SIERRA VISTA — Some will call Darick Hall’s path to the pros destiny, but he and those close to him will say it’s a result of his hard work.
Sierra Vista native Hall has spent the last four years perfecting his craft within the Philadelphia Phillies organization. He is currently with the Reading Fightin Phils, the Double-A affiliate of Philadelphia Phillies.
“Pro ball is tough. Just like anything you do in life,” Hall said. “It’s (the minors) like a crazy hard internship — because baseball is a skilled sport, you have to craft your skill.”
Becoming better means playing more, which is what Hall says has been the biggest adjustment he’s faced since signing with the Phillies after they selected him in the 14th round of the 2016 MLB draft.
“The hardest part of the game is mental ... (and) learning how to handle your emotions every single day,” Hall said. “It’s definitely an adjustment playing (three times a week) ... to playing baseball every single day.”
And even though it was years ago, he remembers getting the phone call like it was yesterday.
“The anticipation was there, but I didn’t know what day,” he said. “I was at Buena watching my brother at a summer baseball game when I got the call. It was a crowning achievement (and was fitting) because I was sitting at my high school where it all started.”
Hall’s earliest memory of him playing baseball was when he was 3-years-old and competed throughout the different leagues offered in Sierra Vista and ultimately for Buena High School. However, baseball was a natural sport for him to fall into.
“I was born into a baseball family and that’s kinda where this was all born,” he said. “My grandpa, Bo Hall, was the one who really passed his passion (for baseball) to his sons.”
As a kid, Hall witnessed his uncle Sam Hall get drafted in 1999 and 2000 but he didn’t think he could reach the level of professional baseball until he was a senior at Buena. Hall said as a senior he realized if he put in the work and progressed further he could make it. It was participating in the White Sox scout team before his senior season that helped him realize his potential.
Hall went on to play at Cochise College after he graduated from Buena, and then traded his Apaches uniform for the Patriots of Dallas Baptist University. He played one season there before being drafted.
“I always thought of baseball as a dream,” Hall said. “I always wanted a chance to play at the highest level ... I chose to chase the dream.”
Although he chose to leave school early, Hall said he will finish his degree in Interdialiniary Studies: kinesiology and sociology, through Dallas Baptist University in the offseason.
Hall admits the life of a minor league baseball player isn’t glamorous, but being able to play, meet new people and travel is something he treasures.
He knows the minors is a crucial part of becoming a major leaguer.
“Every single day is a challenge and I’ve always like being challenged,” he said. “Going into it you don’t know what to expect. It took me a while to learn what it was about (but) being open helped me learn.”
Though he doesn’t make it back to Sierra Vista often, when he does he likes to help out local players. When asked what advice he would give athletes from his home town, he said it doesn’t matter where you come from. If you put in the work and are focused you can turn your dream into a reality.