While his professional baseball career ended a dozen years ago, Danny Ardoin has never left the game.
He continues to impart the knowledge he holds to younger generations by coaching various teams.
"As an old big leaguer and baseball rat, it never leaves your blood," Ardoin said. "Any time I get the opportunity to use baseball to influence young men's lives, I am going to take advantage of it.
"I get to compete alongside these young men and teach them how to compete."
Over the last week, he has coached the Team Louisiana Ardoin to a 4-0 record at the New Balance Future Stars Series national tournament that is being played locally at McMurry Park, Legion Field and McNeese's Cowboy Diamond.
It is also a way to spend time with his kids. His oldest son, Drew, played at Lamar, Silas was a freshman this season at the University of Texas and started eight of 11 games at catcher, Sam will be a sophomore on the Sam Houston Bronco baseball team this fall while daughter Erin will be a senior on the Bronco softball team.
"I coached my oldest son (Drew), and he was fortunate to play all the way through Division I at Lamar, graduate and start a new job," Ardoin said. "My second son, Silas, I have coached him through this, and my wife said I have one more.
"So we are taking care of Sam and working him and let his friends and teammates reap the rewards as well. He is rewarding for me as well."
While Ardoin has not coached Erin, who is playing in a tournament in Gulfport, Miss., this week, directly, he still works with her off the field.
"My daughter and my relationship stays completely off the field," Ardoin said. "It is a father-daughter deal. We go hit in the cages, and I go out and support her when I can."
Ardoin doesn't take it easy on any of the teams he coaches which is why he entered his team into the Future Stars Series, one of the top wood bat tournaments in the nation. He says that using a wood bat is more difficult to master and helps his players when they return to the aluminum bat high school season.
"The summer ball teams that I coach, we try to go to the highest level of summer ball," Ardoin said. "It is to help expose these young men for college.
"If we do play in an aluminum bat tournament, we will swing wood in preparation for the next weekend. That is what we do. It is not easy on those young men. They have to learn how to persevere through that failure because wood bats there is a reason why they make the big leagues. (They) are not (as forgiving as aluminum) and actually, they have a little extra weight so any little flaw in the swing will get exposed. They benefit from it, and they learn how to make adjustments. That is the biggest thing. It is beneficial when the get the aluminum back in their hands."
Among the things he teaches his players is to focus on the things that they can control.
"The easiest thing that you can teach is to have control over your attitude and your effort," Ardoin said. "It is an old cliche, but man we drive it home. Controlling the controllables is another cliche.
"If we can teach these young me to persevere through those times, in life they are going to be much better for it. I talk about it all game. It is the little things, and why we do certain things. That is what I bring to them. We can't practice all week, it is a summer showcase event. So we don't get to get together and work bunt coverages and picks. If they have an understanding of why they do certain things at certain times in the game then we are winning."
Ardoin doesn't plan to leave baseball behind any time soon.
"I will always have a part of baseball in me," Ardoin said. "I played 14 years, five seasons in the big leagues.
"I thought about this the other day. My oldest son is going to be getting married, and I will have grandkids one day. So I am trying to figure out if I am going to coach them or I am going to watch them. I don't have one on the way, and it is not even close, but those are some of the thoughts that go through your mind. I will always be a part (of baseball)."