Player Profile: Means meets his marks on mound

By Gabby Lucivero/Broadcaster

Means delivers a pitch during Falmouth's game against Harwich on July 31. Photo by Meredith Perri
Means delivers a pitch during Falmouth’s game against Harwich on July 31. Photo by Meredith Perri

All summer long, the Falmouth Commodores media team has stumped the Commodores players with one simple question: What makes you unique as a player? John Means was no exception.

After a moment of thought, the left-handed pitcher from Olathe, Kans. came to a decision.

“I’m severely pigeon-toed, if that makes me unique,” Means said when prompted with the tricky question. “You’ll notice on the mound my feet point in. It affects my run, but I don’t really need that too much as a pitcher.”

Of course, a slight turn-in isn’t the only thing that makes Means unique as a player. For one thing, he’s the only Commodore pitcher to have tossed eight straight innings this summer. Not to mention, he leads the team’s starting pitchers with a 2.33 ERA.

“My goal to the end of the summer is to get my ERA below 2.00,” Means said. “That and just to finish out the summer well.”

As the summer is winding down, the West Virginia University junior feels that he’s making strides toward those summer goals, especially with the help of pitching coach Mike Landry.

“Coach Landry works a lot with me on the mound so it’s helped a lot this summer,” said Means. “I love all the coaches here. It’s a little more laid back because its summer ball but we get our work in.”

Coaching staff aside, baseball has always been a family affair for Means.

“[My mom’s] dad – my grandpa – is huge into baseball and he really got me into it,” said Means. “And my dad has been my coach growing up so he’s has a big impact on my career.”

Growing up learning from his father on and off the field, it comes as no surprise that Means’ father’s words of wisdom have followed him to the Cape League all the way from Kansas.

“He [taught me] how to approach things, how to shake things off, just let it go and to have a short-term memory,” Means said.

Of course, Means has some advice of his own for aspiring pitchers as he works with the youngsters at the Falmouth Commodores baseball clinic.

“Stick with it, as long as you can,” Means said. “Just really at that age work on throwing accurately, throwing strokes. That’s the biggest thing as you get older and that’ll help you out the most.”

Off the field, Means is studying sports management at West Virginia. He plans on using that degree along with a planned masters degree in business to eventually work in the front office of a Major League team.

Even that career choice wouldn’t be too far “off the field”, though, as Means lives and breathes the sport of baseball. In fact, the least baseball related activity that you could catch Means at would be laying out on the beach – but that would be the only one.

“Being from Kansas I’m not used to being near the ocean very much,” Means said. “It’s awesome being walking distance from the beach and just going out in the morning and laying out.”

While Means might not be able to take the beach back to Kansas or West Virginia with him, he hopes that the friendships he’s made with his teammates with stick for a long time.

Not only has he found great friends in his teammates, but he has also found a great source of knowledge.

“I’m learning different methods of throwing, forms, and ways to go about throwing strikes,” Means said. “It’s helped me a lot. I [keep] listening to some of my teammates here and its good to have.”

But even as he builds on his game this summer as it winds to a close, Means has kept the same simple approach to every start.

“I just try to do what I usually do,” Means said. “Just go out and throw as well as I can.”

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