Belty Bob, Jethro and Pretty Handsome Awkward – Brandon Belt

Just finished batting practice and I have a little time before the game to get a new post up.

In the comments sections, channelclemente asked why my college coach sometimes called me “Bob.’’ It goes back to high school. When I was a freshman, I hit a long home run and people started calling me Bomb. That morphed into Bob. And that morphed into Belty Bob. It stuck through high school. In college, my coach called me Bob sometimes but mostly he called me Jethro. He thought I was one of the Beverly Hillbillies. So Jethro became my nickname in college.

So now when I hear someone call out Bob or Jethro, I know it’s someone I know from home.

Channelclemente also asked: Brisket or ribs? Brisket without a doubt. Every time I go home, the dad of one of my buddies – my parents and his parents are really good friends – cooks a brisket on the barbecue for us. It’s the best thing.

I love Rob. R’s suggestion that I consider the song “Pretty Handsome Awkward’’ by The Used for my walk-up song. I don’t know it, but as soon as I get this posted, I’m going to listen to it on iTunes and let you know.

Joanna wants to know the significance of my jersey number, 9. The significance is I walked into the locker room at spring training and it was hanging in my locker. That’s pretty much it. My favorite number is 12, which was my number in high school and junior college. At Texas, somebody already had 12 so I chose 13. If I had been given a choice, I would have chosen 12 as my Giants’ number. But now I like Number 9 because it’s my first big-league number.

Sierra asks what positions I’ve played other than first base. Until I was 14, I played shortstop. That was my primary position. It was kind of weird to have a left-handed shortstop, but I made it work. I loved shortstop. Maybe one day when Bochy runs out of players, I’ll get back out there.

In high school, I was a pitcher and played some right field. So maybe if Boch can’t put me in at short, he’ll let me pitch. That would be really cool.

I’m told that during the Dodgers series, Kruke commented on how I can time my catches at first so that I’m pulling my foot off the bag when the ball hits my glove. He suggested it helps the umpire make close calls in my favor. He’s right. It’s something I learned in the minors.

One of my coaches started talking to me about it and it made a lot of sense to me. I’m not the most flexible person in the world as far as stretching. And you don’t want to be stretching all the time anyway. You’ll get hurt. Look what happened to Pablo.

So if it’s going to be a close play – on a double-play or a slow dribbler – I keep my left foot on the bag, wait until the last possible second and basically just jump out at the ball, pushing off with my foot. It allows me to catch the ball as far out from the bag as possible without worrying about my foot remaining on the bag. My foot just comes off the bag naturally in a smooth, effortless motion.

I now pretty much have the timing down perfectly.

Sometimes, when I know I’m not going to get the runner, I might pull my foot a split-second before the ball actually reaches my glove, hoping to fool the umpire into thinking the ball beat the runner. It usually doesn’t work, but I figure I might as well try.

OK, so wasn’t that Dodger series awesome?

We knew going in, of course, that we needed to win these games, and it was amazing to watch the people who stepped up. It was someone new every game. Arias just took over that last game. Christian made the unbelievable catch. Our pitchers were lights-out.

When we lost Melky, I think we all knew that we had to step up and fill the gap. And that’s what happened. That’s the way this team is. It’s not about one person. It’s all of us. As soon as one person cools off, another gets hot.

And speaking of hot . . . there was some buzz on the bench last night about Mila Kunis being at the game. I heard someone mention her and I looked around and she was directly behind our dugout in the first row with Ashton Kutcher. They are two good-looking people.

Every time we go to Dodger Stadium you know you’re going to see celebrities. Jason Bateman was in Mila Kunis’s seat the previous night. I think he’s hilarious. We see George Lopez there all the time. Pat Riley was there. And it’s fun to see Magic over by the Dodgers’ dugout.

Theriot, who’s been around the league, says he’s seen more celebrities at Cubs games.

Having said all that, give me Giants fans any day. There is nothing like the crowd at AT&T. We’re all excited to be back in the Bay and see who’s going to be the hero tonight.

Thanks for reading and keep your questions coming.

-Brandon B.AT&T

45 Comments

Nah. With your size, speed, and base-stealing prowess, you’re new nickname has to be Usain Belt. :)

Brandon I love your posts and reads it every time you post one. Thanks for keeping in touch with us fans :) and I feel a homer for you tonight!

Hey Brandon-Really good to see you back in the groove….you mentioned everyone that stepped up during the Dodgers series except yourself-you were awesome. I’m watching (as late as I can) the series going on right now with my hometown boys, the Braves-I’m pulling for my Giants though. I love reading your posts. I have 2 questions for you: What is your favorite park, other than AT&T? and If you didn’t play baseball, what would your occupation be?

