Baseball…there is nothing better than this sport.
It has been our lives since we were five years old. Bright blue skies, freshly cut, perfectly manicured grass, 50,000 people in the stands all awaiting your at bat in the last inning of the World Series. As cliché as it sounds, this is what all us Minor League players have dreamed of as young kids in our back yards and local parks. We have all created the same scenario in our minds as children; last inning, bases loaded, down by three, full count, two outs… and this is what we still dream about as 20 something year old men.
We cherished these memories as kids being able to play until dark, not a care in the world except the next pitch or the sun setting where our dreams would have to wait until after school the next day. This is our life. Baseball is number one and there is nothing else in this life that can be more important to us than this treasure. Our dream is within reach, the only thing we wanted to do with our lives is right there. We can smell it.
Baseball is our number one Priority. Priority; An item’s relative importance or a goal of a person or an organization. If your number one priority in life is baseball than you know where I am coming from. My number one priority has always been baseball and the Big Leagues, that is until April 7th 2013 when God gave my wife and I our first child. He gave us a beautiful baby boy! He was born 4 days into the season where I jumped on the last flight out of Portland, Maine to Tampa, Florida just in time to watch my son come into the world.
I can remember when my wife and I were dating as teenagers and my parents explained to her that baseball was my first and foremost priority and that she needed to understand that if she wanted to be with me she needed to allow me to chase my dream until the day I stopped loving this game so much. She didn’t really know what to expect, considering she didn’t know much about the sport, but she thought I was worth it (and I can’t thank her enough for that). So, she sat in the back seat, while I sat shotgun as baseball took us wherever it wanted to.
** As a side note, I do have to say her baseball knowledge and savvy has greatly increased as well as her respect for the sport and understanding of why I love this game so much. Anyways, Not even the woman of my dreams was going to be number one (this is back in high school and college of course).
College came and went and there are a ton of memories that the two of us shared together during the baseball season. After graduating, I got drafted. I thought draft day was the best day of my life and it was to that point in my life. Nothing was better and I was on top of the world. I don’t want to bore you with the details of my career, but just like most guys, I have been going at it for a while now. It is still a pleasure waking up every day, going to the ballpark and chasing my dream.
If you are reading this I am going to assume you have some knowledge of Minor League life and how brutal it can be. I am actually typing this on a bus ride from New Jersey to Virginia. Not the longest trip, but one bus and 40 guys is not ideal for a five-plus hour trip. We are all sacrificing a lot to try and make it to the Show because there is still only one thing on our mind, making it to the Big Leagues!
As Minor League ball players can and will say, we can grind seasons out until the day we physically can’t suit up and play or until our heart just isn’t in it anymore. However, now that there are three of us, how long can I drag her and my son through the ropes of moving from city to city at the drop of a hat? How long can she grind it out season to season because it is just as mentally draining to her as it is for me…