Ex-minor leaguer, Billy Susdorf, has played baseball for several years. Susdorf has been playing since he was 9 years old and has had a passion for America’s pastime ever since. Susdorf attended Hart High School where he won a CIF title his sophomore year, was named CIF Division 1 Player of the Year his senior season, was named First Team All-State in California, and won the Foothill League MVP twice in his time at Hart High School.
Susdorf earned a scholarship to play for UCLA where he played for three years. His freshman year he got a hefty amount of playing time where he pitched and also played in the outfield. He was named all Pac-10 his sophomore and junior year where he played right field.
Susdorf was later drafted in his junior season by the Texas Rangers in the 6th round. He played for the Spokane Indians, Clinton Lumberkings and was later traded to the San Diego Padres affiliate, Lake Elsinore Storm.
Susdorf played 3 years in the minors before walking away from the game. “The light at the end of the tunnel was slowly closing up and I just decided I wanted to have a family and have kids,” Susdorf explained.
After Susdorf made his decision to hang up his spikes, he took to coaching to continue to be involved in the sport he has always loved. “I loved the sport, so getting into coaching was kind of easy … I wanted to pass on my knowledge to young kids.” Susdorf sees coaching as his “release on the day” from the hard grind at work.
There are many aspects to coaching that Susdorf enjoys, but one area he truly enjoys is seeing these young athletes succeed and grow as a baseball player. Susdorf went on to explain what he enjoys specifically, “…Kind of molding them a little bit after the way you played, and the way you believe the game should be played.”
Susdorf coaches with Santa Clarita Redhawks Head Coach, Jerry Miller. Miller says that Susdorf is “phenomenal” with the boys and that he relates with them very well. “I’m a little bit more of the disciplinary on the team and he comes up [to the boys] and says ‘Hey good job’ and he’s the positive reinforcement that the boys need,” Miller said.
Susdorf has quite the unique coaching philosophy. He delivers a very specific type of baseball one of which that requires a lot of bunting, hit and runs, and stealing. “I like on field controlled chaos … You may get thrown out a time or two, but eventually it will lead to a big inning,” Susdorf declared.
Susdorf has played at all levels of baseball, but he had very specific advice for young baseball players trying to pursue a professional career. “Don’t get frustrated, he said. “You’re going to have bumps along the way and times when you want to quit and also make sure its the right lifestyle choice for you. Just don’t give up and always work hard.”
Susdorf currently lives in the Santa Clarita Valley with his wife. He has two brothers and a sister, all of which received scholarships to play sports at the collegiate level. Susdorf continues to coach and give lessons to young athletes around the Santa Clarita Valley. He keeps his mind on the game by playing in slow-pitch softball leagues and also is part of the DeMarini slow-pitch association that travels across the country.