Baseball has been my life. It's all that I've ever known. I've lived and breathed it my entire life. I was drafted out of high school, passed up on a college scholarship, and agreed to a multi million dollar signing bonus. I was going to pitch in the World Series and be a star, win Cy Young Awards, World Series rings, and go to the Hall of Fame.
Everything was heading in the right direction, but everything can change in an instant. If I didn't get in the car and head to the park for a pickup game with my buddies my career wouldn't have ended. Maybe it was only a matter of time before I blew out my arm, but if I waited until after I took my physical I could have been a millionaire instead of damaged goods.
They would have paid for my surgery, and my rehab. But things don't always work out as expected do they? My dream of playing professional baseball is over, and there isn't much anybody can do about that. My college scholarship is gone too, but not my dream of a World Series ring.
Everyone felt bad for me. My parents, my teammates, my girlfriend, my friends, even my agent. I even felt bad for myself, and my last conversation with my agent, or former agent, I begged him to find me a job in baseball, and said goodbye.
Fast forward six months, one semester into college, on my dime I might add. Or more appropriately, on my future dime's since I'll be paying off student loans until I'm 90. It was my former agent calling to check in, wish me a happy holidays, and he hesitated before hanging up.
"I called for a reason, but it sounds like you are doing better, so maybe I shouldn't even ask."
"I hate when people do that, just ask.", was my tense response.
"Do you speak Italian?"
"No, that's a strange question."
"Do you have a passport?'
"No, I've never needed one. What are you going to give me a trip to Italy?"
"Do you like coffee?"
"Are you high? You aren't making any sense."
"Like I said, I shouldn't even be doing this. But remember"
"Doing what? Just spit it out!"
"Ok, this will sound strange, but do you remember how you begged me to find a job in baseball? I "
"What does that have to do with coffee? I've got class in an hour, just spit it out!"
"Sorry, I didn't mean to jump down your throat, you are just making me nervous."
"Well, I've felt bad about how things went down with your injury, and you begged me to find you a job in baseball. But kid, you've got no experience. Nobody wants to take a risk on you, but I've called in a couple of favors, and I've got a proposition for you."