S: Dustin John McLin
BC: Springfield High School Class of 2011
1: Dustin John McLin November 25, 1992 10:58 p.m. 6lbs 11oz 19in long
2: Dustin, Where do I start? I could never put into words my feelings for you, your brother, or your mother. Ya'll are EVERYTHING to me. I could go on and on about all of you, but today, i am going to try to talk to you through this letter and let you know how much YOU mean to me. Dustin you are such a very special person. I love and respect you so much. You are the best son anyone could ask for. I have loved you from day one and I can truly say I love you more and more every day. I know I can be tough on you at times but please believe me that I only do it because I want you to do all I can to try and help you stay on the right track. There are great things ahead of you and you have to focus on those things and not let anyone or anything distract you from your goals.I am supposed to be writing this from your mother and me, but i need you to know how I feel son, I know I am your step dad, and will never be your real dad, but I want you to know one hundred percent in your heart that I love you more than anything in the world. I have never tried to take his place; I have only tried to be the best step dad I could be. I am so PROUD of you! You have worked hard on your grades and at ball and I could never ask for anything more. I promise you that no one has been more happy and proud of you than I am. I live everyday for you boys and want so much for ya'll to grow up and live long happy lives. As for ball, you have taken a lot of tough times from me, but I want you to know that it was all to try to help you reach your full potential and I could never be any more proud of what you have accomplished. I have so many memories from ball that I will carry with me for the rest of my life and thank you for giving me those. I will never forget that first homerun in Colyell, or the grand Slam where PawPaw Bill had to give you a hundred dollars or the many other great plays and wins. But also, all the good times together traveling, staying in hotels and spending time together. You will never know how much those times meant to me. I want you to know that I will always be here for you. I know you are scared something to talk to me and that just kills my heart. Please Dustin know that you can come to me anytime for any reason and I will be there for you. I would die for you today and would go out a happy person for all the good times you've given me. You, Layne and Momma are my heart and soul and I love you very much. We are going to miss you so much with you going off to college but please know we will be thinking of you everyday. Go get you a good education so you will be able to provide for your family better than we have been able to provide for you. Always remember to treat people right and be a good person and work hard and good things will come to you. I tried to live by that and good things came to me. It gave me you! I love you son! Daddy Don
3: “The best feeling in the world is knowing you took a step in the right direction, a step towards the future where everything that you never thought was possible, is possible.”
6: Dustin, We've been long time buddies and i hope we continue to be buddieis for life. You know you're one of my best friends still even after you moved to springfield. When you moved, it really hit me how close we became. I now had to hang out with Logan and Travis. Those were the days back at Doyle. We would always play random games like imitating jackass the movie or locking yourself in the bathroom spraying axe cans while everyone else threw lotion all over my walls. Looking back now, we were just really fricking retarded, but you know I wouldn't redo it if I had the chance. Baseball has what has kept us really close. We started out being buddies through baseball. We shared the same love for the game which made us such close friends. Remember the days when you would throw your controller and leave my house if I beat you at a baseball playstation game? I know i sure do haha. You had the worst attitude towards losing, but its made you the tough competitor you are today. All the years we played together with the Hurricanes (the best team ever) I've learned a couple of things from you. The first thing would be never have coach for a dad. The second thing I've learned was I need to stay in shape so I can avoid cramping haha. The third thing is you're truly a great player. Your the best hitter I've ever played with, besides Nick Jones, but hes a freak so he doesn't count. You've had an impeccable work ethic to be where you are now. Finally, we are recognized for the talent we have worked for all these years. We're both going to college for baseball. Although our dream was to play side by side at LSU and win four consecutive national championships, I guess Louisiana College and Pearl River Community College will have to do. I know you will go there and be a solid player. I hope you develop into such a great player you get a shot in the minors or even the majors. I'll be waiting for you up there so don't wait up for me haha. I really wish we could at least play each other. Losing to your stupid bulldogs my entire high school career is quite disappointing.
