Mar 9, 2011, 11:20 AM EDT
The road to the big leagues is more challenging than most fans realize.
Each step up the ladder through the minor leagues produces another set of obstacles. A player’s energy is sapped by long bus rides, bad food and cheap motels. His skills are tested by opponents just as hungry as he is to reach the majors. And his desire can take a hit at any time by a prolonged slump or streak of bad luck.
I spent a week at spring training in Arizona talking to players about the challenges they have faced in chasing their big league dreams.
From established big leaguers like Torii Hunter and Colby Lewis, to journeymen like John Lindsey (pictured) and Corky Miller, to rising star Dustin Ackley, they each had a unique take on life, sports and their love of baseball.
But they all had one thing in common: To them, it’s the journey itself that matters most.
- Albert Pujols was insulted when someone asked him if he can put up Mike Trout numbers (103)
- Manny Machado calls $519K salary for 2014 “disappointing” (88)
- Is Barry Bonds really getting a “fair hearing?” (88)
- Ryan Braun calls himself an “artist,” doesn’t care what fans on the road will shout at him (82)
- Giants players love having Barry Bonds at spring training (77)