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How close did you come to playing MLB?

How close did you come to playing MLB?
In 1978, at the age of 19, I hopped on my Honda XL175 with my bat and glove bungeed on the back and rode 50+ miles to an open tryout hosted by the Philadelphia Phillies. I ran the 60 yard dash with lead feet and fielded throws at first base. One of the first throws to me was from a wild-armed shortstop wannabe that ripped the pocket right out of my glove. I spent the rest of my tryout endeavoring to catch each ball in the palm of my glove. I wasn't that successful. I never got to bat and with no prospect of going to college, I didn't make the first cut. I went on to play 18 years in the men's slow-pitch softball league batting just over .630 and winning many trophies and championships before my wife made me quit before I hurt myself. That was the closest I came to playing Major League baseball. Not very.

How about you?
I collect Hall of Fame baseball player cards and cards of current and retired superstars.

My Huge Wantlist: http://www.zeprock.com/WantList.html

RE: How close did you come to playing MLB?
Love the thread.
Tried out for College Baseball at Florida State.
Hit one ball out of the park, missed everything else.
Slowfooted, rocket outfield arm, really good fielder, two cent head, impatient at plate, good power, long swing.
Tried out at pitcher the following year- horrible mechanics, threw very hard, no control, no off pitches other than knuckle ball.

Played softball for years as well, also winning some state tourneys. Had to ease off at 29 after rotator cuff injury. Played with injury for another 5 various seasons or so, even into my mid 40s.

Looking back- there were a lot of things that could have changed to make myself more capable of playing. I just had no clue at the time.
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RE: How close did you come to playing MLB?
In about 7th grade I finally came to grips with the fact that I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn and sadly, wasn't going to be the second coming of Babe Ruth...well there was also the fact that in 7th grade I was about 4'11" and weighed 95 lbs soaking wet...

Not real close at all, but I really want to read this thread and see other people's stories!!!
Collecting: Fred McGriff, Chipper, Griffey, and Todd Helton.
Website: http://zaccheus85cards.webs.com
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RE: How close did you come to playing MLB?
The quiet ones get left behind. True story. No matter how good you are at something; if your in the corner, no one notices you. When I was in high school, I played for multiple leagues around the state but never for my school. Guess I wasn't cool enough to join the team so I did track and x-country instead. If you wanted speed and batting average, I was your man. I hit line drives and grounders but never home runs. My tool kit was basic but useful. I consider myself the duct tape of the league. You can always put some on to take care of business haha. I rarely got caught stealing and I would beat out most hits to third or even ss. I loved to bunt but man was I a thief. I played centerfield and I would gobble up everything that came my way. Not even a year out of high school I messed up my ankle playing basketball and then hurt it some more sliding too late into second base. That was that for a few years. I couldn't shake the mental aspect of sliding anymore due to the trauma from the injury. 7 years later after I moved to Florida I played ball down there. Did some traveling league baseball but it was too time consuming for me so I started playing in a mens slow pitch softball. Fast forward another 8 years and here I am still playing softball. But now i'm stronger, faster and hungry for the game. At 34 years of age, I feel I am at the top of my game.
I tried to participate last year for the Phillies minor league team the blue claws since its about 15 minutes from my home. Nope, too old.

So alas, I am a hero only in my dreams. And the hall of fame lies in my own little computer room the wife lets me have. I am a champion. But damnit I should be playing for the New York Mets. They need me! I could've gave rickey henderson a run for his money too. haha. Well that's my tale. In the end, that injury cost me as well as being too damn quiet.
Looking to complete the 2013 Archives Mets fan favorite Au's (Just need Ron Darling) and 2014 Topps Gypsy Queen set mini base + SPs. Also working on 2015 Topps Chrome and updates. Please note that if you have less than 15 trades, I ask that you send first.

RE: How close did you come to playing MLB?
I actually share the same name as a very tall, ugly, lefthanded pitcher.

So, I've been tempted many times to buy a case of baseballs, sign them all and sell them on the bay — with a disclaimer, of course, that these would be gag gifts only.

If you've seen Office Space and know the whole Michael Bolton angle, this is exactly how I feel about my name.

