For the first time in probably two years I picked up a video game controller with the sole purpose of playing a video game, not cruising Netflix or Amazon Prime. No homework, no day job work, just a responsibility free Saturday afternoon.
I put in MLB The Show 18 and was blown away by its realism. I’m no game connoisseur, I just wanted to be entertained. And damn right I was!!
I’ve been hearing about the Road To The Show game mode for years (RTTS) so decided to give it a shot. Pretty cool to say the least. You go through pre-draft workouts and progress through the minors until you get called up to “The Show”.
I was drafted in the 22nd round by the San Francisco Giants and was assigned to their Double-A squad. It’s just a matter of time before I replace Madison Bumgarner.
RRTS got me thinking about the beginning of my journey to professional baseball. Everyone always wants to hear about the rockstar stories and the dollar amounts for first overall picks. No one wants to hear about 12 hours bus rides, the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before the game, and countless trips to Wendy’s because you could crush four burgers for $5.
I remember driving from Nebraska to O’Fallon, Missouri for open tryouts for the River City Rascals (Frontier League) and sitting through the same monotonous drills every player has been doing since they started attending tryouts. Worse if you’re a pitcher. You wait the entire day so you can throw 20 pitches, hopefully against live hitters. In those 20 pitches you better be sure to do something special.
In the midst of trying to outperform a flurry of other hopefuls, your entire life and all the hard work you put in creeps in your mind. And in those ten minutes you begin to question yourself. You get angry and you get scared. But as soon as you make that first movement toward the plate those doubts disappear. You know full well that you deserve this chance and you fire that ball with all the confidence in the world.
My Create A Player campaign has just begun, just like this trip down memory lane. Every second of those few months of being a professional is still fresh in my mind. And as with every athlete, you go over scenarios over and over wondering if there is anything you could have done better…
Baseball taught me more than just how to play the game and this narrative will let me go through all the ups and downs of the travels of a small town kid with aspirations that keep me going to this day.
Looking forward to taking you step by step through one of the most intense, eye-opening experiences of my life. Stay tuned!