I want to start off and thank everyone who keeps sending me submissions when I ask for them on twitter, I love writing but I also want to connect with everyone and write about things that interest the masses so thank you very much.
It seems that everyone wants to know more about the lifestyle of a minor league player from the suggestions that I have been getting. Yes, getting paid to play baseball is everything I wished and hoped it would be when I was a young kid in the side yard pitching to my dad. Although you are immersed with people from other cultures, the lifestyle can actually be pretty demanding. For starters, the pay isn’t that good and we only get paid during the season. For a first year AAA guy, we make less than $900 every two weeks, and in these checks we have to pay bills just like everyone else so when we pay everything there isn’t much left to have, when you add in lunches, groceries, gas, and living expenses I would tend to guess that 60% of us lose money throughout the season. Almost every minor league player that hasn’t been in the big leagues or signed a lucrative minor league free agent deal has to get a job in the off season. We try to find anything that will get us paid for the short time we are not in season. Most of the time we try and look for seasonal work, but it doesn’t always work out. I have teammates that have worked in Christmas tree lots, been a cashier at Lowes, and personally I have been a stock boy at Kohls, been a Blockbuster store manager, and also done the pitching lesson route. It truly is about finding anything to get you through and get some sort of little nest egg before the season starts.
Being a baseball player is something that I wouldn’t change for the world, there are so many amazing opportunities that are provided to us like being able to volunteer and get to know people whom you might not have ever had the opportunity before. I always try and volunteer whenever I have the opportunity to do so it just seems to make a bad day better when you see the joy in people’s faces. I have been incredibly blessed to visit a children’s hospital in Harrisburg where we made scrapbook pages with ill kids, I have been able to visit the most deployed base on American soil, Ft Drum and spend a day with or soldiers and get a sense of what they go through day in and day out, I have visited with a veterans hospital and spend sometime with senior citizens who bravely served in years past, as well as doing various kids clinics wit the chiefs and senators. Volunteering is just one way we try to give back, it’s amazing that since we are able to wear a uniform everyday that people seem to think we are super human and hold us on a plateau, but the fact is that we are average people who got extremely lucky to be able to play a kids game.
During the season it is hard to maintain a lifestyle, hopping from hotel to hotel in different cities. We play a 140 game schedule, wit not many off days in between and some of them are spent traveling to a city to play the next city, so things like working out, eating properly, and getting enough sleep gets difficult. When it comes to eating and maintaining our life we rely a lot on our “clubbies” they are honestly our moms at the ballpark. They are responsible for meals, snacks, doing our laundry, running errands, and just making sure that basic needs are being met at the park. These guys are an essential cog to us because we do spend so much time at the field, they make sure we aren’t stressing over unnecessary things. Although we do pay them (and tip), they still make less than we do and might have even harsher hours than we do. They got to stay at the park throughout the night to clean the clubhouse, restock things, order food, do the laundry, and just make sure everything is prepared for the guys to arrive to the park starting at about noon the next day. These guys truly work almost 20 hours a day when we are at home, and get little to no sleep. As far as being healthy and eating healthy, you are at the mercy of the clubby if you have a good one they will have a spread right after batting practice that consists of tons of lunch meat, tuna, chicken salad, and fruit to give us a snack before we head out for the game. After the game we have dinner at the field that can be anything from leftover ballpark food (more lower a ball levels) to catered food from restaurants. Not all clubbies are created equal so it truly varies to the level of service you get, I personally have had amazing ones and terrible ones as well but the majority are really good because their tip depends on it.
Overall the lifestyle is a great one, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything no matter how stressful it might get. The ability to play a game for a living to kids wanting autographs after the game it’s all apart of this lifestyle that is about creating memories for people and myself that hopefully will not be forgotten for a very long time. Because you never know when someone might stop actually wanting your autograph for memory purposes.