I figure that it is time to write an update with respect to my professional development as this blog is intended to shine some light as to how young professionals can get into Major League Baseball using my anecdotal stories as an example.
The Waiting Game
I recently went on a two week vacation to Egypt and the Dominican Republic. When I left, I had no job offers, few leads and no reason to feel hopeful that anything was coming. Yet I still had the feeling that when I checked my phone each night for messages that I would have good news. Before going to sleep in a timezone that was 7 hours ahead of the east coast, I would turn my cellphone on for five minutes to try and catch a signal to see if I had voice messages. The nerves making my stomach turn over each day that I either did not receive a message or there was no signal for the phone to pick up as we sailed along the Nile. After returning to Cairo, where cellphones work with ease, the message finally came through to me on January 7th that the Atlanta Braves wanted to speak with me about their position as their marketing trainee. I quietly celebrated, thinking that this was going to be it. This was one of the positions that I held in high regard after working with the Braves during the summer of 2008 and also considering the great interviews and conversations that I had with Braves personnel. While walking through the great Giza Pyramids, one of the wonders of the world, my insides were in knots (not only because of Egyptian food) yearning for home so I could get in touch with the Braves. Even on the plane ride, I could not let my mind rest to allow me to sleep. Each thought ended at the gates of beautiful Turner Field. When I finally arrived back in the United States, it wasn't 5 minutes after getting through U.S. Customs that I called Hill Scott, the director of marketing for the Braves. The phone rang, each sonorous tone a dagger to my insides, eventually rolling to voicemail. I suppose, what was another 12 hours after having already waited 48 to make the phone call, though at the time I felt that it was an eternity.
The Phone Call Finally Arrived
The next day, January 10th, I received a phone call at around quarter after one from a private number. It was the Braves! While driving on the Merit Parkway in Milton, Connecticut, Mr. Scott was ready to offer me the marketing trainee position. I just about ran the car off the road in joy and immediately celebrated by calling my parents to share the news. By 5:00PM that night, I was an Atlanta Brave Trainee.
The Next Chapter
This means that I now will have work in baseball for 10-11 months, spanning from the present until November at some point. There will be no guarantees' after that time, just a year of experiences and learning the business of baseball from one of the great organizations in baseball. It is not exactly what you would like to receive from a $160,000 education, but it is what it takes to work in baseball. For all of those who are reading this looking for sage advice about getting into baseball, you need to be very resilient. It takes a passion for the sport and courage to follow the dream to work in sport to make the low pay and poor living conditions worth while. I plan to make Turner Field my second home in 2009, which is what makes everything worth it. I am ready to dedicate hours and all of my energy to the 2009 Atlanta Braves marketing department and hopefully that will pay off in a full time position at some point in the future with the Braves or another organization. Thanks to the support of my family, I will be able to do this. Without them, there would be no way that I would have been able to make this work. This week, I embark on a new chapter of my life and I can't wait to write each page. The goal to make it to Baseball Operations is still there, it just appears as though it will take longer to achieve than anticipated. Being in a front office to a Major League Baseball team is close enough for now.
Thank you to all of those who are reading this. Your support and friendship is a large reason as to what has pushed me to reach for the stars.