The rank of Eagle Scout isn’t the only pinnacle Shane Victorino has reached. The speedy Philadelphia Phillies center fielder has been to the World Series the past two Octobers (winning a title in 2008), played for the USA in the second-ever World Baseball Classic in 2009, has won two consecutive Gold Gloves and led the majors in triples last year with 13. Whew!
Boys’ Life: What did you like most about Scouts?
S.V.: “Hanging out with friends. Camping. There were nights, though, when we were sleeping on the ground, eating not-great meals, thinking, ‘What am I doing here?’ But it taught you survival skills. I was lucky, growing up in Hawaii, so there weren’t zero-degree camp-outs.”
BL: Did you aim for Eagle Scout from the start?
S.V.: “When you first start, you want to get there because it’s the ultimate. But then it just kind of happens; suddenly you’re in a place that not too many people have been.”
BL: Is playing in the World Series a pressure cooker or fun?
S.V.: “Fun. In ’08, all through the playoffs, I kept saying to Matt Stairs, it feels like a regular game. And then Day One of the World Series, he says, ‘Are you nervous yet?’ And I wasn’t. It’s what you dream of as a kid, and that realization helps keep you focused.”
BL: What did you like about playing in the World Baseball Classic?
S.V.: “Seeing how different countries approached the game. I loved pulling on the USA jersey and representing America, but seeing the love and passion different countries had for baseball was incredible.”
BL: What did you take away from Scouts that still helps you as an adult?
S.V.: “Not only leadership skills but the structure that I had all come into play. Structure has helped with everything I do. And, honestly, the motto: Be Prepared. You always have to prepare yourself no matter what’s coming, no matter what you’re doing.”