Tim Salmon spent some time riding buses in minor league baseball.
He spends these days driving one.
It’s become one of his many responsibilities since taking over last season as the head baseball coach at Scottsdale Christian Academy.
Salmon has always had an affinity for the private school as he’s watched his kids attend and play sports at SCA following his retirement from Major Baseball in 2006. He was an assistant at the school for a number of years and got to coach his son Jacob in his final prep season last spring. Another son, Ryan, is a sophomore on the Eagles’ junior varsity team while daughter Katelyn is one of the school’s top softball players.
The 1993 American League Rookie of the Year who hit 299 career home runs, won a World Series Championship in 2002 with the then Anaheim Angels and last summer went into the franchise’s Hall of Fame is hoping to pay forward various knowledge and experiences from his 15-year big league career.
“The more I’m around [coaching] the more I realize it’s something I really do enjoy,” Salmon told Sports360AZ.com last week. “There’s a lot of teaching opportunities in it. You have some much to pass along and these are the opportunities to do it.”
The Eagles have struggled this season in a tougher, revamped Division III after reaching the State Semi-Finals last season. Through it all, the Greenway High and Grand Canyon star believes there are always lessons to be learned both on and off field for his young student-athletes.
“There’s so much failure in the game of baseball,” he thoughtfully explained. “Yet in that failure you can be a Hall-of-Famer being successful thirty percent of the time. A little bit like life. You get knocked down and you have to figure out a way to pick yourself back up. As a coach I can make so many more parallels into real life through the game of baseball.
His players certainly have Salmon’s full attention.
“You get to learn so many attributes about the game that you really didn’t know,” junior shortstop and starting pitcher Kameron Quitno told Sports360AZ.com. “How to catch a ball or staying down [when fielding]. Just the little things…play with all your heart. You don’t want to go home that day knowing you didn’t give it your all.”
Salmon’s playing days ended a decade ago but he still stays connected to the big leagues by doing some television analyst work for the Angels after his prep season ends. He’s hinted, when the time is right, he’d like to take his coaching craft to the big leagues.
For now he’s more than happy driving the bus and helping his young players navigate their way through the road of life.