Editor’s Note: This is our first story coming straight from the keyboard of a minor league player. They will remain anonymous. Other than a few grammatical corrections, these stories are unedited. The thoughts and views of the guest bloggers do not represent The Wonder Bat.
I’ve been playing in the minor leagues for a few years now, too long if you ask me, but that’s neither here nor there. Us baseball players always say, “If you don’t like it, play better.” Seems kind of harsh at first but it makes plenty of sense. With Spring Training upon us, the long days have begun. The joke in the clubhouse is, “the best way to prepare for spring training is to lace up your spikes, and go stand in a hot parking lot for 6 hours.” Sad but true, there is only so many drills we can do, all of which involve a lot of standing around. A couple packs of seeds and a sunburned neck and we can call it a hard days work!
I have one quick story for you guys. A few years ago, I was playing in a super hot city in late summer. It was about 143 degrees Celsius on the field. We were slumping at the time having lost the last 5 games in a row and needless to say, we needed something to give us a little spark. A little slump buster. And for some strange reason, our team’s mascot guy was nowhere to be found.
It was decided that the phantom roster guys (guys on the team, but not on the active roster) would play Roshambo; whoever lost would have to jump into the sweaty, bacteria filled abyss that is the mascot suit. Being a famous mascot, it’s said to be an honor to put the suit on. It sounded more like an episode of Monsters Inside Me.
The loser went through with the bet. Unbeknownst to our manager, he went missing for a few innings and into the smelly, thick, hairy, sweaty suit on the hottest day of the year, with dance moves on full display. It was so amazing to watch. It was like a confused Fred Astaire attempting to dance to the Jumanji soundtrack. Our manager had no idea what we were hysterically laughing at.
Thankfully, it worked. It was exactly the kind of fun we needed to get back on the winning track. If we’re ever on a losing streak now, we ask where the damn mascot costume is. To this day, the manager doesn’t know what went down that hot summer afternoon. But that doesn’t make it any less epic.