I was 14 before that no-talent a-- clown made his debut with Montreal, and I was like 18 before he ever actually became any good.

RE: How close did you come to playing MLB?
I was cut from my JV baseball team when I was 16. Fast forward 14 years....my wife bought me Detroit Tigers Fantasy Camp (3 days at Comerica Park) for my 30th birthday. I got to play on the field--hit, pitch, catch, every IF/OF position--hangout in the dugout, locker room, etc (as shown in my avatar). That's as close as I came to playing in the big leagues.
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Always looking for Verlander, Cabrera, Maybin, Mike Stanton (marlins), and Avisail Garcia.

RE: How close did you come to playing MLB?
Not even close, never tried out for high school ball though I played senior league ball 14-17yr olds and was asked to come to the HS team and later told should have been on the team. As stated above, had an invite to a mariners open tryout in Everette for the aquasox at 17 but found out weeks later my gf was prego. So that went to the wayside. I was a pitcher with at the time with 80-90mph fastball at 14-16yo And roamed the outfield quite well or third base. Play softball now for the last 12 years. played short for a while but will play anywhere if needed. primarily center as I hit the catcher from 250'
no org, please do not send trade requests

RE: How close did you come to playing MLB?
I was an all-star catcher as a 9yr old playing with the 12 yr olds. My dad coached my 10-12 yr old team and needed me as an infielder so I became a shortstop. Got busted in the chops as a 12 year old fielding batting practice at my dads softball team pre game warmups ( I never remembered being hit). Gun shy from ground balls I became a pitcher/outfielder. Got cut from my high school team because I called the coach an ***** because he said I was too short to play. At 5 foot 4, 135lbs when I graduated I participated in a tryout with the Orioles. We got 5 at bats against an Oriole lefthander who had a wicked curveball, cant remember his name but it was in 1988. I hit one off the 355 sign, grounded one to 3rd and whiffed the other 3 at bats.
They took the outfielders to the warning track and had us throw 3 balls to the plate where a trash can was waiting, laying on its side. All 3 of my throws went in the can. Needless to say, I never heard from them.

Fast forward to 2003 now 5 foot 11 and 185 lbs. I participated in an open tryout with the Reds. This time as a pitcher. We ran the 70 yard dash, which seemed odd to me, but I ran it in 7.1. Second fastest time there, some little hispanic dude ran it in 6.9. Then we got to hit 2 pitches off the scout throwing from 40 feet. I hit a grounder to short and beat it out, then hit one well over 400 feet into the road 35 feet beyond the centerfield fence. The scout actually made me jog around the bases saying that since I hit it that far I should enjoy it. We made our way to the bullpen after that and started pitching. I topped out at 93 on the gun, but since my only off-speed pitch was a knuckler, they didn't see a need to sign me. The scout told me to play baseball for a year and he'd come back and see me, but there were too few options for adult baseball in my area.
That was the closest I came, but I have had one heck of a softball career. 3 World Championships, 1 all world team selection and dozens of State and Regional MVP trophies. I had the opportunity to play softball in several minor league stadiums, and hit one out in every one of em.
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RE: How close did you come to playing MLB?
The closest I ever came was playing in a softball tournament against Mickey Rivers. Smile
Growing up I played a ton of baseball. Never played in college, we didn't have a team. After undergrad, started playing softball. Love softball! played a ton before getting married. Stopped, Then played some more, until we had kids, stopped then played even more. I've been playing 3x a week for the last 5-6 years, but took a hiatus in June when I enrolled into medical school ... But the boys have been trying to start up again, once a week. Might join them, because I miss it!
Here's me hitting one out when I was a little younger.
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I guess if I saved used tinfoil and used tea bags instead of old comic books and old baseball cards, the difference between a crazed hoarder and a savvy collector is in that inherent value.

RE: How close did you come to playing MLB?
Last May we played in a softball tourney for the Ripken foundation. Each team was given a "coach" that was a former Oriole or established major leaguer. Our "coach" was BJ Surhoff.....that dude is HUGE. Monstrous forearms and shoulders. Spent a little time with Billy Ripken, hilarious guy. Best part of tourney was the championship trophy....each player on our team received an autographed ball of Billy and Cal Ripken. Fricken cool!

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