Facing Disappointment in my Youth.

As a 17-year-old I thought that I was all grown up and ready to tackle the world. Looking back now, I realize that I was just a youngster then, still wet behind the ears.
The childhood memory that still lives with me to this day occurred on graduation night.
Following the graduation ceremony, I was all pumped up for the parties that I knew would follow.

There was just one other matter that I had to attend to before joining my friends in the festivities.
I needed to return home and meet with a gentleman from the St Louis Cardinals baseball organization.
To this day I can still see Joe Garland's face, the baseball scout with the Cardinals, sitting across from me as I listened to his proposal to sign a minor league contract.

I had been drafted by the St Louis Cardinals as a pitcher and all I needed to do was put my signature on the dotted line and I would be boarding a plane in the morning.

Here is a link to the 1970 Baseball Draft published by Baseball Almanac.
I was drafted as a junior and the time to make a decision was now upon me.
https://www.baseball-almanac.com/draft/baseball-draft.php?yr=1970

IMG_1713.JPG

Being so young, the whole idea of leaving home, especially a day after graduating from high school was a little overwhelming.

After Mr. Garland left our home that evening, my Dad and I once again went over the pros and cons of signing the contract presented to me.

I was drafted at #816 overall in that year's baseball draft.
Being so young, we both felt that if I attended college and played baseball while there, my draft status would only improve, if I was truly capable of playing a game I loved, for money.

After playing college baseball for my first two years in school, things were going as planned. Every time I was on the mound, more and more baseball scouts were in attendance and my status was climbing with every pitch I hurled.

Well, as they say, The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
I also played college basketball and halfway through my junior year of school I experienced a very unfortunate accident while playing hoops. While in the air, trying to secure a rebound, I had my legs taken from underneath me. While trying to break my fall I came down on my right arm, shattering my ulna with the other bone in my forearm, the radius, sticking out of my arm.

Game over, from that day forward I never threw another pitch.
My dream of one day playing professional baseball was shattered, along with my arm.

There would be no more professional scouts beckoning for my services.

H2
H3
H4
3 columns
2 columns
1 column
34 Comments