When 25 = 1 by Brandon Belt

Something’s happening on this team and in this clubhouse. You can probably see it yourself.

Despite last night’s 14-2 debacle – which was just bizarre – we’re a different team than we were at the start of the season. It’s not just that we’ve added new players, though that’s part of it.  I don’t know exactly the right words, but it’s this sense of meshing together as a single unit. Really battling for each other. Really believing that if one guys is scrapping, someone else will pick him up.

I guess it’s what some people call chemistry. How it comes about, I have no idea. But I’ve never felt it more than I do now.

And there is nothing more fun in this game than playing on a team with that kind of camaraderie. It’s awesome. And the thing is, the more you let go of your own individual performance, the better you seem to play. I don’t know how that works, but it does.

Sunday night was a great example. We were down. Things weren’t going our way. But we never stopped battling. Every at-bat. Every pitch. Every inning. And we came back to win.

You’re battling for two reasons, I think: because you completely believe you can win, and you don’t want to let your teammates down. They’re doing everything they can to win, so you never stop thinking about what little thing you can do – in the field, on the base paths, at the plate – to contribute.

Sometimes as a new player in the major leagues, you feel like you’re carrying a dream for a whole bunch of people – your family, your friends back home, your high school and college coaches and teammates. Then you come to understand you’re playing for one thing only: The 24 other guys in the dugout with you.

Yes, you play for the fans and for the coaches and front office and all the people who make your job possible. But for those hours on the field, it’s all about each other.

I know these are supposed to be the dog days of the season. But we’re energized. We’re ready to earn our spot in the playoffs and beyond. Getting Pablo back in the lineup is a real boost. Of course Buster is in a category all his own. What he’s done since the All-Star break is amazing. I don’t know how else to describe it. He’s playing the toughest position on the field and he’s still hitting the crap out of the ball. I look at him every day and say to myself, “That’s the guy you want to emulate.’’ He’s the model of consistency, peak performance and balance.

But I can look toward every locker in the clubhouse and find something to emulate in every single guy. That’s what makes this team so fun. The personalities and experiences are so different, but everybody gels and feeds off each other. Everybody brings a crucial piece to making this team what it is.

I don’t want to sign off without thanking all of you who left comments on my last post. I read every one of them. I feel really blessed to have so much support from so many people.

I hope you’re as excited about our drive to the postseason as we are. We have stiff competition. The Dodgers aren’t going away. But one thing we can promise: No group of 25 guys, and no staff of coaches, will battle harder or smarter than we will.

 

See you at the park.

 

-Brandon B.

 

58 Comments

Thanks for the insights. This blog take me back to my playing days…a good read. I’m enjoying the season even more than the 2010 run. Lets do it again….

Dan

OK, come clean, why did Garrido knickname you ‘Bob’? Augie never did anything without a reason. Knock’em dead kid, you’re almost there…and I’ve been dying to ask…brisket or ribs?

This is what I’ve been talking about with my family. You guys are all in sync. You guys all understand each other and that’s what makes the San francisco giants the San Francisco giants! That loss last night was just a loss. Everybody loses a game here or there. Im so happy for you and all of the Giants!! I’ll be watching while you hit a homerun tonight!! Good luck Brandon!!!!(: – your biggest fan Sierra(:

The fans are all right behind you guys. I absolutely believe that you will wind up on top of the division. Keep playing hard!

It’s really nice to hear about players feeling that team spirit — sometimes you watch professional athletes and you have to ask if they actually love their team and playing together with their teammates, or if it’s really just about the money and position. I think sports fans, especially Giants fans, very much want to believe their guys feel the same team spirit as we do watching the games, and I do think that’s what won the 2010 team the series. The whole is more than the sum of its parts. I suppose it’s different for every player but good to hear from at least one person who’s feeling it now.

Why have I not known of this blog? I am upset now, but glad I found it. Go Giants!!!
http://www.welcometohereticvalley.com

Thank you, Brandon, for such a great inside look at the comraderie of this ball team. You are right, we can see it and feel something special going on with you guys. I love it!! Kick some Nats’ butts today. They deserve it. :) Go Giants!!

