Bush looks to make his mark at 2022 Scrappers | News, sports, jobs

When it comes to baseball, Homer Bush has stories to tell.

In fact, Bush has already shared some of his stories with audiences in the form of a book he published titled, “Hitting Low in the Zone: A New Baseball Model.”

In the book, Bosch details the swing mechanisms needed to increase offensive production while regaining control of each hit. Bush also shares stories and experiences of his days in Major League Baseball, which included the World Championships.

Now, Bush is set to share his baseball experiences up close and personal to a select group of players – the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

Last month, Bosch was introduced as the new director of Scrappers. He steps in as Coco Crisp, who served as the Scrappers’ captain in 2021. Last winter, Crisp joined the Washington Nationals as outside coordinator and base.

Scrappers are a member of the MLB Draft League.

“I’m so excited, I can’t wait to meet everyone and let it all go,” Bush said. “I love being in the game and being involved. I love sharing ideas with the players, seeing the development and being a part of it. I am passionate about teaching.

“This league, and its concept of giving important players a chance to hone their game and grab attention is something I can relate to very much.”

As a teenager at East St. Louis High School in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Bush was noticed throughout Illinois for his exploits in both baseball and football. Bush still holds Illinois State High School football records for most touchdowns scored and most yards received in a season.

Bush was one of eight children raised by his mother. His father, a police officer, was shot and killed while off duty during Bush’s early childhood.

“I was lucky, I was surrounded by my mom, siblings and some great role models who kept me in class,” Bush said. “The sport was my outlet, and it also kept me on the right track.

“I knew sports would be my future. At the time, I thought it would be my ticket to college.”

Bush was actually recruited to play football for several of his Division I schools, but he chose baseball when the San Diego Padres named him in the seventh round of the 1991 draft.

Bush spent seven years in the minor leagues before the trade sent him in 1997 to the New York Yankees. He made the Yankees’ Big List in 1998 and was part of the 98 World Championship Team.

“It’s crazy, you’ve worked all these years to get to the next level and then all of a sudden you find yourself on the biggest stage in baseball,” Bush said. “The Yankees were full of great players.

“I understood my role, I knew I wasn’t going to be an everyday player. I just wanted to make an impact and always be ready when asked.”

Bush appeared in 45 games and hit 0.380 (27 of 71) with six stolen bases. It was then traded in Toronto at the end of the 98 campaign.

He averaged 0.320 and stole 32 bases for the Blue Jays in the ’99 season.

Bush remained with the Blue Jays until 2002. He spent part of that season in Florida, then returned to the Yankees for a brief period in 2004 before a thigh injury forced him out of the game.

“I discovered the system early on, I knew if I could hit .280, steal about thirty bases and play a solid defense, I could stay around for a bit,” Bush said. “I have no regrets, I’m happy with how things are going.”

After retiring from the game, Bush worked as a financial analyst, author, speaker, coach, and coach at various levels of baseball. He also managed to spend invaluable time with his family. Bush notes that he married his high school sweetheart. They are the parents of a 23-year-old daughter and a 20-year-old son who plays baseball at Grand Canyon University.

“Not having my parents while I was growing up made me realize the importance of being there for my kids,” Bush said.

Given Bush’s self-described obsession with collecting data, crunching numbers and putting them to work on the baseball diamond, it looks as if he’s found a perfect fit in the MLB Draft League.

“The players I will be working with are very close to recruiting, and I hope I can provide some advantage to get them off the hump,” Bush said.

In an exemplary fashion, Bush did his homework extensively before accepting the role of Director of Scrappers. After speaking with MLB Draft League president Kerrick Jackson and a number of the league’s coaches and managers, Bush felt fitting.

“The league is going well and its future looks bright,” Bush said. “In his inaugural season last year, there were a lot of hurdles and the league seemed to overcome them all.”

In 2021, the league saw the selection of 39 of its players in the MLB draft. Another 50 players were signed as free agents. Two of the league’s draft managers found jobs with MLB organizations during the off-season.

Bush said he’s particularly excited to be part of the Scrappers organization. While the Scrappers lose Crisp, they will keep the rest of their coaching staff, including Vic Butler (bats coach), Ron Mahay (throwing coach), and Craig Antosh (assistant bowling coach).

“That’s a big bonus for me, get them back guys,” Bush said. “I don’t have to go in and reinvent the wheel. I’ll be able to build on their experiences from last year and that would be a huge asset.

“Furthermore, I have heard nothing but great things from everyone about Mahoning Valley. The stadium, the fans, the front office and the region in general. It was just one great review after another.”

The Scrappers opened their season on June 2 with the start of a four-game streak at home against West Virginia.

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