LOL!! Hahaha. SMH! WTF?

LOL!!!

 Haha!

 LMAO!

 Smh….

;)

WTF?!

 Are you really doing all these actions when your fingers are swiping over your iPhone keyboard, praying autocorrect doesn’t make you look like an idiot? 

Imagine if you did.  You’re sitting on the bus, your best friend texts you to re-cap her happy hour that got out of control and you respond with a mix of LOL!!! No f***** way.  Smh, Alison…you’re soooo crazy!

 Laughing to yourself and shaking your head back and forth on the 134 Express at 8am? Winking? Laughing you ass off?  You’d be considered a freaking nutso (my favorite is the wink face…is there an underlying meaning I’m missing here?  Are you trying to  be sexy? JUST TELL ME!) 

 Around ten years ago, my parents always asked who I was talking to on MSN Messenger or AIM or whatever form of chatting you used at that age.  I’d tell them and they would always respond, “would you talk to this person on the phone?  In person? If you wouldn’t, I don’t understand why you’re talking to each other.”

 In more cases than not, at fourteen years old, no, I probably would not talk to all of those people in person.  I’m not talking about strangers in chat rooms, I’m talking about kids from another school that you’ve met once or twice or the guy a grade or two ahead of you who asked for your e-mail address while you were warming up for a volleyball  game (true story! I had a Hotmail address then).   In the prime of my MSN Messenger/AIM existence, I can remember having six or seven or eight convos going at one time.  It was cool then, ok?

 As I got older, those nights of chatting turned to texting.  Ten cent per text, texting.  You can imagine how thrilled my parents were when those MSN/AIM chats transferred to texting and amounted into some monstrous bills.  Luckily, through a little maturity on my end (g2g, anyone?!) and a stern warning by my parents, my texting went down (we eventually went to unlimited…thankfully, since I hate talking on the phone) and the people I talked to were actually ones I talked to everyday in person.

 And then there was Skype.  I used it a ton in college (yes, to people I actually know and am friends with) but have kind of forgotten about it until recently.  Alas, I have climbed back on the bandwagon.  With all of my ten contacts or so.  Whatever.

 What stems from all this, however, is how easy it is to say things to someone via social media (@justintimberlake YOU’RE SO HOT!! @charliesheen WINNING!!! @ESPN DUDE…that was NOT a top ten play. You guys suck!!!!) or through texting that you wouldn’t normally say to their face.  And that’s understood—some people express themselves better through writing than speaking (me! me! me!). 

 I also understand it is a convenience.  Sometimes you just CAN’T talk on the phone.  The bus (you can, but it’s annoying….fyi), a loud bar, some desolate place where you don’t get enough service to hear someone but jussssst enough to send a text. 

Don’t misunderstand me here—I’m not hating on texting.  I love it.  It’s what people use it for at times that irks me.

 Anyway,  with this also comes A LOT of talk….and no action.

 “We should get a drink sometime lol.”  (So…are you being serious? If I text you and take you up on your offer are you going to act like you didn’t mention it?)

 “You going out tonight haha?” (What is funny about that? I take my weekends seriously.  Like, seriously fun.)

Facebook post: “Omg!!!! It was SO good running into you yesterday….let’s get dinner/drinks/go out soon?!?!”  (Like WTF?  Should we?  Because I haven’t heard from you in 3 months since you posted this).

 It also gives people an easy out when breaking plans or commitments.

 “Oh..I sent you a text!  I swear. My phone has been messing up lately.”

 “I’m so sorry I didn’t go!!  I left you a voicemail I think but it cut me off.”

 “Really?  Well, my phone died so I didn’t your message until the next morning.”

 You’re guilty of this, so am I. Once or twice.  It feels ok to do this to someone, but it never feels ok for them to do it for you.  You get that funny look on your face; you literally crinkle and turn up your nose and  give your phone a good “eff you” look and move on to whoever/whatever is better.  LOL!

