When I was growing up, all I ever wanted to be was a major league baseball player. As early as I can remember, my life has revolved around baseball. Every birthday party and Halloween costume — even my bar mitzvah — were baseball-themed.
I have never missed a single pitch of Oakland Athletics baseball and have attended every spring training and Opening Day for all 20 years of my life. In all, I have probably attended more than 500 baseball games.
I was on travel baseball teams, little league teams and my high school’s team. I learned the ins and outs of baseball from my father and it is one of the main reasons we are still as close as ever.
One of the best baseball quotes of all time comes from my favorite movie, “Moneyball,” in which a scout tells a young Billy Beane, “We’re all told at some point in time that we can no longer play the children’s game, we just … don’t know when that’s gonna be. Some of us are told at 18, some of us are told at 40, but we’re all told.”
For me, at 18, I wasn’t told — I was shown. The pandemic put an end to my baseball career, cutting off my last high school season after just two weeks of play.
Never in a million years would I have believed that my baseball career would have this way.
I only got one at-bat that season, my only at-bat ever on varsity, but I made the most of it. I hit an RBI double in my one at-bat, thus ending the season with the highest average on the team and highest in my school’s history, a 1,000 batting average.
I never did grow to the size of the other players, nor was I going to my dream college to play ball. I just loved the game for what it is and the beauty and history behind it.
Baseball is a game of art — nine players, nine innings, three strikes, three outs — all you need to paint this masterpiece is a bat, a ball and a leather glove. I have learned too much about the game, its history and its story to allow myself to lose my connection because of COVID-19. After all, it is the greatest game in the world.
My love for baseball has since evolved to the business-side of things, the behind-the-scenes aspect of the game. I still love talking about, watching and listening to the game.
Being around the game for my whole life, I feel my love for it has matured just as I have. I hope one day to have a job working in the front office of an MLB team and being a general manager or president of a baseball club.
Though, as I mature and attempt to find a career in the sports world, nothing will ever compare to the thrill of waking up at 6 am in a Motel 6 for a baseball tournament on a Sunday morning. Or, having three-hour practices followed by mandatory gym hours every day of the week. Granted, it is nothing compared to a college athlete’s schedule.
While I used to hate waking up too early or staying up too late for baseball, now I would do anything for those moments because they gave me the opportunity to play my favorite game in the world.
I live and breathe this sport and I hope to one day use my knowledge by working for the MLB. While there are so many ways to pursue my baseball passion, I’m most excited to teach my kids the game, the same as my dad did for me.