7: . | Although it was a bittersweet sensation when I struck you out three times in our final game against each other. It would only make it better if we would have beat ya'll. I would give anything to be on the same team as my best friend before we grow up and stuff. I know we will keep in touch bragging about the bombs we hit and the domination pitching performances in college. I guess baseball and our friendship go hand and hand with each other. Without baseball we never could've develop such a strong friendship. Our friendship better last for life too man. Once we grow old and retire from our major league career, we need to gather a team together to dominate the lower south. Our kids will be the best of course and we will run them like Jeremy and Logan's ass that one practice for 2 hours straight haha. I look forward to what we have ahead of us. I just want to let you know you're my best friend and i'll always be here for you whether you're in Minnesota and I'm here in Louisiana, I will be there to help you out in a heartbeat. I hope you enjoyed your senior year and will ultimately have an extremely fun-filled exciting life living life to the fullest. I love you man. You're best man at your wedding, Tyler Cotton
8: Dustin John McLin, Where do i begin? We have been best friends for about five years now and i don't know what i would've done without you always there for me. I'm so glad our little brothers played on the same baseball team, because if not then we definitely wouldn't be this close. You have no idea how much your little talks helped, even if i didn't always listen to you all the time. Even though i always knew you were right and i was wrong, but of course I wasn't going to admit that, just like you don't like admitting I kicked your butt in basketball ALL the time! It all started at the Yogi bear Campgrounds haha. When i kicked your butt with EVERYBODY watching. But it's okay (: because i knew you still loved me. Then, every time after that you definitely didn't play like you were playing a girl. This all comes down to great memories, and there's going to be a lot more. I would have to say that our sleepovers were the best, sober or not. Our movie dates were good too. But of course everybody always thought we were either brother and sister or we were dating. I just think they were jealous over our friendship. Every time you had a girlfriend of I had a boyfriend, we were always best friends if they liked it or not. I love you Dustin McLin, i wish you the best of luck in college playing ball and I BETTER get an invite to your games, and just call if you want to see some old faces. You know I will be in the fire truck in a heart beat. Love Your Best Friend Tay <3
9: Dustin, If PawPaw & I could have special ordered a grandson, i would have been you. We are so very proud of you. It doesn't seem like you should be old enough to graduate. It seems like only yesterday you were running across the yard, in your mother's silk robe, to see what I was having for supper. You thought your mom & I didn't know you were eating twice. We want you to stay as sweet, kind and considerate as you are now. You will go far in life if you do. Remember, "Just reach for the stars," you will be able to obtain what you want out of life if you do. MawMaw Sue & PawPaw Bill
10: Bubba, I want to start off saying I love you. I thank you for all the things that you helped me starting with baseball to fixing food, From barely getting the ball past the out fielders to hitting Home runs easy. I’m glad you’re going to Pearl River, if any junior college I would pick them. I thank and love you for that. Hope you get a job as a coach like you want. I will miss you with all my heart. Love you. PS: Remember never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about. Love, Layne
11: Dear Dustin, "D-Mac", " Professor Big Mac", Here we are at the end of our high school careers and I have a few things to say. I am honored to have had the chance to meet such a talented, hardworking, and sincere individual. Especially with people our age, it is hard to find others who are mature enough to trust, rely on, and to form a real friendship with. I am glad that i have been able to have been there with you as you have matured as an athlete, a person, and a leader amongst our peers. Your drive to be successful in the things that you participate in is second to none. I believe that as long as you use your competitive nature for the better, you will be very successful in whatever you attempt in life. Even if your competitive nature is sometimes the death of some poor, innocent, and now shattered wooden ping pong paddle. Never stop working hard and never let your desire to quit get the best of you. From intense fungo golf to the "study" time in the lab, I feel that i have been able to share some great memories with you. I hope that you will be able to look back and say the same. Although our time in high school is winding down, I don't believe that we are done making memories. Were still going to have a ball in the playoffs (literally) and we will still have panama to look forward too. I am sure that when you go to Pearl River and I go to LSU, we probably won't be hanging out that much. However, we will probably meet again in the majors when the scouts recognize my potential on the mound and you bat at .800 in college. Never mind that, I'm very sure you will be a successful individual, and I am glad to have been able to know you. I hope that God will bless everything that you do in life; and I hope the end of high school doesn't mark the end of our friendship. Sincerely (Icing my ribs from the elbows you throw under the goal), David "Bear" Porter #18, #75 P.S. We are playing Northlake Tuesday for the district championship. Hope we kill em!