But in reality, it’s sad we’re a disposable society that can write certain things like plans, commitments, dates, etc off that way.  Always moving on to the next one when what you have (person, material object) isn’t good enough or exactly what you wanted and ignoring things or people, hoping the technology Gods will save your butt with another “broken phone.”

 LOL.  JK, jk (are you really joking? Or kidding about joking? Laughing at what I said and joking about it?).

 Smh,  whatever.  Ttyl!

 np

Leave a comment

Filed under Technology, Uncategorized, Writing

Our Veterans and “The Best Generation.”

I was flattered last week when someone I met once or twice in West Palm commented on my blog and how he ended up reading through most of it.  He went on to mention that he also writes often, but had yet to publish it anywhere.  Even though a blog is an amateur publishing platform (there are, however, numerous arguments that bloggers are journalists), it can be terrifying to share what goes on in your head between the grind of your job or classes.

However, with a little nudge of encouragement, those fears can be overridden…with a great article.  With that, enjoy the below post by that same gentleman, Bill Withington.

Sitting this Thanksgiving with some close family friends I sat back and took a long, good look at the gentleman sitting across from me. His skin wrinkly and covered with dark blotches you associate with older people, I found myself trying to imagine this man young, vibrant and spry years earlier. It was not too hard for I possess a vivid imagination. Picturing the man I could think of but only one thing, a soldier in WWII younger than I am today. I tried to imagine what would have been going through his head a mere 20 something year old with literally, a world at war.

As I sat and watched the elderly man, 97 years old in fact, I watched his grandson who is 23 years old only twice throughout the entire evening even acknowledge his grandfather; once when he came to the house and the second time to say good bye. I would revel in the ability to say three words to my grandfather who passed away before I was born. He a WWII veteran just the same as the man I sat across from has been immortalized by my mother for years with stories of his life. Even at a young age my mother appreciated that both her parents were WWII veterans and both grew up faster than any other generation before.  My grandfather served honorably in the US Army as na infantry soldier and my grandmother a nurse in the US Army in the South Pacific. Growing up I did listen to my grandmother speak of WWII and just before her passing she shared with me some pictures of her and her unit in the South Pacific. Cherished was that time and it always will be.  The young grandson has no idea the wisdom he could gather from his grandfather and the stories he could tell him. Lessons I’m sure would suit the young man today and for a long, long time.

At the end of dinner I ran next door and grabbed a picture album my grandfather had collected from his time in Europe during WWII to share with the elderly man. The man was delighted to look through the album and see images that I’m sure conjured up both positive and negative emotions however you could see it in his eyes he was enjoying it very much.

The broadcaster Tom Brokaw put it best when he titled his book from a few years ago “The Greatest Generation” for it is my personal belief that people who grew up going to fight for our country during WWII came home with different perspectives on life and set out post war to create for themselves and the people around them a better world. They probably lived life to the fullest extent possible and did so with great wisdom and great ambition.

There is so much we as a generation can learn from the “Greatest Generation” but so often choose not to listen nor are we aware of the potential for learning from these people. I for one have and always will listen to my elders, to the lessons they can impart on me. It is such an awe inspiring  thing to hear them speak of time before I was even a though in either one of my parents minds, a time when life was simpler in many, many ways but also much more complicated with the almost certain fate of being drafted into the armed services and sent to destinations not even dreamed of. In the end though this generation shaped the world we live in today.

The next time you see and have the opportunity to speak with someone who looks to be in their 80’s or 90’s, ask them about life long, long ago and thank them for their service to our county providing they are veterans.  You might actually learn something….

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

“Never get complacent with your girl, man.”

 

When I moved to Chicago from West Palm Beach last August, I was excited for change.  Although in West Palm for just a year, everyday life seemed monotonous.  I filled my closet with clothes from the same stores each shopping trip.  Ate the same salad (or burger…) at the same restaurants when I dined out.  Ordered the same beer or glass of wine at the same bars every weekend. Ran the same route early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the death trap that is South Florida’s humidity.

I had a routine, and I was comfortable with it.

