LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jermaine Curtis said he had never heard of Stuart Smalley. But unknowingly, Curtis has channeled the Saturday Night Live character created by Al Franken decades ago. And the positive affirmations espoused by Smalley are working for the Bats' infielder.
Curtis said he reads a lot of self-help books and started working with some positive statements last summer and after much tweaking he turned it into a mission statement in the off-season, for things on and off the field. He's got it on his phone and has an audio recording, reading it or listening to it before he goes to sleep, when he wakes up in the morning and right before every game.
Curtis gave us a look at the document he created. It starts like this. "I am a major league baseball player. I am a winner. I am talented. I am a hard worker. I take advantage of opportunities. I believe in myself..."
It lasts about seven minutes and it is working. Curtis was named the International League Player of the Month for April, hitting .385 with a .515 on-base percentage and 18 runs batted in. He's the first Louisville player so honored since Homer Bailey in 2009.
"Everything's about confidence and one of the ways you can create confidence is saying it to yourself," said Curtis. "One of the things in baseball is if you're not feeling good you're not playing good. I believe as humans we can adapt to things and if we have a mission statement, a thing that we live by, we can get to that."
The 28-year-old California native and UCLA product is a career .274 hitter. He's appeared in five major league games with three hitless at-bats and a walk. But Curtis believes he can ride this positivity all the way to the bigs.
"I believe if you have that confidence in yourself and you believe and you're always strengthening your mind, you're gonna be successful."
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