An Invite To Spring Training
For the past five years, I’ve written about sports. Practically only sports, if you don’t count the college essays and assignments. But those days are past me, and it’s time to start widening my avenue of writing. That sounds a bit corny, but I’m serious. This article is probably not the best start to that, considering it’s about baseball. The only difference is that it’s about my life.
Medium is a new platform for me, and I wrote a little hello to it the other day. My plan is to write about a lot of different things, including sports. I thought the best way to transition to writing on Medium would be an article about myself…..who knows if this is the right way to go about it? But what the hell, here we go.
First and foremost, I got lucky. I’ve played baseball my entire life; tee-ball, middle-school, high school, college, and one season of professional baseball. I loved every second of it. Every year and every level was different. It wasn’t always easy, but it was always fun. Being on the diamond is in my blood, it’s part of who I am.
My one professional season of baseball was in the Pecos League. If you know anything about Independent Baseball, you know the Pecos League is bottom of the barrel. But I didn’t care. I had the chance to play baseball and get paid for it. Was it a lot of money? No, not at all. I was making $50 a week. Yes, in 2019 I was making $50 a week. But I was making that money playing the game that I love.
I was a member of the Roswell Invaders located in Roswell, New Mexico. To give a little background on me, I graduated from Penn State and have lived on the east coast for my entire life. Going out to Roswell, New Mexico was crazy for me. Obviously, I was excited and nervous, but all of it was surreal. In college, I was a two-way guy. This meant that I was a position player as well as a pitcher. In pro-ball, you don’t see a lot of two-way guys. Solely because it’s hard to be that good at both things. When I got the invitation to spring training from Roswell, they wanted me to be a pitcher only (PO).
I didn’t know what to do. Let me rephrase that. I knew I was going to try out for Roswell, but I wasn’t confident. I was a better first-baseman than a pitcher, but I was left-handed. Teams are always looking for left-handed pitchers. I said it before and I’ll say it again, I got lucky. Not only was I a left-handed pitcher, but I was a slow-throwing left-handed pitcher.
*If you want to laugh it’s okay, you can laugh.* I laugh at myself daily. Do you want to know why? Because I’m still chasing a dream to play professional baseball. I’ve been training ever since I got home from Roswell. Trying to throw the ball harder, so I can play in a better league. Don’t think I’m crazy. Laughing at yourself helps, at least for me. When you are training for something, like a marathon, you are going to have good days and bad days. On those bad days, you cannot get discouraged. For me, those bad days are when I’m throwing the ball slower than I want to be. But I don’t let it affect me, at least I try not to. This is something I want to write its own article on.
It feels like I’m jumping around a lot in this article. But if I can leave you with a couple of thoughts. First, if you want to know/understand me, know that baseball is a part of me and it always will be. Second, know that I’m still chasing this dream of playing, but I’m realistic about it. If I’m not on a roster in a better league by next June, then I’m hanging the cleats up. Finally, I enjoy writing and expressing myself this way. It feels like my thoughts and feelings flow through the ends of my fingertips and out onto the page. For me, it’s easy and simple. Just sit down and start typing.
If I haven’t made it clear, I made the team in Roswell! Yes, I’m still just as excited as I was when I made the team. It all started with an invitation to spring training. I learned a lot of lessons and made a lot of memories throughout the process. It’s an experience that I will never forget!