However, with routine comes complacency.

With a guy I don’t talk to anymore in a city where I no longer live, I learned a great life lesson from a cashier in a liquor store.  While at the counter paying  for our beverages, I started to hand the gentleman my debit card.  My friend insisted he pay for both of our purchases and handed his debit card to the cashier while I put mine away, insisting that wasn’t necessary.  The cashier’s response to my friends action took me by surprise.

“Never get complacent with your girl, man,” the cashier said, shaking his head.

”In relationships, life, anything,” he added, handing my friend’s debit card back.

My first thought was why was this man working in a liquor store when he knows the meaning of the word ‘complacent?’

My second thought was the cashier wrongly assumed my friend and I were dating.

My third thought, the one that has stuck with me, was how true that statement was he made that Saturday night in late March.

Never get complacent.  Never get too comfortable.  Never forget why you are where you are and what you’re doing there.

It’s so easy to get into a rut and let life literally pass you by. Take people up on their recommendations of certain places or things to do and switch it up! 

For my West Palm friends, run across the bridge to Palm Beach instead of staying on Flagler and gawk at the beautiful houses on your new route.  Actually, go to Guanabanas and paddle board for an hour and skip the run.  Be sure to mention you’ve never been before, so they give you a map!  Save your pennies (ok…dollars. Multiple dollars) for sushi at Echo instead of your normal place. Go to Roxy’s on Sunday night and listen (who am I kidding…DANCE!) to the Spazmatics.

I could go on, but you get the gist. 

Since I’m new to Chicago, I haven’t had this problem yet (alright, it’s quite a bit bigger city) but don’t wait until the cashier at your liquor store points out the obvious to you.

np

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

“Things change. People leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody.”

See you when I see you!

 

I’m not writing this to preach about being independent, to make sentimental, inspirational cracks about “being the best you can be! you can do it! just believe!”

Someone (many someones) have written things like that before and that is probably why I am where I am.  I lived in LA for a summer after my freshman year of college, Fort Myers in the summer of 2008 and again from Jan-Aug of 2009.  Now, I am laying on an air mattress in my nearly empty living room, trying to get comfortable on my improvised couch.  Comfort…

That word rings a bell I think about any place I have lived.  I’ve been out of my comfort zone–in nearly every aspect.  New roads? Interstates? Detours?  Forget it.  If you know me, I am GLUED to my GPS.  I would advise that you not get in car with me unless you want to take the “scenic” route (unfortunately, not many people have time for that these days).

I’ve had to be the “new girl” more times since I turned twenty-one than in my entire life (I lived in the same house my entire life and stayed in the same school system) and that is not a particularly easy task when you don’t have cool toys to share or a Mom around to make cookies for your birthday at school–and you KNOW every kid in grade school thought those days were the best.  Nope, you have to have the coolest smart phone and the ability to show off your cooking skills on your own.  You have to be open-minded, take some chances, and hope your new found friends are something like the cast of How I Met Your Mother (ok, maybe not EXACTLY, but they do look fun…) and less a la The Hills or some other ridiculous group of friends.

Finding your way around?  Well, I already mentioned my skills with geography, but lets talk about the social scene.  In LA I wasn’t twenty-one yet and worked at night a lot so that helped out a bit.  I was limited to shopping (lottttts of shopping) and going to the beach during the day but guess how we had to get there?  DRIVING ON THE 405. THE. 4. 0.5!!!  If you have been to LA, it’s that extremely crowded, crazy, scary mass of cement. I shake thinking about it.

Anyway, on to Fort Myers.  The gentleman on the early morning shift at the 7-11 across the street from where I lived recognized me every morning.  He learned my name (alright…I DID have on my Twins name tag most days but I like to think he remembered it) and noticed when I switched from coffee to tea (which didn’t last long. Coffee> tea.).  The season ticket holders noticed when you got your hair cut (seriously!) and recognized you out of work. You were “that girl that works for the Miracle!  You do the YMCA on the dugout, right?!” to others. “GCTC,” otherwise known as Gulf Coast Town Center, was where the social scene was.  Bar Louie was cool in 2008, Fire Pit was the place in 2009.  You sat at the same booth, got your drinks at the same side of the bar each time.  You knew which bartenders poured them heavy and which ones scammed you out of your well drink.  You got comfortable.