I never played major league baseball. Hell, I never played past 17 years old. I have felt the growing pains of a career and all the expectations that go with beating out 800 people for a job only to discover that was the easy part. As awesome as it is to read about the chemistry in the clubhouse, it’s even more awesome to see such a mature post from one of your favorite young players. It sounds like you’ve gotten the monkey of your own self-expectations off of your back and have started to get your balance at the professional level. That will, I’m quite certain, lead to incredible things.

Everyone can clearly see that this team has a bond that is unbreakeable. You guys are fun to watch. I love watching every game to the very end, whether we are winning 16-5 or losing 14-2. I can easily see this team making it all the way, and i will be sitting here watching every game cheering you guys on. Together We’re Giant!

As the old saying goes, ” there is no I in team.” and with the Giants, it shows. Whether I’m at the ball park or watching the gang on TV, you can see the friendships and the respect for each other. You guys are a joy to watch and thank you for making this years season an awesome one. Good luck tonight and in Belt we Believe! Your playing great and it shows that you love the game:)

Yes, see you at the park!! We have tickets for Tuesday night, September 4th against the D’backs! It’s going to be an exciting September and chase for the pennant. This will be the last game my daughter and I go to together before she heads up to the University of Oregon to be a Duck. She’s very excited! We have LOVED going to your games and watching your games from home. It’s good to hear that you guys get along so well as a team. It looks like you guys all support each other and like Bochy does a good job of having you guys back each other up, literally and figuratively. There’s nothing like true teamwork. Good times. Good memories in the making. Have fun!! See you at the park!

Ah, Brandon – the biggest lesson learned is that there is no “I” in TEAM! The team is pulling it together and we love seeing you improve each game.

The team is really coming together (even after that tough loss to the Nats!) It’s exciting to see you work as a team – ah, the old saying “there is no “I” in TEAM!” We are behind you 100%

I like to hear what you are writing about the team. I am a life long baseball fan and have not felt like the Brandons needed to do anything except play and get used to playing at this level. I have enjoyed watching you both grow more adept defensively and also at the plate. Team chemistry is what makes the difference between playing to play and playing to win. When you perform as a team usually the overall performance is better.

This is absolutely one of the best things I read all week! Brandon, everything you just said was so on point with the way a team works. I am just about to play my sophomore season of college softball for a school back East and reading your post was so inspiring! I, like you, am also a first baseman and completely admire the way you play there! I am always taking notes from you! thanks for being such a stand up guy and ball player.
I may play ball back East but I’m a born and raised NorCal girl and will always love the Giants! Even if that means having to wear my SF hat in Yankee territory, I will wear the Orange and Black proudly :)

love,
Ciera

Hey !!!! I know that you guys can do it !!! Never stop believing in yourself yes you guys have ups and down but at the end everything makes you guys stronger and at the end of the day when we win or lose. !!! The fans will never stop believing in you guys !! Good luck tonight

Go get ‘em Brandon!! Shake off last night’s game, we’ll see you all at the yard!

You’re entitled to a lose a blowout. We are rooting for you, and we won’t quit. Keep ‘er going.

A great blog, very inspirational…Awesome game on Sunday!! The mood is very different from last August…When you guys win a game like on Sunday, the day is immensely better..You get a natural boost of energy and its easier to sweat the little annoynances in life…Let’s beat the Nationals tonight!!! You guys can do it!!!!

Great post Brandon. I’m lucky enough to be around the team a lot, taking photos and reporting–and there is an energy to this team. It’s a special group. We are all amazed by Buster, but I believe it is his humble leadership by example that shows real greatness. Even watching Hunter run all out, and truly leave it all on the field, is inspirational. Keep taking it one game at a time, one pitch at a time, and remember to have some fun out there.

I was at that 14-2 game yesterday. The only thing I was thinking is that this loss was a good thing. We know games like that happen. It’s the way that game went that I know you guys will soak it in long enough to make it stick and realize that a game like that won’t happen again. Motivation! You guys are good, really good. Now let your talents take over!

