Rob Mason's Northeast Pensacola team of 9-year-olds took the Dizzy Dean World Series in summer 1999 and Mason explained how: With fundamentals, according to The Pensacola News Journal.
"We played a lot of games against 10-under teams and we took our lumps," Mason told The News-Journal. "But they learned something positive. They hung in there and it paid off."
Mason coached those kids with experience from the pros. Years earlier, Mason spent four seasons in the Expos system. He topped out at high-A.
Mason's pro career began in 1987, taken by the Expos in the 21st round of the draft out of the University of New Orleans and Jefferson Davis Junior College in Alabama. He played his high school ball at Pensacola's Tate High.
At New Orleans, Mason hit .325, with seven home runs and 40 RBI his senior campaign.
He started with the Expos in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He hit .212 in 40 games. He then saw single-A West Palm Beach and the GCL for 1988. He hit .160 in 55 games overall that year,
Mason made single-A Rockford for 1989. His season included the unusual situation where he - and an opposing player - was pressed into service as an umpire after the home plate umpire became ill in the second inning. He saw just 13 games overall that year.
He returned to West Palm Beach for 1990. He got into 26 games and hit .148 to end his career.
Made the Majors:1,234-34.7%
Never Made Majors:2,318-65.3%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:513
10+ Seasons in the Minors:304