I will always be your fan here in Atlanta,

Melissa

Did you hear that Kuip was calling Hector Sanchez “Brandon Sanchez” during the game last night!

It was awesome to sweep Dodgers, I was there for all 3 games. (I work at Down Town LA so it’s comvenience) but then, 2 nights in row guys were sitting behind us started harrasing me, and tossed out later. So that’s why I fly almost every home games in the weekend to AT&T park, so that I can root for my Giants as much as I want. I’m coming this weekend as well, but then ESPN showed up and change game time on Sunday … so I only can stay for few innings … that’s not cool.

I’m so glad to see Zito pitched well last night. I’m a bit nervous when bullpen came out. Compare to last 5-7 years, we have offense clicking this year. I like to see small ball than bombs, enjoy the game of baseball more.

help me out, I want to take a picture with Pagan … how should I ask him??? lol

I gotta say, I love that you own the awkwardness. I definitely have more than my fair share of awkward moments, and over the years I’ve learned it’s best to just laugh at them and not try and hide it, because then I just end up seeming more awkward… I’ll be listening, too, for any walk-up music changes.

Hey Brandon B., I did this doodle ages ago and figured I’d share it with you. I just found the whole baby giraffe thing too much fun..
http://vampire-l.deviantart.com/gallery/35319470#/d47p9bb

Haha interesting nicknames. I like to call you “Brandon Cinturon” “bebe girafa” “el brandon” ya know, cuz it’s koo ;D Anyways, it’s great seeing you guys play so awesome out there, it really is. I’m dreading the end of the season already but I know you guys will make it to the playoffs cuz that’s how badass y’all are. Good luck today, and every day! can’t wait to hear from you again :)

Nice post, Brandon Sanchez ;)

I am really enjoying watching you play 1st Base this year. Are you looking forward to the last 30+ games of the season and the expectations associated with those games?

Those umpires must have good eyes. Watching the games on t.v., I get nervous how quickly you pull your foot off of first after catching the ball. It looks so close, I’m afraid you’re going to pull it too early, but then I remember – oh, yeah, he’s a professional and knows what he’s doing. :0)

I only see the starting pitchers warm up before the game they are pitching. They must have to practice in between games, right? Do they just get to the ball park early for practice to get it in? Just curious – waiting between their games seems like a long time to go without pitching practice.

You guys look great, like you say. Such great team work. It’s SO fun to watch. What I love most about the Giants is they do play like a team and they don’t have celebrity egos like some of the other teams in the MLB. Good luck tonight!

Hey Brandon! I’m so glad you posted today I’m actually wearing your jersey that I got for my birthday it’s so cool because not very many people have it, I got it specially made. I was wondering after every game do you go back and watch to see what they say about you or a play you wanted to see again? Let me know :)

Gotta be careful about pulling the foot off the bag a split second early in order to try to fool the ump. If you succeed in fooling one or two, they might no longer give you the benefit of the doubt in other situations.

Awesome LA series! I was there for the last 2 :) Funny enough, during the last game an irate Dodger fan behind me was complaining about you taking your foot off the bag too early. Looking at the scoreboard though the Dodgers had bigger problems. Good luck the rest of the way! Your fans are behind you 100%!!!

Brisket (chili powder and garlic dry rub) is mine too. Where in heck did you learn to put that much topspin on a baseball. That one under Freeman’s glove last night almost dug a trench.

So cool to find your blog. I am always rooting for you Belt and think it is great to watch you developing into one hellova player. You are my favorite player. Also am huge fan of Crawford’, incredible skills. We got you to sign our cell phonecase cover at fan fest. You both make it so fun to watch or listen to every game. Love having you guys be in the lineup every day. Thanks for this great insight fellas.

Thanks for the shout out Brandon! I think you’ll like my suggestion of using Pretty Handsome Awkward even more after you listen to it. BTW, I’ll bet you’ve heard it before; it was used in the first Transformers movie! It is perfect for a walk up song.

I fully support the use of “Pretty Handsome Awkward” as your walk up song. The Used has been one of my favorite bands for six or seven years now, so I may be slightly biased on that matter.

