A few of these guys are tomorrow's stars. Some -- most -- are never going to make it. All of them get paid little more than $1,000 a month (before taxes, room and board are taken out) from April through August. Every one of them wants to be a big leaguer. Some have the talent but don't understand how hard it is to make it all the way. Others don't quite have what it takes, but hang on and struggle at all cost to make it. There are also guys in the mix who will work hard, stay focused, and continue to develop the talent that got them drafted and signed. Watching this play out is highly recommended. Every one of these guys is damned good...some are just going to figure out how to keep getting better and better.
|Getting used to wood...and the sun.|
|Sometimes the view is limited.|
|Brooklyn, N.Y. native Dellin Betances (Charlie Niebergall/AP) |
So, if you're heading out for a long spring vacation to watch the Dodgers or the Mets or the Blue Jays under the warm sun of early spring, make sure you spend time on the back fields watching the youngsters learning the ropes. Even the most cocky of them is humble and honest when he's on the field trying to figure out how to move to the next level. You may get to chat a little with him or at least listen to him chatting with teammates. The joy they feel can be infectious. If you ask them for an autograph, they'll be honored. Some of them are going to have long, illustrious careers. Most won't, but they're all pros and they've all figured out that baseball is worth their sweat and their love.
See you out there.