Legends On Deck

Re-Post: The Highs And Lows Of Minor League Baseball

But even though there are struggles at this level, there are also many highs of working towards a goal, “This is what I have always wanted to do so I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I also work so hard to make this dream happen for those guys, like my brother, who wish they were here, but turned in their cleats for combat boots,” says Bradford as he prepares for a return to big league camp with the Mets.

“Looking back on it all, I think I made the right decision.  I have met a lot of great people along the way and have had some awesome experiences. It has been a dream come true,” shares Tuschak.

Prior to Team Mexico’s run through the 2015 Caribbean Series, I spoke with reliever and former Mets pitching prospect Marco Camarena, and he told me that he knows there is only one goal worth shooting for, “Having a chance to make it to the big leagues and become successful.”

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And with success comes the brotherhood, the chemistry that these young men build with one another, and even though it may seem like a competition to get to the next level, they treasure the friendships that are created along the way.

“The highs are probably the relationships that are forged throughout the season. I recently went to one of my now best friends wedding and just four years ago I didn’t know who he was,” says Bradford.

There is no denying that playing baseball for many is a dream come true, especially when it starts in the sandlots with thoughts of being the next Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, Nolan Ryan or even Derek Jeter.

There isn’t one player that can say that they wouldn’t do it all over again, and maybe from what they learned they might change a few things along the way, but the perseverance to succeed may still outweigh giving it all up.

“Minor league baseball is just an overall grind that all big leaguers had to go through and it’s just steps taken in order to be a big leaguer.” Winningham continues, “I feel like the minor leagues help you to be more mature both on and off the field, especially since you have to be ready to go every single day with 100% energy.”

And putting it all into perspective is key when thinking about the journey, “It doesn’t matter to me how long it takes to reach my goal, I have been blessed to be where I am at in the time I have been playing with the Mets organization and even though I never expected to get here, it has been a pretty cool journey. But I am not done yet,” a confident Bradford shares with me.

Each one of these ball players have the right idea, they understand the grind that they face and it isn’t easy, but the end result of their hard work is to reach their ultimate goal.  Does everyone make it? No, but the ones that do make it will look back at their experiences and truly appreciate the journey.

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David Conde
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