Thank you SO much for answering my question!!!!! I have to say I kind of freaked out a little when I saw you replied hahaha :) Great blog as usual! I always love reading your and Crawford’s entries. It’s so cool to get a look into the mind of a big leaguer. Great game last night (Thursday)! I’m gonna be at the game tonight (Friday) and I can’t wait to watch you play! :)

Thankyou for answering my question!! To me your considered a celeberity!! Lol
So I know you live in Texas, have you ever tried the Texas doughnut?? It’s the BOMB!! I was also wondering what was your first reaction when you found out that you were being on the giants..? I heard you cried..:(
I’m going to the game on September 22nd!! I hope to see you there!! And I hope i can get there early and have you sign a ball!! Maybe you’ll remember me from this comment I left!!(: okay Bai now!!

You biggest fan ever!!!!
- Sierra(:

Thanks for the post! And for answering questions, I think we all greatly appreciate them.

To your point about stepping up and everyone contributing, that fits right in with Brandon C’s post about 25=1. It is very heartening for fans to see their teams do that, it takes great chemistry to get that going, keep up the good work!

Speaking of left-handed SS, while he didn’t play SS left-handed, Pablo is a natural lefty who learned out to throw right-handed because his idol was Omar Vizquel at the time and he wanted to play SS. ( I think that is what helped him swtich hit so well.) He once shocked his minor league teammates when a line drive knocked his glove off at 3B, so he effortlessly reached with his closest hand – his left – and threw a bullet to 1B to get the runner. I would think he would love sharing the details of that with you, he seems to be a pretty cool and loose guy.

I was wondering if you are still using the Giants video training system? I had read that you had been trained using that, but assumed that was probably in the Arizona instructional facilities, and wonder if the Giants might have installed the system in AT&T as well given your sucess with using that system.

The Dodgers series WAS awesome!!! Love watching you guys!

Do people ever tell you that you & Vogelsong look a lot alike? You guys could totally pass as brothers!

This blog actually made me laughed and enjoyed reading it. Not that the other ones doesn’t, but I really like how you play 1B and it always amazes me when you stretch your legs to catch a ball. I don’t know if it’s just me but you sure do have long legs. Whenever you do that I always tell people how that always amazes me no matter how many times I’ve seen it. To me, that’s what makes you unique from other players. I feel like your legs are an extra help to make the team win and help the defense to strike the other team out which is very useful, lol. Don’t ever change how you play 1b with your legs! ;)

Hey Brandon B., if you’re going to have a number, 9 isn’t a bad one to have. It’s the number of both Ted Williams and Roy Hobbs. The way you’ve found your stroke the last month or two you’re looking like a “natural” yourself! Keep it up and the Giants will go far this season!

Hi Brandon. Do you think that being a former pitcher has helped you in your progression towards being an everyday player? And do you miss pitching at all?

How often do you get frustrated when you hit bombs that barely stay in the park at AT&T? It seems that you especially have hit at least 10 balls this year that would have been out anywhere else.

I just wanted to say… keep up the good work! As a bay area local who’s been going to the games every since I was a little kid, I am totally rooting for you and I hope you stay a Giant for many years to come. I appreciate your blog very much and I think it’s great how answer your fans’ questions. You also totally hit the nail on the head about the teamwork aspect. What I love about this group of Giants is that it ISN’T just about one guy, one big superstar carrying the team, but rather a whole group of awesome players who stepping up and shining. This team is such a great group of guys who play with so much heart. I know that when Melky went down, it must have been so hard on the team… but wow, you all just dug deep and are now playing absolutely AMAZING baseball. It’s wonderful to watch. I see a postseason in our future….. By the way, I was at Friday night’s game against the Braves, and you had a particularly awesome 9th inning, good job! Your fans support you :)

Maybe you should use the Beatles “Number 9″ as your walk up song…

Keep up the good work Belt. Most of us understand that transitioning into the big leagues isn’t easy and we know it can take time. So glad to see that you’re coming along and doing well like we knew you would. Siked to know you’ll be in a Giants uni for years to come. My son loves to rock his #9 Belt jersey so don’t go switching numbers now or it’s going to cost me. His favorite number is 9 and like you he’s tall, slightly awkward and can rake! Thanks for taking some time to interact with the fans!

During the Dodgers series (great series by the way) when Buster was playing first, I thought it was amusing how he blocked the ball the way a catcher would when Hector’s throw was in the dirt. Do you ever take any plays from other positions (like how Buster used a catcher’s block) in order to help you play first base?

It’s been great watching the entire team step up as a unit to win these games and I absolutely LOVE how well you are all playing fundamental baseball (like when Scutaro laid down a sac bunt and then Pablo hit a sac fly to score Pagan from first – brilliant!) I like to think this team has a lot of power when needed but, in AT&T Park, fundamentals and small ball definitely help to drive in runs.

