Bolsinger's dad always a source for advice

Right-hander's father helped son choose school before turning pro

Bolsinger's dad always a source for advice

LOS ANGELES -- All you need to know about Mike Bolsinger's upbringing is to hear him speak about his father's role in his career and his life.

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"I respect my elders, what they have to say and think, because, no disrespect to my generation, I just think my parents' generation knows a lot more than my generation," the Dodgers pitcher said when asked about Father's Day. "I listen to older players, they have a lot of valuable information. I respect them and feel they've worked a lot harder than I have. That's all a compliment to my mom and dad."

John Bolsinger is a 59-year-old project manager in McKinney, Texas, where Mike was a standout prep pitcher who turned down offers to sign after being drafted twice to get an education at the University of Arkansas -- on Dad's advice.

"'No, don't do it. That money is not worth a college education,'" Bolsinger recalled his father saying. "'In the long run, this will pay off.'"

John Bolsinger never played baseball after high school, but he's an authority on the Dodgers starter, who is 4-1 as the fill-in for the injured Hyun-Jin Ryu. Father and son talk every day, including 30 minutes before and right after every one of his starts.

"I've watched a ton of baseball, not that it makes me an expert, but I've seen him pitch so many times and watched how the hitters react and I can tell him that guy looks for this pitch so stay away from that," John said.

"This year I asked him, 'Where's that slider you used to throw to left-handers?' He's brought it back and getting more strikeouts with it. I used to preach to him a lot about Greg Maddux when he was worried about his velocity. You don't need more than 90 mph, just be accurate and you'll be fine."

John Bolsinger said he and wife Mary have always been there to offer advice, but they always let their son make the decision.

"We never pushed Mike into doing something he didn't want to do," he said. "Every year when it came up for baseball season to start, we asked him, 'Do you want to play again?' He always said yes. If he would have said no, I would have let it go. Even as kids, it was a lot of hard work and time away from something else.

"I never pushed him, but always encouraged him. Big difference. In high school, he was asked to try out for quarterback. He went to a few practices and said, 'Dad, this isn't for me.' I said fine, just concentrate on baseball. I think today kids are pushed into too many directions. I always told Mike, do what you like, and you'll never be sorry. I guess it worked out."

Mike said Father's Day is the right time to thank Dad for the advice.

"I appreciate everything he's done for me," he said. "He's a big part of my life and career. I feel he's always there for me. For that, I definitely love him."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.