COTTONWOOD, Alabama — They are virtually inseparable, especially on that baseball diamond.
Cody is the big brother. Ben is the little brother.
Both were born two years apart. Still, the close-knit bond they’ve established throughout the years through the sport of baseball brings great joy to their mother, Kim McCardle.
In fact, according to Stacy and Kim McCardle, while she is impressed with how well Ben McCardle has adjusted to varsity baseball for Cottonwood (Ala.) High, she’s admittedly doing whatever is necessary to help Cody McCardle — who also stars for Cottonwood — acquire the essential exposure that will enable him to generate interest from college scouts and recruiters.
After all, Cody McCardle doesn’t shy away from the notion that he’s clinging to lofty aspirations of playing baseball at the collegiate level.
According to Cody McCardle, he has reached out to a host of schools to inquire about the possibility of playing baseball, most notably Lurleen B. Wallace in Andalusia, Alabama, Auburn University at Montgomery, Faulkner, Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College in Georgia, and West Alabama.
“I am open to different colleges because my major is Physical Education,” Cody McCardle, who boasts of aspirations of coaching sports someday, told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “I feel I can make a difference in the lives of kids who love sports as I did when I was growing up.”
Among the reasons Cody McCardle, one of the key contributors for Cottonwood’s tradition-rich baseball team that is coached by Danny Coachman, has acquired an interest for coaching athletics in the future is due in large part to the work ethic he’s produced while playing alongside his brother.
Cody and Ben have become workout buddies throughout the years, a trend that has benefited them mightily, a pivotal attribute that could prove beneficial, considering the work ethic of athletes is something by which scouts take into account when evaluating and recruiting talent.
“My brother and I help coach Upward basketball at our church and we have always helped with coaching our little brother’s baseball team, football team, and the Upward basket program,” Cody McCardle said.
Most importantly, at least as it pertains to enhancing his skills set and mechanics, Cody McCardle acknowledges that working out and conditioning with his brother has inspired him immensely in recent years.
“I train about six days a week and with my brother,” Cody McCardle said. “We will just head out to the baseball field to practice our hitting year around. I can field in tough situations, trying to make a play when that play doesn’t seem possible.
As for conditioning away from the diamond, Cody McCardle said, “I spend my time weight and strength training and with the ball field being three minutes from our house. We are always taking batting practice.”
Fortunately for Cody, as oddly as it seems, that his family owns a farm has also helped him to evolve as a durable, efficient prep student athlete.
“We own a family farm and, during summer months, we pick and load thousands of watermelons and cantaloupes all day long in the South Alabama heat,” Cody McCardle said with a grin. “So I am used to these situations that have helped with my endurance on the field.”
Amongst Cody’s key strengths as a prep baseball player who’s aiming to turn heads of scouts is that he has what he describes as “quick hands,” let alone emerging as a player who has become a quick and fast outfielder who is able to cover a lot of ground as competitive middle infielder.
“I am very dedicated to the sport of baseball,” Cody said. “I have been playing since I was three years old. I am hard-working and dedicated (to the sport). I am flexible to where I can play mostly any position.”
All of which routinely bring smiles to the faces of those who make up the McCardle household.
“We just love watching all of the kids play, but it’s exciting to see two brothers working together with the team,” Kim McCardle said. “Cody has this way of getting to balls infield and outfield that otherwise I thought have been impossible to stop. When we see him lay down a bunt and beat it to first (base), we are thrilled. “He loves baseball and sports enough to major in it after high school. Sometimes the smallest guy doesn’t get a shot but as he says, ‘They haven’t met me yet and small packages have the best competition.’”
Spoken like a prep baseball standout whose dreams include playing at the collegiate level.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”
Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.