Published in the February 8, 2017 issue of The Bells
We all have that outlandish childhood dream; that is an unobtainable goal that we think we will undoubtedly reach at some point in our lives.
My boyhood dream was always to become a professional baseball player. I never realized how hard that would be to accomplish. And realizing just how far away I actually was to that dream leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
The odds each player has to overcome in order to make it to Major League Baseball (MLB) are almost insurmountable. According to the NCAA, just seven percent of high school baseball players make it to the NCAA and only .003 percent ever end up on an MLB roster.
It never enters our minds that this is not just a game for these players— it is their livelihood.
We see the big-time contracts on the news— players signing nine-figure contracts. But for most professional ball-players, it is a struggle.
There are approximately 6,000 players currently in the MLB minor-league system.
According to CNN Money, the players at the lowest level of the minor-leagues are making $1,100 a month and working close to 70 hours a week.
This is well below minimum wage. So, while being a professional athlete is a full-time job, many minor league players have to get second jobs in order to continue pursuing their dream.
Another thing that generally goes unprocessed, is just how many baseball careers have come to an end due to injury.
This is where my story lies. While possibly possessing the necessary skills to succeed in the field, my baseball story was struck down before it had a chance to flourish.
As is the case for thousands of players around the world, especially for pitchers. Injuries have become an increasingly prominent part of the baseball landscape.
Any way you put it, the game so many love, has the ability to dash the dreams of exactly that many.
But those of us who love the game will go on loving it until we no longer have that ability. And those with dreams of the bright lights of Yankee Stadium will keep dreaming until they wake up in Yankee Stadium or wake up in reality.