Brandon & Brandon~
You, and the entire Giants team, are such an inspiration to me. Im not the most athletic person, and I don’t play baseball/softball, but over the years the Giants have taught me what it is to be a team. You guys give me something to root for very night, and I love watching every single game. There’s something special about the Giants that’s unlike any other team. You all have a tight bond that shows when you play on that field. All of your personalities are amazing, and even though I’ve never met you, i feel like I’ve known you all my whole life. Being a teenager, it’s weird to say that one of my favorite things to do is to watch my Giants play, instead of doing something like shopping or going out. If you’re ever in a slump or feeling frustrated, always remember you have Giants fans that support you and believe that you are the very best. We love our Giants!

P.S. I LOVE your blog and the fact that we get a sense of what you guys do in your everyday lives off the field. Please keep it going forever ..and maybe encourage some other players to start one too!

Great post! It’s nice to be reassured that the chemistry we see on TV and from the stands is actually felt by the players as well. Hoping for a W tonight! The lineup looks amazing.

Hey Brandon – another great post and I love hearing how you guys bond. As an outsider who follows you guys, I sense a special bond between you guys but wasn’t sure if it was all fabricated in my mind or if it was real :) I think team chemistry at work, sports, life – is all really important. I believe you guys have the post-season stuff to keep on chugging and remember how much your fans love and support you, even after a rough outing.
Also glad to see you breaking out a little bit as we all knew you would. Glad you keep your head up when critiques got rough and as you anticipated, you came out the other end.
On another note, just wanted to say that I think you’re a really great writer. Keep it up!

Keep it up kid, we believe in you.

FreeBrandonBelt.WordPress.com

Well written Belt. I love how much you support your team. I enjoy seeing you play, and I know that even though you guys haven’t been playing too well at home lately I can see that you guys have not given up. I get angry everytime you guys lose but in the end I still can’t wait to watch you guys play. Keep up with what you guys are doing because there is support everywhere!

I genuinely enjoy your blog posts, Brandon! They provide a view that is just so outside the box, making your feelings of different happenings feel so genuine. I can really tell you’re enjoying your time in the big leagues. And especially coming from a player, these types of input are so different from the regular post-game interviews that are published – they’re genuine and we not only get to see the cool Brandon (Baby Giraffe, I should say!) we all love, but we feel the entire clubhouse in your writing. You could definitely call yourself a baseball player/journalist for the Chronicle someday (or maybe you already are but just won’t tell us! :))
Keep on writing, Brandon! This stuff is great!
By the way, keep hittin’ it up! Those Nats got nothin’ on you! Hope you have an awesome rest of the homestand!

Brandon B- in case you really do read this, just keep playing your game every day and good things will happen. You’re a talented hitter with a good approach and we look forward to cheering you and our giants on for many years.

I am so proud of you and all the rest of your teammates! I love knowing you all get along so well, it really shows :) Also, thanks for taking the time to write about whats on your mind, I know its tough to find time to do this so I appreciate it!!

I agree with Carmen’s comment. Your writing is really good! You are an influence on your team in that you have worked hard and grown into such a good player. Just remember, last night was a lesson of sorts. Maybe Bochie needs to give the guys another “talk” at a team meeting! Oh, and by the way, thanks to Brandon C. the homerun!

Brandon, what a great letter to everyone! I can use portions of it and say some of these same things to the 2 little league teams I coach. Very inspirational to say the least. Lastly, thanks for throwing 2 balls (1 to my son, and 1 to my wife) last Thursday in St. Louis. We drove 4 hours to see our Giants play, and even though it was a loss, our family had a great time watching the whole team play amazing baseball. We also saw you play at the end of April in Cincinnati, and that too was fantastic! Thanks to the you and the team for making our family’s summer vacation extra special here in the mid-west. Go Giants!

