|Photo courtesy of Cord Sandberg, pictured 3rd from right|
Are you wondering what that means? That’s okay. You’ll be in the know soon enough.
It's a simple saying that has become a slogan for baseball players for life inside and outside of the game. In a sport where its competitors are faced with an immense amount of failure while life presents similar outcomes at times, It's All Part of It has become an important adage for scores of players to lean on for reassurance and motivation.
“Whatever happens, the bus breaks down (or) you break a bat- hey, that’s all part of it,” Phillies outfield prospect Cord Sandberg excitedly shared in the home dugout of Lakewood’s FirstEnergy Park recently.
Seems like an insightful thought process.
The motto has really caught on quite a bit and seems to be making an impression at multiple levels, in various organizations and even across continents.
The phrase “It’s all part of it” or sometimes referred to as just “part” or “part-part” for short, was brought to the Phillies organization after outfield prospect Cord Sandberg and organization mate third baseman Mitch Walding played alongside catcher Jack Murphy down under, in an off-season league.
"It spread down to Australia because I played down there in Canberra and we used to talk about it all the time," Murphy said. "Since there are a lot of guys from different organizations down there, the Phillies picked it up."
Murphy is a long-time Blue Jays minor leaguer and a Princeton University product that currently plays with Triple-A Oklahoma City in the Dodgers organization. When he was in the Toronto system, Murphy picked up the phrase from his manager Mike Redmond while with Dunedin in the Florida State League in 2012. Redmond had adopted the mindset when he played for veteran skipper Jim Leyland during his time with the Marlins.
Redmond has since gone on to manage at the big league level for Miami and coach in the majors for the Rockies.
A World Series and World Baseball Classic winning manager’s lessons getting passed down via a man that was virtually groomed to take on that skipper's duties and on to players that both men may never encounter sounds precisely how good coaching should work. Teach what matters and let those lessons thrive.
Murphy feels the sentiment has become a critical way of thinking for many players he has encountered.
"I mean, it's mostly a life motto for most of the guys," Murphy asserted. "The livelihood of playing can be a real grind. But when you say, 'Hey, it's all part of it!', you realize that's just how things are and keep going."
In addition to leaning on his faith, the 22-year-old Sandberg found peace of mind in the expression when he learned that he was going back a level to open the 2017 season after spending last year with Class A Advanced Clearwater and playing with Lakewood two years back.
“We have a lot of talented guys that deserve to be where they’re at. So, obviously, I was hoping to be in High A to start the year, but when Joe (Jordan) let me know that I was coming here and my at bats would be in Low A, I was like, ‘Hey, that’s all part of it.’ I’m just going to come down here and do what I can to produce and show what I can do at this level and then let the rest just take care of itself,” Sandberg said.
Phils corner infielder prospect Zach Green, currently sidelined with hip and elbow issues with Clearwater, has found solace in the phrase while dealing with repeated stints on the disabled list during his career.
"Injuries will happen. 0-for-4's. But, it's all part of it and that's why it shouldn't affect your character or confidence," said the 23-year-old Green.
It’s all part of it may be bordering on sensational.
A great catchphrase these days is nothing without some manner to display your statement, so Sandberg and company have created t-shirts and are using the hashtag #PartPart on social networking sites.
The phrase has drawn the attention of Phillies developmental coaches, as Sandberg’s manager with the BlueClaws and former big league infielder Marty Malloy has requested of Sandberg, “Where’s my shirt? I want to be part of it!”
Malloy has grown fond of the outlook simply because of the way it can turn a negative into a positive for his players.
Also embracing the movement: Complete strangers.
“One night we went out in Tampa and we were all wearing our shirts and just random people would ask, ‘What’s all part of it?’ And we would be like, ‘Yeah, that’s correct. You’re right!’ And they’d say, ‘What do you mean, ‘I’m right’?’ ‘It’s whatever you want it to be. It’s all part of it. Oh, you spilled your drink? It’s all part of it.’ And they were loving it, so I was able to get some more people on board,” Sandberg explained, assuring me that part-part is for everyone, not just ball players.
So, how can you get down with the concept and be part of it?
“If anybody wants (a t-shirt), find me thr ough social media, Twitter, Instagram or whatever and give me an address, a size and a color,” Sandberg stated. “No official web site yet. Venmo and straight cash.”
According to Murphy, though, a more ideal shopping option, a complete and proper website, should be coming soon.
But, don't worry about any delay on that front, everyone, because...well, you know why.