Keep doing what you’re doing – we all love it :) And thanks for answering questions from the fans, it definitely puts a smile on my face as I’m sure it does for others :)

Quickly to Mr. Belt, we are trying to get our grandson to hustle. The other day after your to attempts to stretch your hits and were thrown out, you said that would not happen anymore, yet last night Frid vs Atlanta, you hit a ball and stood and looked at it …….. again. Just wondering what is up with that.

Sincerely Grace Hudson
Relative of the late great Herb Caen

Hey Brandon Belt, after your two attempts to stretch hits last home stand and were thrown out because you did not get out of the box properly, you chuckled and said that would not happen again, but Friday night vs Atlanta you again stood and watched your ball before leaving home plate. What is up with that side of your game. Tough to get our grandson to hustle when he adores you and watches your habits, which of course you said you would correct.

Just wondering?
Grace Hudson
Relative of the late great Herb Caen

Hi Brandon. I was at the game Thursday night when you played against the Braves. I think you are an amazing player and I’m always so happy when I see that you’re playing first base. What’s the name of the song that played when you walked out? I like it and tried to have my iPhone search for it at the game but it couldn’t match it.

Nice post once again, Brandon! It’s really interesting how playing first base works.
Aside from 1B, I think you play some pretty good outfield as well. Never thought much about the techniques put into playing first base, now that you mention it.
And I imagine you were writing this in the clubhouse, with one of those laptops on the table like I see in some Giants videos, but I’ve always wondered, what is the clubhouse really like? And I notice all the time that in away games, all the players are out there in the dugout watching. But from what I can see, there’s always something to do in the home clubhouse during games, so what are you guys doing in there (besides getting dressed!)?
Since you’re talking food, do you have a favorite place to go in the city? A restaurant or little place?
And I most definitely giggled at your hot confession of Mila Kunis, so I have to ask, who’s your celeb crush? You’ve got to have one Brandon… so I can poke fun at you if I run into you at the ballpark!

Keep on writing, Brandon! This stuff is great! Maybe you could be the next Andy Baggs in the future with your writing :)

Out of all 24 other guys on the team who are you closest to ? And who do you think is the funniest?

Mr. Belt, there is only one walk up song for you! and Mr. Lyle Lovett sang it. You can take the boy out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the boy, so why try.

Brandon, thank you so much for signing for me!!! I was going to tell you that I loooove your blog, but I couldn’t because I was so excited I couldn’t think! Too bad we lost, 7-1 though. :( but we’re still in it even if those dumb dodgers obviously think money buys everything. Keep going, I’m rooting for you buddy!!

Hi Brandon,

I was at the Giants Vs. Braves game last Thursday night. I was so happy to see you starting at 1st base. I think you’re the best 1st baseman on the team. I wanted to ask what the name and artist of the song was that they played when you came up to bat. I liked to beat. I tried to use an app on my phone to find it but it couldn’t come up with the title.

Thanks for sharing your blog with us. I can’t wait to read the next entry. Best wishes to you always. Go Giants! Baby Giraffe rocks!!

Where do I mail to to make sure you directly recieve the mail? #9 & #28 :D

You should try one orange and one regular shoe lace :D!!

Hi, Brandon! I just wanted to say that I went to the last game of the Braves series, and I was in line outside the park on the cove side. You were fielding balls in the outfield, and you tossed balls through a gap at the top of the fence for the kids who were yelling for you from line. I thought you should know how cool that was of you. Seeing you do that made my day (that game certainly didn’t :P). Thanks for being so approachable. It’s players like you that make baseball so great to watch. :)

Hi! You’re my favorite player and I absolutely love watching you play! You’re a perfect first baseman and also a fantastic hitter. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you.
I’m going to be attending an upcoming game at AT&T Park and I was wondering if you accept gifts?
I love reading your posts and I hope you continue to update it (and more often). Good luck on the rest of your away games! Can’t wait to see you back in the bay area.

Brandon,
Thank you for signing an autograph for my nephew Tyler in Chicago today. My sister and her family took a family vacation to Chicago to watch our beloved Giants. I am in Florida and was able to watch the game one MLB.TV and share the experience. Thanks again!

Brandon, do you get to enjoy (or see) much of San Francisco on your off days? I guess it is pretty different from nacogdoches — and probably not where you would’ve picked to live — but it’s a great city and I hope you are getting to like it. We want you to stay for a long time.

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