05/21/2007 3:08 PM ET
Speier: Baseball is in the blood
Reliever Justin Speier is in his first season with the Angels. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
My dad instilled the work ethic and a love of the game upon which I've built my career.
Because my dad (Chris) was a Major Leaguer, I got to see the sights and sounds of Major League Baseball when I was younger. That's when I developed a love for the game and a work ethic that has gotten me to this level, too. Not too many kids get to learn the game from Major Leaguers and Major League coaches.
But I wasn't one of the kids in the clubhouse who just came in and had fun. My dad used to tell me if I wanted to come into the clubhouse, I was going to have to work. So I ended up getting a job with the Giants and worked in their clubhouse.
I cleaned spikes, vacuumed the clubhouse -- anything that needed to be done. I wasn't the typical kid, eating all the food and running around. He made it a point to instill that work ethic in me at a young age and now I'm thankful for it.
My favorite team growing up was whichever team my father was playing for at the time. I probably rooted for the Giants most because he played more years for San Francisco than any of his other clubs.
We both played part of our careers for Canadian teams. He played for the Expos and I played for the Blue Jays. And we both did it in the middle of our careers. We both also went to teams on the West Coast after playing in Canada.
One area where we were very different is that he was a top prospect and I wasn't. The Giants selected my dad as the second overall pick in the 1970 draft. I was drafted by the Cubs in the 56th round.
Kerry Wood was the No. 1 pick of the Cubs the year I was drafted, but we both made it to the big leagues at the same time. The difference was I signed for a bag of chips while he signed for a bit more. But it made me work that much harder and it made me stay focused. You can't measure a person's will and desire. That's something the draft doesn't measure.
Reliever Justin Speier is the son of former big-league shortstop Chris Speier, who played for the Giants, Expos, Cardinals, Twins and Cubs between 1971 and 1989. Justin, 33, is in his first season with the Angels and was 0-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 15 games before going on the disabled list.