12: Dustin, I want to start by saying what an honor it is to be asked to be a part of this. You are very fortunate to have such an amazing family in your life and my first point I want to touch on is about family. I challenge you; do not ever go a day without telling your mother you love her. Be sure to say "thanks" when it's needed and go out of your way to show your appreciation toward your entire family. You will find that in life you will be faced with many distractions. School, ball, girls. work, parties, etc. Always find time for family. Second, we did not have much of an opportunity to discuss religion and I'm not sure exactly what you believe, but whatever it is, stick with it. Like family, faith is vital to overcoming those distractions. Be strong in faith because there will come a time where everything happens at once, and you are struggling to find a way out. Keep your faith close to you and when I'm dark times rely on God to help you through. He is the only way out. Remember, he will never give your more than you AND him cannot handle together. Third, do not let school work get the best of you. Like baseball, if you want to be successful, prepare and execute. Don't get in bad habits early. Stay on top of the school work. You will see that school work gets on you quick like a fastball from a sneaky lefty, but if you can stay ahead and stay organized, you'll do just fine. Understand, baseball is a way to get a free education. There are a lot of variables in the success of "making it" but whatever happens in your baseball career, make sure you can look back at your degree and smile. Fourth, baseball was/is the key to life for me. I told you guys that baseball was more than just a game. I see that now in the working world. Yes, I may have the opportunity to coach and still be around the game, but I use what I learned from baseball more in my desk job than coaching. I'm going to give you things to consider that I lived by as a player. They are very important to me and I give them to you. So here I go... 1. Have fun! 2. Be a sponge. Surround yourself with baseball people and absorb as much as you possibly can. Don't think for a minute that you know it all, because the minute you do, someone just passed you up. 3. Bad things happen. So what! The good players figure out how to overcome and still succeed. 4. No emotion is bad emotion. It's ok to be an emotional player, it means you have passion. But learn how to control it; learn how to use it. 5. Be a leader. I don't care if you're the only freshman or new kid. Lead by example, both on and off the field, good leaders lead by doing! Talk the talk and walk the walk! 6. Have fun! 7. Learn how to minimize the damage. Don't let one mistake turn into two. leave at-bats in the past. Don't let one pitch, error, or play carry to the next. Move on.
13: 8. Never take a day off. The minute you do, someone just passed you up. Work harder, work smarter, and work longer than the guy next to you. 9. Don't let pitchers get you out the same way twice. Adjust game by game, at-bat by at-bat, and pitch by pitch. 10. Be a student of the game. A smart man learns from his mistake, a wise man learns from other peoples mistakes. 11. Stay in the "now" and let the past go. Understand you cannot control everything in this game. You have to control over 2 things; Your reaction to the last pitch, and your approach to the next pitch. 12. Play each pitch like it's your last. Fly around and be a true example of what it is to play this game. You have been given a gift son; don't hide it. 13. Most importantly, Have fun! No, there's no typos. Have fun is that important. The minute you stop having fun, get out. Dustin, I am very proud of you, very proud to have been your coach and honored to be a part of you and your family's lives. I will leave you with this, no matter where you are, what you are doing, or why you are doing it; I am only a phone call away. Don't hesitate to call me. I want to thank you for helping me find my passion for coaching. It's kids like you that make this all worthwhile. Best of luck son and I wish you all the best! Sincerely, Andrew Hickman "Coach Paco"
14: Dear Dustin, FIrst of all, when your mom asked me to write a letter I had no idea what I was going to write about, but then I started thinking about how great of a person you are and how lucky I am to have gotten close and become friends with you! You have achieved some many accomplishments and I know that more are to come. When I first met you, when you started at Springfield I remembered how sweet and kind you were. When we started getting closer I knew that you would be someone that I could always call or text if I ever needed anything at any hour of the night. You are someone that is always so happy and fun to be around because you think of others before yourself. While going to school with you just those few years, I realized that you weren't just a friend that I would drift apart from after graduation. During your senior year, I remember coming to the high school football games and watching all of ya'll play. Although you have never played quarterback before and was strictly a baseball player, every time I saw you on the field you were giving it 120%. I could tell your teammates meant more to you then how good you were playing or if the news would put you in the paper. Although people may not have told you, they noticed that everything was done for the team and not just you. Seeing that shows so much heart and dedication. When playing baseball in Pearl River, and not Southeastern, which you already know I am not happy about :D, don't forget to always have that same passion and heart every time you step on the field. One day it's not going to be there so give it your all each time! Some of my funniest memories with you were going to the baseball games with Darron and all of us going to eat or doing something after the games. Once you graduate, you will look back and miss those memories of playing baseball, football, and surprisingly going to school with all your friends, but you will be achieving so much more in college. The memories and experiences that you will encounter the first year of college will be some of the best in your life. You will be meeting so many new and amazing people, and the best part is that your true friends will still be around for you as well as the new. Also, thank you for always being there giving me advice when it came to relationships. You were always someone that would tell me exactly what i deserved and informed me how you hate seeing me treated badly! You are such a great friend and I will never forget all of our talks.
