in the crowd and the intensity of the game. I also got to pitch at the worst park in the entire world (for a pitcher. the absolute dream field if you're a hitter! Funny how perspective changes things...). Literally. There was a list and everything! I called that bad boy home for TWO YEARS; and two years in minor league ball is a long time. Talk about grinding it out.
But these events, these memories and experiences, prepared me to give back. I have a responsibility to give back what I've learned so that others can prepare themselves to be better athletes, leaders, coaches, friends, and all-around humans. We all have that duty to others.
I want to sharpen the next generation of athletes to be way better than me on the field. That shouldn't even be a question! I know this game well and want to teach it to everyone. But much more important in that growth is the desire I have to raise up a generation of men better than me. Men who will live boldly for a purpose bigger than baseball. Men who will be responsible for their decisions and constantly seek growth.
We lack men with purpose. We chase a lot of things that just aren't important and then wake up years later as if we were in a stupor, wondering how we are where we are and whether or not we just wasted years of our lives. In these times, both in youth and adulthood, it is critical to understand why you're doing what you're doing and where you want to go. I'm here to guide and prepare those who are listening to be successful not just in victory and performance, but in failure and defeat as well.
What people are saying about me
sbs baseball founder
99th overall pick (2013)
NWL All-Star (2013)
CAL League Champions (2016)
5+ seasons without injury (2013-2018)
Arizona Fall League (2017)
AAA Opening Day Starter (2018 - and a good story too!)
550+ innings of professional experience