Hall, 57, warns each step is more challenging than the previous level. His firsthand experience and dealing with others who have followed in his footsteps make sense.
The Ventura County Brewers, an independent club team with U17-20 players, develop college talent.
“No. 1, you have to have ability,” said Hall, who played professionally with the Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers organizations.
Ojai’s Chris Woodcock wouldn’t trade what his University of Arkansas-bound son pitcher Jon and others have learned from Hall.
“Aside from being a solid baseball player and coach, the most important thing to him is attitude,” said Woodcock.
Hall, who played baseball at UCLA, has enjoyed his role on the bench and on the sidelines.
“Every level is different,” said Hall, a San Pedro High product who played with former Pepperdine and current Arizona coach Andy Lopez and former Boise State athletic director Gene Bleymaier.
Paul McAnulty, 30, from Oxnard High, Oxnard College and Long Beach State, has been one of Hall’s players.
“It’s rare to find a person that knows the game so well and truly cares about his players,” said McAnulty, a Los Angeles Angels organization Triple-A player.
“Rocky Hall is a class act and I am a better player and person having Rocky in my life.”
Hall demands his players have high grades and stay focused on their studies.
Character is another trait Hall wants from players.
The late John Wooden left Hall with plenty of advice.
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
Those Wooden words are key to being a sports agent.
Hall wants to see players graduate from college because when their sports playing days are over, they have something to fall back on.
Even after his pro career was over, Hall attended the Ventura College of Law to master the skills needed to be a player representative.
Hall’s wife Patricia works as an attorney for Social Security and disability in the office next door. Patricia and Rocky met in Holyoke, Mass., a Brewers Double-A team. Patricia has always been a Boston Red Sox fan.
There’s a lot of competition to being a sports agent and Hall admits it becomes a difficult task.
It’s the future players like Ventura High left-handed pitcher Reed Nothwang or Oxnard College’s Kevin Minjares (Camarillo) who have potential to play college baseball or possibly pro. Minjares could be a high draft choice in 2012.
Nothwang will play for the Brewers and the Cardinals scout teams in October. Nothwang is considering UCSB, Westmont or UC San Diego.
Hall of Famers Paul Molitor and Robin Yount along with Don Money were Brewers spring training teammates of Hall.
Yount was a Taft High (Woodland Hills) player who jumped to pro ball.
“A degree still means something when you’re out of baseball and you need a job,” said Hall.
Brandon Knight, a former Buena and Ventura College standout, is in his fourth year of pro ball in South Korea.
Some players stay in pro ball as coaches.
Whittier’s Nomar Garciaparra was of the first players Hall represented in turning pro.
Garciaparra, a 10-year Boston Red Sox all-star shortstop, had the work ethic. He also played with the A’s, Dodgers and Cubs.
Hall enjoys winning, but the goal is to develop the best player.
The win-at-all-costs mentality Hall points to is the Little League saga of Bronx, N.Y., pitcher Danny Almonte when it was proved after the World Series he was a 14-year-old playing against 11- and 12-year-olds. The 2001 scandal stripped the Bronx of the championship. Almonte would later suffer from an arm injury and now plays in an adult recreation league.Woodcock racked up 135 strikeouts this past season.
Hall made sure last summer and winter that Woodcock didn’t throw too many pitches.
Hall also provided his players with top-notch competition by playing in an Orange County independent Connie Mack League.
“He’s not trying to promote himself or one player,” said Woodcock.
Hall sees all the players in the region and picks who wants to turn into a better person and player.
Grace Brethren graduate Mark Fitzgerald has been working and playing with Hall since his championship days at Cornerstone Christian. The Eagles won the CIF-Southern Section championship in 2009 and 2010 before the school dropped baseball. Fitzgerald will play the 2011-12 season at Moorpark College.
Rich Fitzgerald of Camarillo said Hall is focused on players reaching their goals.
“It’s not 1 on 21. Its more like 3 or 4 on 21, and then breaking each of his support coaches into groups. Hitting, pitching and fielding. This helps Rocky work with individual players while managing the program,” said Rich Fitzgerald.
Hall has his players compete in two Arizona fall tournaments, watched by scouts and coaches. One is the Academic Games and the other features major league scout teams.
The Halls have three children: Erin, 21, a Cal State Channel Islands student; Connor, 20, a Santa Barbara City College student, and Shane, 16, a junior basketball and baseball player at Villanova.