Then you move.

Insert the rest of college here–more of the same.  Comfort. $2 Tuesdays ($2 Holla!) at Roys, half-off at Sports on Wednesday, $1 tequila shots at Brothers on Thursday before Roys/Sports then Roys/Sports again Friday and Saturday.  See the pattern?  In between, I went to class and graduated.

My move to West Palm was a little different compared to my move to Fort Myers.  Yes, I had built in friends from work. I lived in an awesome apartment downtown.  But I was an adult.  A real adult. In the real world.  I wasn’t here for an internship, looking forward to going to back to IU.  I couldn’t be unhappy and decide to quit and move.  I couldn’t “forget” to pay my bills like I “forgot” to do my homework.  I couldn’t decide not to show up for work like I did (only once or twice..) class when I looked outside and saw it was pouring out. Or snowing. Or hailing. You get the idea.

Thankfully, I acclimated myself well.  I think I can credit a lot of that from already living on my own once or twice before I got to this point.  That’s not to say, however, that it is a total breeze to be the new girl, even if it is your third or fourth move.  First and foremost, I didn’t feel quite at home until I found the nearest Tar-jayyy (for those of you with no sense of humor, that is Target).  Next, I had to figure out where to shop…that lead me to City Place, which also led me to the Gardens Mall (if both were combined it seriously would be a shopping heaven).  And wouldn’t you know it…I was in walking distance to City Place.  I also learned to be pretty good friends with Clematis Street, which was home to many fun nights.  Grease, Gratify, Bradleys, World of Beer, Roccos Tacos….and my favorite place, Roxys.  Girl has to get her dance on!

The same thing happened at some of these places–they waved you on in without showing your ID (I’m still not sure if that is a compliment–I clearly go too much AND look older than 21?? Ugh).

Along the way of making myself right at home in West Palm, I learned that you can only use the internet at Panera for so long–and it hardly works. Your next move?  Over to Starbucks where they hopefully don’t see you holding your iced coffee from Panera. Want to go to the movies alone?  You can’t go on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Only exception: if the movie has been out for a very long time and no one will be in the theater to see you sitting alone, wiping away that tear trickling down your face when you realize that Mila Kunis and Justin Timeberlake really do end up together in Friends with Benefits.  You can go, however, on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday–at almost any hour. I’ve probably done it six or seven times and I have no problem with it.  No one is hogging the arm rest or asking you what just happened.  It’s just you, Mila Kunis, JT, and that pesky tear.

I’ve learned that you can’t have two “Call-A-Cabs” at Wet Willies. I once met my handsome neighbor there and unknowingly did the fore mentioned.  I won’t go into details, but just. don’t. do. it.  Luckily, he learned his lesson and let me order my OWN drinks from there on out–and we’re still friends.

Friends.

Thank goodness for them, right?  They’ve helped me move furniture, taken me to the airport, picked me up from the airport, made me dinner, checked in on me while I was sick, put together my IKEA furniture (it’s only cheap because of the hours of manual labor it takes to put it together…thanks, guys!), just been really great all around–I will miss every one of you so much!  Chicago is FREEZING most of the year, so I’ll be back for a quick weekend :)

See?  I’m not trying to inspire you with this, or make you think you can do anything you put your mind to (you already know you can, by the way…).  I’m just letting you know that with the help of family, friends, and of course, yourself, anywhere can be “home” if you let it.  Let’s see what Chicago brings….

