Quick Glimse at Independent League Ball

ESPN had a very good segment on life for one young man in the Independent League. The player’s name is Josh Faiola. Josh was with the Lake Erie Crushers of the Frontier League.

The short program spells out some of the experiences that Josh went through, in addition to why he picked baseball as a career and a life style - as short as it was. Josh also gives a lot of credit to a very supportive wife and those in the community that he shared living space with.

I should point out that the Lake Erie Crushers of the Frontier League are one of the better life style experiences for players choosing Independent League careers. In any respect, this program is worth watching.

ESPN E:60 Glory Days is the program that you’ll want to click on.

Coach B.

Great post Coach B.

Some of my best times as a professional have come in Independent baseball. It’s where I finally learned how to play the game with a passion again. Affiliated ball sucked it right out of me. In Indy ball, you play to win, and as long as the team is winning, moves won’t be made. If you are scuffling, get your bags packed! I love Indy ball, and would enjoy coaching it some day.

Man, I would never hang up the cleats at 25, I can’t imagine me doing that without reaching the majors. Like he said, I never want to be the guy in a restaurant saying that could have been me. Never that.

[quote]Man, I would hang up the cleats at 25[/quote] There is no way I can ever hang up the cleats. For all the game has given to me, whether it be teammates that help me with my SAD, MVP awards, championships, or just an escape from all of the pressure, just going out and hitting balls, or throwing a little, that is my escape from all of the pressures of life, girls, school, parents, sisters, dogs, baseball is my escape. I’ll always give back to God and baseball because both things have helped me a ton. I just can’t see myself going away from the wonderful game of baseball. It’s God’s game, America’s pastime, the grand old game, whatever adjective you chose, it’s always, in my opinion, the greatest game.

Just to add to my last post. My friends know I love the game of baseball, and they see me a ton of times with books about my Red Sox, or my book about Bob Gibson, and they tell me that I am tweaked over baseball. You know what I tell them? I say that if they found someone/something that they love, love it. And the things that I love, I love. Be it my girlfriend that was the only one who listened to me when everyone else was deaf to me, be it my family that loves me unconditionally, be it God who gave me life, I love those things. And baseball has given me a ton, and I will love it unconditionally.

:hijack:

I meant, I would NEVER hang up the cleats at 25.
My bad

The saddest thought for me is the thought that someday I will have to stop playing baseball. I would love to play baseball at any level for the rest of my life but unfortunately I know someday it will have to come to an end no matter whether it be independent, minors, majors, a rec league or anything.

All of you guys will be fine when you hang up your spikes. Trust me, just ask myself or Steven. We’ve both played Pro ball for several years. Sure, I’m saddened that I won’t ever pitch again at a high level. But, there are other things that I want now, like a house, a family, a coaching job etc… As you guys get older you will understand that baseball ISN’T life. It may be a game, a passion, and a love, but sometimes life happens. You will realize that baseball will always be apart of your life, whether your playing in a mens league, watching it on tv, or coaching it, or even coming onto a message board like this. Just try to enjoy the game while you have it, and take life as it happens.

I just hate thinking about that right now, I really can’t imagine myself doing anything but baseball, baseball, baseball. Even when I’m done, and retire. I have to do something that involves baseball. But I hate thinking about the day I will hang up those cleats. It makes me sick. But you know what, lets focus on what we can do now to prevent that from happening anytime soon. Shoot, Im barely 16, I can’t beleive I’m thinking of that. :?

Hammer …

Very well said, … very well.

By the way, knowing when to say … WHEN … is a state of maturity and comprehending that others depend on you for other things in life. Mortgage, first child, insurance needs, feeding a family, being there when THERE is life itself.

Believe me – the novelty of doing this for a job and the volatile environment that this business can orbit - can wear pretty thin at times. When others control every part of your life, that could just as well go south with the owners sipping bourbon during lunch … like I said, the novelty wears off real quick.

But if it’s what ya gotta do … then ya gotta do it. I’ve known guys that have spent their entire working life bouncing around the Minors, then Independent ball, then somewhere else. When they retire, their sweeping out parking lots and public toilets, sitting in booth as a security guard, or some other minimum wage job. But, if it’s what ya gotta do – it’s what you do.

Coach B.

You’re exactly right Coach B. Baseball will help you mature as a man, and help you make these decisions as you get older. There is so much more to baseball than just playing the game. The game has taught me life lessons such as leadership, teamwork, chemistry, dealing with adversity, class, mental toughness, and how to be humble just to name a few. I’m grateful to have played as long as I have and I owe the game for eternity. But I will do my best to help the youth understand that baseball isn’t about balls, strikes, hits or runs, it’s about LIFE, and becoming a better man.

There is no doubt that hanging up your cleats and quitting the game is a sad thing but it doesn’t mean you’re done with baseball in the case of this player who is young and has a wife he’ll soon have kids and he’ll get to coach them. My dad told me he had the most fun coaching little league teams because the kids were truly happy to be there and they really wanted to get better.