TESTIMONIAL TO PURSUING, BELIEVING, AND ACCOMPLISHING A DREAM
Erin Ambrose, daughter of author and motivational speaker Dr. Paul Mullen, grew up with a baseball in one hand and a bat in the other. She had a dream that became a reality, building up to a 75 mph pitch at a very young age, and then playing on TEAM USA, winning gold in the World Cup in the Women’s World Series in Japan. TEAM USA has memorabilia in both the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame and the Canadian Hall of Fame in Alberta, Canada. Erin Ambrose is Dr. Paul Mullen’s inspiration for his series of books set in the scenery of the cities with MLB stadiums. Dr. Paul Mullen is planning on coming to Texas schools to share his inspiring baseball tales. Erin Ambrose and her husband live in Fort Worth, Texas.
Q: When did you first start playing baseball?
A: When I was 4.
Q: What did you want to be when you grew up? What were your dreams?
A: I wanted to be the first woman baseball player in the MLB. I didn’t know it at the time, but Jackie Mitchell was one of the first pitchers in professional baseball history. She struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in succession.
Q: Where did you first play baseball?
A: Cressona, Pennsylvania. I played with my dad every Sunday when I was 4. We lived in a rural community.
Q: Did you play through high school and college?
A: I played a starting position in rotation as a freshman in high school. I beat out the son of a prominent citizen in the community. Because of that I was benched all year and only called up to bat to bunt. My dad and I had a serious talk and I decided to switch to softball my sophomore year in high school for a better chance at a college scholarship. I still played baseball in the summer with the guys.
Q: So, then you were playing softball with the girls. How was that?
A: It was definitely an adjustment, but I learned quickly.
Q: Did you have a mentor?
A: Coach Leigh supported me no matter what.
Q: Where was that?
A: Cressona, Pennsylvania
Q: Do you have a favorite baseball player? What made this person a favorite?
A: Aaron Boone. He played with the Reds, Indians, Yankees, Marlins, Nationals and Astros. Also, Josh Hamilton. He plays with the Rangers now. He was on the Reds. The Cincinnati Reds and the Texas Rangers are my teams. Aaron Boone is good on and off the field. He is a good roll model and is now a game analyst and contributor for Baseball Tonight.
Q: I understand you were inducted in Cooperstown Hall of Fame. Tell me a little about that. What accomplishments did you achieve to get inducted?
A: In 2001, I joined TEAM USA, and won the first ever Women’s World Series, played in the Toronto Sky Dome. I was chosen in 2004 to play again for TEAM USA, in the first Women’s World Cup, sanctioned by IBAF and USA Baseball. I was pitcher. Our first stop was Japan for the Women’s World Series. We played the World Cup in Edmonton, Alberta and won Gold. The National Baseball Hall of Fame is in Cooperstown, New York. This is the same place Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio are immortalized. I also have memorabilia in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. This is the most elite level a woman can go in baseball at this point in time.
Q: Your dad tells me that the Cathy character in the book “Bases Loaded at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is based in part on you and how you excelled in baseball.” Can you tell me some of the characteristics of Cathy you see in yourself?
A: She is spunky and not willing to back down. She doesn’t care what other people think, yet she is very sensitive.
Q: You said you were 4 years old when you started playing baseball on a team. What do you think about the 7-year old little girl, Anna Kimbell, from Allen, Texas, who was thrown off the pre-little league team for being a girl and because the coach wanted to have a more competitive team?
A: A coach’s job is to nurture the child’s gift and support the team. A coach’s job isn’t to discriminate.
Erin Ambrose spent her internship in 2008 with the United States Olympic Committee assisting the Paralympics. Read her story at the NCAA Double-A Zone: Official Blog of the NCAA.
For book reviews and student/teacher reactions to Dr. Mullen’s inspiring assemblies and his new book, “Bases Loaded at Rangers Ballpark In Arlington,” visit the website promoting the Every Child Dreams of Greatness literacy campaign at www.thedayihitahomerun.com. Schools and organizations interested in booking an assembly with Dr. Paul Mullen and ordering books send an e-mail to Liz.Clowdus@gmail.com.