Pro Life - Think Things out

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.

Coach B.

Interesting read. My friend always tells me he doesn’t care if he goes to college or not. He would only go if he plays baseball there. I honestly tell him that I’d rather go to a better college than a bad one and play baseball. I don’t love baseball as much as he does, but I do want to have options in my future. I’m realistic with myself in knowing that I probably will not be playing baseball after high school. Would I like to? Probably. I still have it below other things on my priority list.

I like your perspective. When you look at Barry Zito’s stats and $$, it looks soooo easy. Now, I hope Barry earns his money this year. I’m a lifelong Giants fan and have endured many bad years. But it’s not that simple to make it to the pros. I talk to my sons about the odds of making it to the big leagues. Our area has about half a million people overall. Presently, I don’t believe any are in the Majors, although there may be one. Did Chris Heisey make the Reds roster? To keep the math simple, say there is one player in the majors from this area. Therefore, the probability of making it to the Majors is 1:500000. Are my boys that good? Unlikely. Is anyone on their team that good? Doubt it. Odds are, none of these kids will make it to the big money. Conclusion, have fun, play hard, learn the fundamentals and do their best at the academics. Odds are if they study hard and are diligent about learning they have a better chance at making it to Princeton or Yale (as examples) than they do at baseball, and from there choosing a career that will satisfy them.