Jamie Stalling said his former players and former coaches were a big part of his success that enabled him to live his dream of finally reaching the MLB. The Kinston native was recently named an associate scout for the Philadelphia Phillies.
“This has been a lifelong dream of mine,” said Stalling. “I never gave up on the chance to get into the professional ranks somehow.
“I’m living out a dream that I had, and it’s a blessing; of course, none of this is possible without God. I tell kids all the time if you have a dream that you believe in, you should chase it, and don’t ever give up.”
A baseball lover his entire life, Stalling graduated from North Lenoir, where he played baseball under head coach Jim Montague. He was eventually recruited to play for Pitt Community College where a shoulder injury ended his playing career.
Suddenly Stalling’s dream of becoming a professional baseball player was dashed, but fellow Kinston native George Whitfield gave Stalling an opportunity to become a player-coach.
“I learned at that point how to be a coach,” said Stalling. “The biggest lesson I learned was how to prepare properly and treat guys good.
“If you treat your players good, they will play hard for you, and prepare hard for the team.”
After graduating, Stalling would eventually reunite with Whitfield at Arendell Parrot Academy, where the Patriots won a state championship in 2015. When Whitfield retired, Stalling moved on to Wayne Country Day School, helping the Chargers reach the third round of the NCISAA playoffs in 2016.
Stalling also found time to start Carolina Sports Marketing, which he created to help players get recruited out of high school and reach the next level.
“It’s so hard now, high school coaches have so much on their plate,” said Stalling. “I started Carolina Sports Marketing to help local kids get the opportunities that they deserve. I get the most joy out of being able to help young men, starting from recreation level all the way up high school, and getting them into college, that’s the biggest thing.”
Stalling, who has been an independent scout for the last five years, said the Phillies reached out to him for a phone interview. Soon after that, the Phillies contacted Stalling to let him know he’d been offered the job of an associate scout.
Stalling credits David Roach, father of former major league player Jason Roach, for imbuing him with a love for the game of baseball.
“He treated me like I was his own son,” said Stalling. “I wasn’t as good as some of the other boys, but I had potential, and he saw that, and he worked with me just like he did with his own son.
“Jason’s father is the number one reason I’m still in the game of baseball.”
It’s an amazing opportunity, Whitfield said, and while Stalling may not have been the most talented player, his passion for the game never wavered.
“Jamie has always loved baseball,” Whitfield said. “You could tell early on how much he loves the game, and I think it’s just wonderful he got the opportunity to work with the Phillies. I know he’ll do a good job because he’s a hard worker, and I think the Phillies were smart in getting a young man who loves baseball.”
Stalling said people should never give up on their dreams, and that dreams can come true, just sometimes not in the way you expect.
“I’m just blessed and very humbled to have this great opportunity with the Phillies,” said Stalling. “Not every person gets this opportunity. It’s a big-time opportunity for a small-town guy.”