15: As you move forward my best advice to you is not to let anything change you. People you are close to, will drift away and college is going to change things, but just remember those people that mean something to you. Good luck with everything in the future and I WILL be seeing you at Southeastern playing baseball very soon!!! Hillary and I already have our AOII loves Lions Baseball shirts that we will be wearing at everyone of your games!! I am just a text away if you every need anything at all and I will be waiting for that baseball schedule so I can come watch you play!!! Congratulations on graduating and moving forward in your life. I cannot wait to make so many more memories with you in the future. Love you. Virginia Stevenson
16: Dustin, I would like to start by saying your Momma and Daddy Don has done a wonderful job raising you and your brother. You have turned out to be a awesome grandson. Granny and I could not as for a better one. I know PawPaw has not been there through all your growing up and watching you play ball, but don't ever doubt how proud of you we are. I know you have big dreams and as long as you work hard you will reach those dreams. Always remember who helped you get there. And never let anyone get in your way of your dreams. It takes HARD work but if anyone can do it, you can. Love you, PawPaw Snook
17: Dustin, I want to start by saying thank you for giving me the chance to coach you. You will never know how much it means to me that you and your family moved to Springfield to play for me. It is something that I will never forget. There is an old saying that coaches don’t have favorites well it is not true. I have never coached a kid that plays harder every day than you, does everything we ask and performs at the level you do. Some days coaching you wonder why am I doing this nobody cares but then I look at you and you show me why I coach. I am truly thankful for that. I think we are very much alike and sometimes you have an idea what I am going to say before I say it and I know what you are thinking as well. Try not to give Don a hard time lol he cares a lot about you and he only drives you the way he does to make you the best and you are!! Kristy should be more relaxed she does not have to watch you pitch against Doyle anymore. You have truly awesome parents and you should thank them every day because they care more about your life than they do their own. I hope one day you will come back and coach with me we will make a great team again. What we have done together no one can take away from us and I will always remember you and be your coach even when you are coaching. One day I will come give you pointers if I am not beating you ha ha. It is time for you to be a Wild Cat but you will always be a bulldog and we will never forget you. Remember to keep swinging , that in life the only things you can control is your reaction to what happened and your approach to what is going to happen and never forget that Coach Tony LOVES YOU!!!!!! Your Favorite Coach Coach Tony Salim
18: Dustin, It's been a pleasure watching you grow up to be the wonderful person you have become. You have had many accomplishments in school and sports. Take that energy and passion you have on the ball field and incorporate it in your everyday life. I know that when you want something, you work hard to make it happen. And when you apply yourself the sky's the limit. You have never let us down and have always made us proud of you. Layne and Bailey look up to you and you have been the perfect role model for them. We will all miss you when you go off to college. I want you to know "I love you, I'm proud of you, and It's a pleasure being your dad!" Good Luck, Dad
19: Dustin, MawMaw has always been proud. I was proud to tell people you were my grandson. I know you had to be a good ball pitcher. When you were small you were always throwing rocks and sticks. You have made me very proud, you always respected other peoples feeling. I could trust you to do the right thing. my favorite story that i tell everyone about was when you were 6 years old. You threw a stick out in road and hit a truck. I decided to scare you, so I told you the sheriff office called and told me they were waiting to get a empty call and they would call me back. Well this little story worked. You said "MawMaw, I just want one more chance" Well it worked, you didn't throw no more rocks or sticks in the road. Haha. You are the apple of my eye, and you're PawPaw Preston's heart. I hope you the best of everything and your graduating, and hope you can graduate from college. But always keep God in your heart and with you everyday. P.S. PawPaw Preston had you showing everyone how I walked, He got a big kick out of that. I Love You, MawMaw Linnie Mae
