Welcome to Hardball Society! … OK, what is this?

A Baseball Lifestyle Project.

Our goal here at Hardball Society is to pull back the curtain and explore the stories, depths and process of baseball. We’re all about diving into career paths, off-the-field passions, conversations about process, philosophies, mentors, lifestyles, etc.

At HardballSociety.com, you can expect a strong mix of storytelling, opinions and humor — and wide-ranging conversations and story-telling sessions with industry insiders — from players, scouts and executives to authors and umpires

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Podcast host Justin Musil

Claim to baseball credibility: I’m fortunate enough to run one of the top high school baseball advising companies in the country, and I also work as an associate scout for the Texas Rangers. Most importantly, I refuse to play slow pitch softball, which catapults my street cred within the industry.

Favorite player as a kid: Sweet-swinging Ken Griffey Jr. I had a nice collage of magazine cutouts of him all over my walls in my bedroom until I was 18. Looking back, it wasn’t as normal as I thought it was at the time.

Most memorable baseball moment as a fan: Watching Kirby Puckett’s Game 6 home run in the 1991 World Series. I was only 8, but nothing has topped it since.

Most memorable baseball moment as a player: The 1995 Haugen Brewers Little League championship. Our 9-hole hitter finally put something in play and it was too hot for outfielder to handle. It was a two run walk-off triple. There is nothing like being in the pile after winning a title. Even if it’s Little League!

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Podcast host Phil Mackey

Claim to baseball credibility: I’ve written about, broadcast about and podcast about baseball for more than a decade, including working as a major league beat writer and talk show host for ESPN Twin Cities for several years. I also won a fantasy league once in like 2006, which takes my credibility to lofty levels.

Favorite player as a kid: Sammy Sosa, until I realized he was corking his bats and perhaps taking some “extra strong vitamins.” The summer of 1998 is still “real to me, dammit!”

Most memorable baseball moment(s) as a fan: Sitting in the Metrodome during Game 163 between the Twins and Tigers in 2009. This atmosphere made me an even bigger fan of MLB’s new one-game wild card play-in system. I’m also lucky enough to have attended two no-hitters in person — Eric Milton against a nondescript Angels lineup in 1999, and Francisco Liriano at U.S. Cellular Field in 2011.

Most memorable baseball moment as a player: Being named Culver’s Player of the Game once in high school by a local radio station. Hey, there’s no shame in peaking at age 17.

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