Over two decades later, he finds himself at the helm of one of the premier programs when it comes to player development in youth baseball, the St. Louis Pirates.
“The genesis of getting into coaching, it wasn’t something that I initially wanted to do,” Strickland admits.
“I did have some younger cousins that were involved in high school baseball back in the early 90’s, and I remember I was sitting on the sidelines and trying to piece my life together after pro ball, and one of the dads asked me if I would coach. It wasn’t anything that was planned out, I was just volunteering my time and just doing it. It was wanting to offer something back to the community, and even to this day, it’s grassroots, which goes back to community service. The Pirates weren’t put together as a business, it was a community involvement to give back. Some of these people when I was coming up were supportive of me and taking me places and spending their money and resources that they had just to see that I was able to be successful in the game.”