What Day is Today: The Story of My Life in the Minor Leagues
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by Kenny Beck
Description: "What I'm about to tell you isn't a typical baseball story. I don't limp off the bench and hit a game-winning home-run in the World Series. I didn't throw a perfect game in my last ever start, nor do I mentor some bonus-baby with a million-dollar-arm and two-cent head so he can mature and make it to the big leagues. And I promise you that I don't end up playing catch with my dad in an Iowa cornfield at the end of this either." So Begins Kenny Beck's tale as he follows the dream of every every young boy, who hopes one day to play in the "Big" leagues. Even though his was a short-lived career, it taught Kenny a great deal about life and left him with the satisfaction of not saying "I wish I could play baseball in the big leagues," but "When I played in the big leagues."
eBook Publisher: ebooksonthe.net/ebooksonthe.net, 2006 ebook
eBookwise Release Date: February 2007
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [640 KB]
Reading time: 434-608 min.
What I'm about to tell you isn't a typical baseball story. I don't limp off the bench and hit a game-winning home-run in the World Series. I didn't throw a perfect game in my last ever start, nor do I mentor some bonus-baby with a million-dollar-arm and two-cent head so he can mature and make it to the big leagues. And I promise you that I don't end up playing catch with my dad in an Iowa cornfield at the end of this either.
What I did do was take a shot--a shot most people never get and something that anyone who has ever bought a pack of baseball cards has dreamed of at one time or another. I took a shot at playing professional baseball.
And although I wish this baseball story had a happy ending just like in those Kevin Costner movies or the games on ESPN Classic, I am sorry to say it does not.
My story is about a guy who never really thought his baseball career would amount to a whole lot--and it very nearly didn't. If it wasn't for hundreds of hours of practice, a patient pitching coaching who saw something in me, and one huge break, this wouldn't be much of a story at all.
The story I'm about to tell is about what life was like for me during my 301 days as a pitcher in the Montreal Expos baseball organization--one of the proudest times of my life.
Now I know what you're thinking. "301 days? Isn't that an awfully short career? What happened, did you hurt your arm or could you just not get people out any more?"
What I suffered from was a syndrome that affects billions of people on this planet every single day of their lives. It's called aging. And in low-level professional baseball if you're not 19 you might as well be 65.
At least that was the impression I got when I was released from the Expos on March 28, 2003--three days before the end of spring training. Things were going great for me up until then too. I was locating everything. My breaking pitches were breaking and my fastball was getting good, consistent sink and run. And with the help of an improved slider and change-up, I was starting to have more success against left-handed hitters as well. I had even made two appearances against
AA teams (the Mets and Dodgers) and received rave reviews from coaches and coordinators alike. Pretty good for a guy who spent half a season in rookie ball the year before. But just as soon as it appeared that my own baseball story might have a happy ending after all, I got the bad news--the Expos were releasing me.
I never got a rational explanation why and I don't suppose they had to give me one. But I do know that my age (23), my draft round (48th), and my miniscule signing bonus ($1,000) were all brought up in my final "send off" meeting. I guess I had always pictured hanging 'em up when I wanted to, not when someone else told me I had to.
And that, I think, is what makes my story so atypical. As far as I was concerned, I was cut down in my prime--a victim of the harsh business (and it is a business) that is professional baseball. But don't think for one second that my forced retirement has tainted my outlook on the game or my time as a pro. It remains one of the happiest times of my life--despite the long, weird hours, moody teammates, cramped busses, crappy hotels and slave-wage paychecks. And consequently, that is why I chose to write this book--to give an inside look into minor league baseball for anyone who has ever wondered "what's it really like?"