Brandon, what a great letter to everyone! I can use portions of it and say some of these same things to the 2 little league teams I coach. Very inspirational to say the least. Lastly, thanks for throwing 2 balls (1 to my son, and 1 to my wife) last Thursday in St. Louis. We drove 4 hours to see our Giants play, and even though it was a loss, our family had a great time watching the whole team play amazing baseball. We also saw you play at the end of April in Cincinnati, and that too was fantastic! Thanks to the you and the team for making our family’s summer vacation extra special here in the mid-west. Go Giants!

Brandon, You have described that magical connection among teammates in any field of endevour that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. It’s great to hear that’s happening now with you and the Giants. I’ve been following your career/rooting for you since Spring Training 2011. Keep up the good work. See you in October!

Hey Brandon, great blog entry! It makes me 10x more excited about you guys to read this and see how much you guys really do look out for each other as a unit and how close y’all are. That’s what’s up! :D Keep on doing your thing, love watching you being the badass that you are in the field and hopefully more consistently in the box because you deserve nothing but good things for your tremendous effort and resilience.

I LOVE YOU BRANDON! LOVED YOU WHEN YOU WERE IN TEXAS! WHOOOO FREE BELT!

You can see there is something special going on with this team. I heard you may be looking for a new walk-up song. Check out “Pretty Handsome Awkward” by The Used.

Brandon, so happy you’re doing well. I’m behind you and felt bad everytime I heard someone criticize you. Not many people could do what you do and I appreciate your humility and grace. I look forward to cheering myself hoarse for you while you and the rest of the Giants make the World Series run!

Awesome hit belt!! I knew you could do it(: – Sierra(:

Holy cow! Twice in one game? No hustle followed by a stupid decision. You looked like Aubrey Huff.

Keep up the good work and especially the fun. The strong bond is evident by the fans and will carry you all through the long stretch. Weird games happen — glad you’re able to move on.
Prayers for the players and all the significant others.

I was at Coors Field two weeks ago with my cousins, diehard Rockies fans. Living out of state in New Mexico it was my only chance to see my Giants. All of you KILLED it. You had a great game, Buster hit one at least 425 straight away center and the whole team played awesome. Voglesong went 7 like the warrior he is. This team is heading for great things and I’m proud to be a lifelong Giants fan for 2010 and what this group is destined for! KNBR was the station every day to school and every time home from practice in the car with my pops, this tradition is in my blood. Keep blogging and know we are all behind you with respect for your dedication and effort every play of every game and after your career too, that’s what the Giants are about!

Awesome game Brandon! Your RBI’s got the momentum going and the mistakes – as you said – won’t happen again! Your bat was there and in a game when Melky and Buster’s weren’t really popping. What I respect about you is your willingness to take responsibility and continually improve….you are a good baseball player and me and my girls are rooting for you!!

Another fantastic post Brandon, and another great game tonight (Tuesday) too! I definitely can see how well all 25 of you are gelling. It’s awesome to see.
I have kind of a random question for you: If you could have any number on the back of your jersey, what would it be and why? Is there any significance with #9?
Again, thank you for taking the time to write this, and thank you for reading our responses. There are so many–around 35 as I’m writing this, and more will come I’m sure–and it’s so cool that you actually read them.
Great job tonight! Go Giants! :)

Yeah B,
You’re our dark horse golden boy, Buster may be the heart of the team in a wider way, but to the bay area, you’re what emerges from the darkness, to give a perspective of something that was submerged emerging. In LA, they have all that gloss, in NY they have all that drive, but in San Francisco we have the dreams of humanity for the future, and we hope to see those things come to light. It’s good to see you rockin it, but also know that we’ve had your back this whole time!

Keep crushing the seams off the baseball. We’re rooting for you!
Go Giants!

YES! Brandon, U da Man! Great swings tonight. You are really in a good streak right now, hitting like you’re capable of. Happy for you and the Team.

I’m a long-time Giant Fan. As a kid, I idolized those Players that now have Statues around AT&T. I played highly competitive BB in H.S. in SJ and here in Hawaii. I feel that I know a little something about Team Chemistry and the Magic it can create.

