Olney: Closer to home, Wade Miley settles in as an Astro

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Wade Miley, who starts for the Houston Astros on Sunday Night Baseball against the Indians, played baseball at a very early age. When Wade was about 7, his father recalls being approached by an interested observer.

Wendell Miley had no background in baseball, having been raised milking Holsteins and fixing hauling rigs, like a lot of the folks in the farming community of Loranger, Louisiana. But he knew about the background of the man who had some thoughts about his son and sports -- "Mr. Les," as Wendell Miley still refers to him. Les Mulkey was the father of Kim Mulkey, a basketball star at Louisiana Tech who played in the Olympics before moving into coaching, and what Mr. Les told Wendell Miley was that his son had very unusual athletic ability, that the way he moved and threw stood out. Wade Miley was left-handed, but he still played shortstop because he could catch and throw better than his peers.

"Your son has a real gift," Mr. Les said. "Make sure you give him every opportunity to let that gift grow."