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”-Stephen Chbosky

Nat

1 Comment

Filed under Intern, Life, Sports, Uncategorized

A (funny) Year in Palm Beach

I’m not sure what month it was, but very shortly after I moved to West Palm I realized I was in a different world. Driving down Royal Poinciana (boutiques and restaurants on both sides, ginormous palm trees lining the median) on the way to work, I stopped at a red light. I noticed I felt pretty high in the air as I sat in my red Chevy Equinox SUV, something I am not familiar with as some friends have called my SUV a hybrid between a van and a SUV. I looked to my left; a black Maserati driven by an older gentleman with a dark tan and white hair that only made him look distinguished, not older. Someone who probably wears Italian loafers and matching driving gloves (do those still exist? I feel like this car would come with a pair in the glove box.) To my right; a red Ferrari driven by a woman with hair so blonde it looked white. The diamonds in her ears were the size of a small planet and her extremely smooth skin (smoother than I could ever imagine having and she was well past mid-age) was covered by a full face of makeup. This was an extremely long red light and yes, I was staring. I almost grimaced as I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a creamy, white colored Bentley idle behind me, probably wondering what this normal looking, run-of-the-mill car from Indiana was doing on this side of the bridge (people have to work…).

Good Lord, I thought. No wonder I felt I was high in the air. I was wedged in between two of the most expensive, low-riding, beautiful pieces of metal I had ever seen (the Bentley switched lanes and turned; I decided it looked like some kind of glamorous hearse). I proceeded to take inventory of my own car: an empty Panera cup in one holder, my coffee Tervis Tumbler in the other. A Target bag filled with junk I had collected from my car that I had been forgetting to throw away. A sandy towel that was probably developing mold still stuffed in my beach bag from a few days before. One or more brown paper bags from Makeb’s Deli that fulfilled my breakfast needs (multi-grain bagel, scooped out, fat-free veggie cream cheese), many days before the sun was up. The gray fabric interior was stained in some spots from a Diet Coke that froze then exploded while my car was parked on a side street in Chicago two years ago and the dashboard—it was buried beneath a nice film of dust.

In the last seconds of that red light, I remember leaning my head back on the head rest and laughing at the whole scenario. What the HELL had I gotten myself into?

I’ll tell you what I had gotten myself into. I worked on an island where popping your collar is still acceptable, if not encouraged. Where pink linen pants and an equally bright polo/linen shirt have been seen exiting the Bethesda by the Sea church on any given Sunday morning. Where there is more plastic than a Tupperware party and I’m not just talking about the exclusive American Express Black Card (those things hardly qualify for plastic; the thing weighs a ton). Where women still wear fancy-schmancy hats to lunch….these seriously are “ladies who lunch.”

Where I have been asked, “are those your own?” in which she was referring to my EYELASHES (shout out to Maybelline for awesome mascara). Where one woman inquired, “who is in charge of your hair? What color do you tell her you want it?”

Well, I am very much in charge of my own hair unless it is an extremely hot and humid day, which tends to be pretty frequent around here. Then, it has a mind of its own. And what color do I tell my colorist? Being the predominately natural blonde that I am, I only focus on my roots and I can thank L’Oreal and their fantastic box for supplying the mix that brings my dark blonde roots back to a buttery hue that matches the rest of my hair. The best part about the whole thing? Walgreens usually has my brand on sale….2-for-$12 (I think the woman was slightly appalled when I told her I did it myself…)!

Palm Beach is also where six year olds have cell phones and where I had a conversation with an 11 year old debating whether AT&T or Verizon was better (one of my favorite stories).

I kid you not, I told the little girl I had AT&T and she said “yuck!” I politely asked why she said that and she responded she only got service with AT&T in Palm Beach and not in Manhattan. I then asked her the next logical question you would ask any 11 year old (seriously…?!) with this problem.

“Where do you spend the most time? Manhattan? Palm Beach? You should probably figure that out first.”

The girl nodded at that thought then turned to her nanny and repeated the question to her. The nanny responded:

“You live in Manhattan. You come here on the weekends, holidays, and vacations.”

The pint-sized girl with long blonde hair seemed to find her answer in that response.

“Totally. I’ll just get a phone for Manhattan and a phone for Palm Beach. That way I don’t have to decide.”

