You have the chance to consider a professional career as a ball player. You’ve worked very hard during your early years of competition - travel teams, high school, show cases, college even.
So, you’re offered a signing bonus of a few grand - uncle sam and some other source takes a chunk out of your wallet, so you’re left to live off the rest until your in bucks.
Your tenure in the minors is a struggle, but you survive year after year. You notice guys coming and going - either quitting, being released or going up.
Now you could be waiting for a spot - but you notice that what your really doing is providing the fielding competition for guys with a lot more talent than you. Then, on the other hand, it’s just not your turn to go up. And still, no one at the next level is going anyplace soon, so, either are you.
What turns into months, turns into a year. Then, this year follows next year, and the next year, and even a few more years.
At one point you start to look around, and you find it’s been seven years at the minor league level. Seven years of sup par food, sub par living, sub par everything. You’ve held off much of your life, to include much of anything that has to do with a decent living, not to mention a reasonable relationship with the other gender, family, even a bed that doesn’t give you cramps and occasionally a few little critters that leave their marks.
Now here’s where reality steps in. If you had spent your time working for Home Depot, your local hardware store, or even bagging groceries, and you decided to leave and go elsewhere, at least you’d have a decent resume that you could show a potential employer that you had some life skills that were assets worth paying a wage for. In fact, you probably developed managerial
skills, cash handling responsibility, addressed policy issues and so forth.
Leaving a Minor League System, after spending years to develop and wait for an opening, doesn’t really give you much of a head start on life outside of baseball. Oh sure, probably something related to your ability could be a match … but it’s a hard sell finding it. Youth camps, college and high school ball really doesn’t pay squat, coaching privately take years to develop a following, and on it goes. Besides, entering a job market in your late twenties or early thirties at the bottom of the ladder does take some getting use to.
So if you’re considering a life I the pro’s, sit down with those in your life now, talk it over, be realistic of what and who you are - and where you want to be twenty years from now … time flies by and it’ll be on you before you know it.