Everybody has heard the phrase, "you never know what could happen"; well, my story is living proof that you really don't ever know, so prepare for that unthinkable situation.
I was released the very last week of Spring Training by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Not knowing what was in store for my future and having no other offers from other MLB organizations, I decided to play the 2015 season for the Sioux City Explorers of the American Association League (Independent league). 2015 was an incredible year as I garnished many awards and was selected to the 2015 post season all star team. But despite this great season, I found myself still with no offers from MLB teams for the upcoming 2016 season. Despite many suggestions of retirement from the peanut gallery, I knew I still possessed the talent to play in the major leagues. It has always been my dream, and coming off a great season, I wasn't about to give up now.
Uncertain of my future I decided to intern as a Strength & Conditioning coach at Fischer Institute under the leadership of Chip Gosewisch and Justin Wakefield. I figured that if baseball wasn't in my cards I might as well start educating myself for what would perceivably be my future employment, training elite athletes to reach their athletic goals. This career path would enable me to feel the pleasure I had so long desired for in baseball, however, now it would be at the hands of my future clients.
While interning, I decided I was going to give baseball one more year and that I would go out on my own terms...riding off into the sunset, I guess you could say. Therefor, I was going to intern, train, and work on the side to pay my rent.
I woke up at 6:00, ate breakfast, and went into Fischer Institute at 7:45. I worked from 8:00-12:00 followed by a brief lunch. From 1:00-3:00 I worked out and trained with the MiLB group at the Institute. I would then drive to a local high school and hit/throw/take ground balls from 3:30-5:00. Finally, I would eat dinner, study, and sleep. Repeat. On Thursday-Sunday I would work the night shift at a local bar to be able to pay for the essentials (rent, food, gas, etc.)
This was my routine from October-April and I can say with a clear conscious that I gave it my all in every segment of my day. I worked hard as an intern to learn how to become a better coach. I worked my ass off training and pushed myself to high levels at increasing my baseball skills. If this was going to be my last year, you better believe I was gonna make it one to remember.
I was leaving the next day for my trip out to Sioux City, Iowa. I was going to make a mini trip of it and see a few parts of the country I hadn't yet seen before. While I was preparing to bring one of the last boxes down to my truck, my phone rang. It was my pitching coach from Sioux City. Confused, I answered. He asked if I was interested in playing for the Boston Red Sox organization. You can imagine my excitement and obvious answer to his question. I was on a plane the next day to Portland, ME.
This season was one of my best yet in my career. I spent the majority of the year at the AA level and a short stint in AAA having success at both stops. At the conclusion of the year I was awarded the 10th Man of The Year by the AA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, an award given to the player who "goes above and beyond expectations".
Never give up you dream, no matter what situation you are put in. Work as hard as you can with the cards you are dealt, cause you truly Never Know What Could Happen.