Kids. They say the darndest things….Although for some reason, I had no doubt that is exactly what she did.

Continuing, this is where I have seen other pint-sized kids better dressed than myself on a good day (ok, maybe the best dressed day I’ll ever have and that’s because of the half-yearly sale at Nordstrom). Head-to-toe Lilly Pulitzer for girls and button downs, bow ties, and linen pants for the little guys. I mean really, I can’t compete with an immaculately dressed five year old or her 30 year old mother and 70 year old father (trust me….common family). And that’s fine. But it’s always a fun laugh to see them trailing one after one another, Easter egg after Easter egg, on their way to Testa’s for breakfast or Nick and Johnnie’s for dinner.

It’s where I have picked out Lacoste polo shirts for a very prominent, very colorblind political figure and Google mapped the nearest Bank of America ATM for a young player on the PGA with a troubled past. It’s where I have been privileged to meet Jerry Seinfeld, Matt Lauer, Rush Limbaugh, Nick Swisher, Matt Shaub, Wayne Gretzky, Audrina Patridge and Brian Baumgartner (Kevin from The Office).

This disgustingly rich island is also where I have been tipped with not one, but TWO bananas. These people (who, thank the Lord, willingly spend their money to inadvertently help our economy) can afford six-figure cars and memberships to hoity-toity clubs around the world but an a banana? Alright, it was organic…but get REAL. Do I look homeless? Scarily skinny? I don’t think so.

If you’re still reading, I want everyone to know that I really did love my year here. Not every person on Palm Beach is the stereotypical figure I described. They’re much worse.

Kidding. I met some of the nicest and friendliest people on this little tropical island that some are lucky enough to call their second home–and I met some of the best friends I will have just across the bridge in West Palm. They welcomed me here when I was the newbie, showed me around, and included and introduced me to things I had never heard of, such as: Mimosa Sunday, the Grease Beast, SunFest, Call-a-Cabs, Roxy’s Rooftop, Paddle boarding, World of Beer, Makeb’s, Rocco’s Tacos, and Peanut Island….just to name a few.

I somewhat improved my golf game (I should say: my driving range game), went on some crappy dates (and one or two good ones), found a liking for running outside (the treadmill was the only thing I knew before…), and figured out that alarm clocks unfortunately DO work at all hours of the night…they never failed for a 4:45 a.m. wake-up call for work.

During my year in West Palm, at different times, I have felt happily surprised, deeply disappointed, fortunate, lucky, and most of all—thankful. For the friends I made, the job I had, and most importantly—the family that will soon be only a few hours away by CAR (goodbye, plane anxiety!!)

See you all in Chicago…

Nat

20110803-101358.jpg

6 Comments

Filed under Economy, Job Market, Job Search, Life, Sports, Uncategorized, Vacation, West Palm Beach, Writing

The Challenges of Golf

Is Scotty Cameron a person...Or a putter? Both?!

It’s not surprising to people at work when I come over the radio and ask a question (or five).  Golf is not my area of expertise.  I can hold my own in other sports and put you to shame in baseball, but in this game that is you vs. nature (I mean it’s not like the course fights back…), I have a lot to learn.  I’m not making fun of my self, but letting everyone know that it’s ok to be out of your comfort zone and learn new things.  With that said, I thought I would share just a few anecdotes that have produced a few laughs from my co-workers at my expense:

-Someone was had lost a putter back in October (shortly after I started) and I was supposed to go down to the bag room to look for it.  The person who lost it said their name was on it, then proceeded to describe it.  I searched and searched, and finally saw a putter I thought fit the description.  I got on the radio and said something of the following:

“Ryan, I think I found the putter but it says Scotty Cameron on it.  I can’t remember the name of the person who lost it is that who it is?”

My question was greeted by a delayed response and then audible laughing from upstairs and a visit to the bagroom shortly after to help me with my search.  I can’t remember if the putter was actually found, but I DID learn that Scotty Cameron actually IS a person, but also a brand of putters….live and learn, folks.