That “feeling” that you and your teammates are now creating and experiencing is so rare, elusive, and magical. It can only happen when a group of people can let down the walls, open their hearts, and let that magic Spark touch. It then creates a fire that blazes so hot, it cannot be denied. This is only possible when you have Leaders who are very UNselfish, like Buster Posey. He leads by example and is 100% about well-played Baseball. No Ego, No Selfishness, Nobody Claiming most of the Credit. He and everyone else, “allow” all of you to Give from your Hearts, and feel good about it. Everyone WANTS to Give. It is when there is selfishness and Ego that will keep everyone from wanting to give the Best of what they’ve Got, and THAT’s what is in their Hearts. The Strength of the Team is in the BONDING. Like your topic title “When 25=1″, One Team, Together is an Irresistible Force.

If you all can keep this going, you will conquer and accomplish Great Things. Ultimate Confidence combined with Great Humility is the key. You guys are showing the World, through a Great game like Baseball, what It Is All About. You are making the Giants Nation PROUD, and we are 100% behind you.
Keep on keepin’ ON!

p.s.- In Hawaii, we have a word for that “spark”, that love, that energy, that light, all that is within our HEARTS. That word is………………. ALOHA

Brandon-just know, I am a BB fan and will always be a BB fan. You are a selfless, humble, kind-hearted man who loves what he does and it shows. Your #1 east coast fan……..

Reblogged this on sfgiantsgirl55 and commented:
Awww :’) <3

Funny you say that about the chemistry thing, because when the team was down 8-0 to start against the Nats I thought you guys could come back! Even though that didn’t happen after the loss I didn’t feel the usual dreadful death feeling I usually have after you guys lose. As a fan I who lives and dies by every pitch I can see that focus you guys have, and you personally are so dialed in I’m so excited to see how this turns out! For the first time this year I feel like a the team is in a a knock out drag out playoff mode.

P.S. looking at the Nats, other than Strasberg I don’t see how they are the team to beat they don’t match up with you guys at all!

GO GIANTS

It’s great to have you as part of our 25. Thanks for these posts, your openness and honesty bring us closer to the part of the game that we can’t get through the radio.

Thanks for the update, Brandon. I’m in my late 40’s and a bay area native. The Giants have brought me back to loving baseball. As a kid I remember the glory days of the A’s in the early 70’s. But you and all the Giants have brought the fun back to the game. I watch every game and I can’t get enough.

Keep it going! We’re behind you 110%.

I know you guys will come together and battle it out and lay it all on the line come for the NL West. Today has been craptastic but I have faith in all of you guys to bring your A game. Best of luck and may the odds ever be in your favour. (;

Hey Brandon! Your insight into being a part of something larger and playing as a team is why I am happy to be a Giants fan. I’m biased to the Giants of course, but you guys just show the world that you have something much more special that some other clubs when it comes down to really being a team as opposed to individuals playing a sport together. I was at the game after the loss,but before the news about Melky. It was an amazing game and great to watch everyone come together for the win. Please know that despite what has transpired since, Any other Giants fan like myself has total confidence that you guys will rise above this. There is a huge amount of talent and most importantly a true team still standing to take us forward!

I’m so proud to be a Giants fan, even when I get crap for it! :) I know you guys will give your all for the pennant, and obviously we’ll be behind you all the way. The past couple of days have totally sucked with Melky and everything, but that’s the thing about the giants- you’re all going to battle for the pennant like badasses. So much luck to you guys! I’m so looking forward to the postseason :)

Brandon, We are coming back to see you again in Houston on Wed night. So glad you are doing great! We knew you could do it. We will back on the 3rd baseline.

You hit it right on the head about what great chemistry the team seems to have even after the Melky issue. So great to see the Brandon Boys playing well. Sure you don’t remember me but we had a very nice talk when you came to the Giants Fantasy Camp to sign autographs for us. I was the guy almost your height with the long dark hair and a beard. Anyways good luck the rest of the year and GO GIANTS!!!!

Hi Brandon!! I was wondering have you ever played any other positions besides first base?? – your biggest fan Sierra(:

Omg I just saw you hit a splash hit!! Great job Brandon!!! Your amazing!!!!
Your biggest fan
Sierra(:

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