20: Dustin, You're the star right now in our family. MawMaw Pat can never begin to let you know how proud I am of you. Always remember where you came from and you are somebody. You are Dustin McLin, be proud of your accomplishments. That Thursday night in may when you walk down that hall standing tall with your cap and gown. My heart will glow to be right there by your side. I love and praise you for the years of dedication, and the courage you have to keep working on the right path. All your family will always be here watching out for you and hold you close to our hearts. Dustin always go forward in gods care. He is standing right beside you. He has a plan prepared for you, A chosen place for you to go, that place has been picked. So be happy and remember, your family and I are here for you, so continue to stay strong and smart, because you belong to our family and your dad's family. Good luck, MawMaw Pat
21: Dustin, I’ve coached hundreds of players at several different programs throughout my career. There aren’t many that have the combination of having the ability, the will to work, and most importantly the character that you have. You are a very special person that has a ton of talent and there is absolutely no limit to what you can achieve in your life. I know that I have only been around for 4 months, but in that time I have seen you take huge strides in becoming not only a better player, but becoming the best person you can be. The maturity you have shown is incredible. After we lost the District Championship game, you took time to come to me and try to help me deal with the loss. A kid doesn’t do that, it takes a MAN to do something like that. Understand that just because you go and have a great college career doesn’t mean that I did my job. If you go out there and you are successful in life and you are known as a “great person,” it’s then that I know that I succeeded in doing my job. As a coach, credibility is all that we have. When we recommend a player to another coach at the next level, we are putting our credibility on the line. If that player takes care of business and does the right things, our credibility is still intact. If that player turns out to do the wrong things and not take care of business, we lose all credibility. It’s not necessarily if they produce on the field or not, it’s mostly about their character and if they take care of business.So, pretty much every time we recommend a player we are taking a huge risk. Believe me when I say that recommending you is absolutely no risk at all. I know that you will take care of business and you have already shown me the character that you have. If you have half the belief and faith in yourself that I have in you, you will achieve everything that you want in life. Baseball is something that you excel at. | Play the game as long as you love it and as long as you can. But understand that one day your career will end and you will have to find something else to do in life. Make sure that you get an education and take care of business in school. Learn from my mistakes and don’t do what I did. Whenever you get tempted to slack off, ask yourself, “What’s more important?”. If you do that it will help put things into perspective. Know that I will always be here for you and will do whatever it takes to help you if you need it. Once you’re one of my players, you will always be one of my “guys.” Just because you are graduating and taking the next step in your life doesn’t mean that you are going out there on your own. Remember that your family is always there for you and that there is that little guy that thinks the world of you. Make sure you set a good example for him because like it or not, he is going to mimic everything that you do. Words can’t express how proud of you I am and I wish you only the best. If you ever need anything at all, don’t even think about hesitating to pick up the phone. I also want to thank you for the effort that you have given me. Also, for believing and trusting in me, especially when I first got here and you didn’t know whether I was some idiot that didn’t know anything about the game or a guy that knows a thing or two. The fact that you bought in brought the other players around and they began to gain that belief and trust too. So again, Thank You for everything big guy! Congratulations of graduation and Good Luck in everything that you do in life and remember to ALWAYS COMPETE!!! Best Wishes, Coach King
22: Here are some inspirational quotes that I have compiled over the past few years. Maybe they will help you along like they help me: You have to hate to lose more than you love to win. --Coach King "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing!" -- Vince Lombardi “Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” -- John Wooden Losers quit when they're tired. Winners quit when they've won. -Unknown "Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." -John Wooden Winners, I am convinced, imagine their dreams first. They want it with all their heart & expect it to come true. -Joe Montana I can't believe that God put us on this earth to be ordinary. -Lou Holtz "I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." -Michael Jordan "Never quit. Set a goal and don't quit until you attain it. When you do attain it, set another goal, and don't quit until you reach it. Never quit." --Paul Bear Bryant “Strive for perfection, because even if you aren’t perfect, excellence is within reach.” If you are determined enough & willing to pay the price, you can get it done. -Mike Ditka