In November, we hosted the ADT Skills Challenge.  With a very busy week, I was helping out in the staging area, attempting to send golfers on their way.  Having not worked in the staging area before (still, I should have figured this one out my self), a three some came around and I was setting up their carts.

I want to blame asking this question on the long hours of that week, but nonethless, I radioed our Director of Golf and asked the following question: “Tim…there’s a threesome that wants to go out.  So does that mean I give them two carts?”

After all the laughing, it was suggested that I might want to improve my golf knowledge…which would have come in handy for this next one.

At our driving range, there is a sign that indicates a golfer can only use a seven iron or under because of the close proximity of the tennis courts and the 17th fairway.  We’re not a true driving range–it’s more of a warm up facility–so we try to make sure that drivers especially are not used.  As I was passing by the hitting mats, I hear the distinct noise of someone using what was not a seven iron or anything below.

I kindly say hello the guest, point to his club and say “I’m sorry, but we don’t allow drivers on the range.”  The gentleman looks at me a little funny, informs me that it is not a driver but actually a three wood, and proceeds to ask if I golf.

Thankfully, I had my first golf lesson last week.

It’s important to be able to laugh at yourself as long as you learn from your mistakes!

np

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Beamer, Benz, or Bentley…or Broken Down Car: Why Minor League Players need YOUR Help!

I know many of you read this article when it was published on tossitaround.com, but here it is again for those of you who did not!  Enjoy :)

If you like rap music, you’re probably familiar with the song “Beamer, Benz, or Bentley” by Lloyd Banks.  And when driving into a player’s parking lot, even in the minor leagues, that song has a lot of truth to it.  There are a number of players that were high draft picks and awarded themselves with a new car, some players who came from wealthy families and already had a nice car, and many players who drove what their parents gave them for their 16th birthday.   It’s important to remember that not every baseball player automatically comes with an in disposable income.  For the players that didn’t have the luxury of bringing their car on the road with them to whichever small, ‘last-one-out-shut-off-the-lights’ kind of town (think Elizabethton, TN), I’ve known them to buy bicycles at the local thrift or Goodwill store–partially for entertainment, I am sure–but also because packing more guys than there are seats into a sports car can get pretty uncomfortable.

I’ve first handedly seen a couple of players riding their bikes home after a game, gym bag on the handle bar, pitching arm only feet away from traffic at 11:30 at night…not something a coach or a general manager probably wants to see.  I’ve also seen a very well-liked, highly touted prospect stop and give a ride out of the parking lot to a handful of Latin players who were headed home in the pouring rain. At a season opener introduction ceremony in 2009 for the team I worked for, an announcement was made that a player needed a car and would be willing to pay whoever could help him out whatever he could afford (a very small amount)—he had a car within a couple weeks.

In most cases, before they turn into a millionaire or an Alex Rodriguez or Joe Mauer, they struggled in the years before.  Many minor league teams, especially at the Rookie level (some rookie teams are located in Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Mesa, AZ…places not known for cheap rent) offer host families to cut the cost of renting an apartment—something that comes very much in handy when you’re 18 or 19 or 20 years old and even after that.

Often, season ticket holders also turn into “team moms.”  The two years I was with the Ft. Myers Miracle, a couple that were season ticket holders took a few players under their wings and had them over for dinner, took them out to eat, and brought cookies and brownies for the entire team once or twice a week.  To a small town, a baseball team provides excitement and entertainment and this is that town’s way of thanking them.

Until you hear them talk about how nice it was to have a home cooked meal, or how great the “spread” was in the clubhouse  when a major league player was in town rehabbing, most fans don’t know how much being on the road for seven or eight months makes these “boys” miss the little things at home.

If you have a minor league team in your town or city of any level, reach out to the media relations director (who is in daily contact with the players) or the community relations director and see if you can help in any way.  A future MVP or Hall of Famer will remember you long after buying his first Beamer, Benz, or Bentley.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized