The 2017-18 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Baseball First Team was chosen by USA TODAY Sports’ Jim Halley in consultation with high school coaches.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: J.T. Ginn, Brandon
Name: Steve Chapman
School: Calallen (Corpus Christi, Texas)
Key stats: Won his 1000th game this year, making him the only active coach in Texas with 1,000 wins. His overall record is 1,017-228-3 and since he took over the program at Calallen in 1983, has won three state championships and never had a losing record.
Greatest players I’ve taken a selfie with: Doug Drabek and Matt Carpenter. Matt Carpenter’s dad was inducted in the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame the same year I was and Matt Carpenter was there. Doug Drabek and I played on the same (travel ball) team and we’re friends.
Breaking in a new glove: I haven’t picked up a glove in a while. I used to wrap the ball in the glove and used Vaseline on it.
The most influential man in baseball: Joe Torre was probably the most influential person I know in major league baseball. He has always one of my favorite managers. He stays on an even keel.
My talent on America’s Got Talent: I can’t sing and I can’t dance. If fishing was part of that, I’d might do pretty well.
Favorite batting order spot: I always liked hitting third, so I could maybe drive in a few runs.
First car driven and dream car: The first car I got to drive was my dad’s laundry van. It was a Ford Econoline van. My dream car would be a 2018 Chevy truck, which is what I own right now.
Smartest thing I’ve done lately: We pitched backward with our pitchers in the zone playoffs and it worked out for us. We saved our No. 1 pitcher for the second game.
Dumbest thing I’ve done lately: I played golf the other day when it was 110 degrees. I like being outside.
Teacher of influence: My college coach Charlie Robinson. I went to Mary Hardin-Baylor. He had an impact on me. I’ve also tried to emulate things from a lot of different coaches that I’ve watched.
My biggest pet peeve: For anybody to be late, whether it’s coaches or players, when there’s something scheduled at a certain time.
My second-best sport is: Football. I played quarterback in high school at Hallettsville.
Most memorable team: The 2008 state championship team. We went 42-1. I could also say any one of the three state championship teams we’ve had and several runner-up’s because the kids put a lot of effort into being successful.