ST. LOUIS -- Scott Spiezio enjoyed a daily ritual while growing up in Morris, Ill.
His father, Ed Spiezio, a former Cardinals player on their World Series-winning 1964 and 1968 teams, would come home from work and play baseball with his son.
"I knew we would always have an hour or two where it was just us two," Scott said. "Practicing every day was the biggest thing we did."
Using a bean field as a backstop and their spacious, three-acre backyard as their diamond, Ed would throw tennis balls from the two mounds he had built. The first mound was regulation distance, but the second was much closer to home plate.
"He would throw really fast from the shorter one," Scott said. "We would use it to develop bat speed and hand-eye coordination. ... I could hit the ball as far as I wanted. We would use the tennis balls so we wouldn't have to shag as far."
After an hour of batting practice, the two would grab their gloves and head over to the nearby high school field for further work. Here, Scott would take ground balls at all four infield positions and fly balls at the three outfield spots.
This practice continues to the 2006 season. Scott, an 11-year veteran, plays five different positions for the Cardinals and works at multiple positions during pregame drills.
"That got me ready for Major League Baseball," Scott said of the workouts. "He's pretty much the reason why I'm here."
Conor Nicholl is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.