23: You don't win once in a while, you don't do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. -Vince Lombardi There are 3 types of baseball players: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, & those who wonder what happens. -Tommy Lasorda Before you can win, you have to believe you are worthy. -Mike Ditka I've got a theory that if you give 100% all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end. -Larry Bird "Champions arent made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them . A desire, a dream, a vision." - Muhammed Ali Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of knowing u did your best to become the best that u are capable of being. -John Wooden Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can't. -Jerry Rice Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to produce uncommon results. –Unknown The man who wins, is the man who thinks he can. -Vince Lombardi A winner never stops trying. -Tom Landry The difference between a successful person & others is not a lack of strength or knowledge, but rather in a lack of will. -Vince Lombardi Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit. –Unknown “Never be satisfied!” – Coach King
24: Dustin, DMAC, bestfriend, loser, my crazy friend!!!!! Well there's so much to say about you & I don't even know where to start. I can say that I was your first friend in Springfield. Having coach Tony give me your number & telling me to try and make you come here was definitely an amazing decision because if that didn't happen then we would have never became bestfriends or next door neighbors lol. We have had so many fun times together & even though we are both moving away I know we will still remain close. & don't worry I will be at your baseball games, no doubt about that. We will be bestfriends forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and it goes on and on. I love you & your amazing family so much! Y'all have always been so welcoming to me & everybody else. With you there are very little dull moments. Biology sophomore year when you hit your face with the book & your nose started bleeding was PRICELESS!! & atleast we had one class together this year. English was always great even though we would get in trouble for talking constantly. Oh well it was all worth it. I'm so happy we've stayed so close since you came to Springfield. I don't want to stop typing this but I have to at some point and time. Just know that I am here for anything even those relationship convos we have about girls!! Lol I love you SOOO much Dustin & can't wait to graduate together & have the time of our lives on senior trip. Whoop whoop!! Love you (:
25: Dustin John McLin, So, I remember coming back to school my junior year after Christmas break and someone was parked in my spot! That someone just so happens to be you! You were def not my favorite person then! I could have punched you, lol jk! (well kinda) haha Looking back that was a crazy reason to dislike someone, But we've came a long way since then! I mean look at me now, making this for you. Who would have thought that three years ago!? But i wouldn't have it any other way.Now your all graduating at stuff, even going off to college! :) watching ALL the baseball games just won't be the same without you out there, or your family...especially Mr Don, walking around because he's all superstitious about it(: I'll def miss it. But i know you will do great in college and I wish you the best of luck! Might have to come watch you play one day, just maybe. Stick with it, your a great ball player Dustin and I know you will do great at not only ball but school too! Shoot for the stars, always, and you will be successful at EVERYTHING you do. I pinky promise! Don't let anything come between your dreams and what you love! And you better not forget everyone back at home when you go off to school. Come see us sometime! (: Alexandria Elizabeth P.S. Remember your parents only tell you the things about ball that they do because they love you and want whats best for you, not because they want to hurt you or make you mad, but because they care about you more than you know! Don't you ever forget that! You will look back and thank them one day! I promise that. They are great people Dustin, you are truly lucky to have a loving family who supports you through everything (even if they do get upset an fuss at times) their love and support for you will NEVER change!
27: Springfield High School Class Of 2011 Class Quote: "The difference between school and life? In school you're taught a lesson and given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson." -Tom Bodett Class Flower: Apple Blossom - " Better things to come" Class Song: "I'm not gonna cry" - Corey Smith