Sunday afternoon, we boarded a bus en route to Wrigley Field. It’s less than two hours door to door but there is something cool about seeing big leaguers line up to get on a bus like a bunch of kids headed to school. I thought about how much financial power is sitting here all trapped in a tube headed down I-94 to Chicago.
I wondered how the motorists would react if they knew that behind these tinted windows of the bus they just passed contained a Major League Baseball team. All Stars, Cy Young Award winners, Home Run champs, Rookie’s of the Year, Post Season MVP’s, and a Hall of Fame broadcaster.
Then I thought about the one connection all of these players have with each other. It’s not just the money, the fame, or the adoration. It’s the common thread that has existed with every one of them since they entered professional baseball. Time on the bus…traveling to a ballgame. No towncars, no stretch limo’s. Just a big bus (with TV monitors and a bathroom).
Today, it’s Wrigley Field. In the past, it might’ve been Brevard County, Florida, or Round Rock, Texas, or Nashville, Tennessee, or Santiago, Dominican Republic or Tokyo, Japan. Collectively, they’ve spent nearly as much time on the bus than on the field. Before they were Major Leaguers, they were on the bus, cruising down thousands of roads, to thousands of towns and thousands of ballparks. Before they got here, they all spent time (some longer than others) in the Minors perfecting their God-given talent out of the spotlight, away from the hoopla and anonymous to most.
Now, the stakes are raised on their rare skills. They play with the burden of a franchise, a city, their own families, mortgages, agents, businesses, and foundations. They’ve made their baseball dreams come true just by being in the Major Leagues. Monday, they will be on a big stage. Today, they’re just sitting on the bus simply as ballplayers, traveling to another park, in another town, to play another game…even though they know it’s more than that.
I never get tired of watching this great game being played at the highest level. Sitting on this bus, I’m in awe of the talent around me and what it takes to make it this far. I remember spending most of my Minor League broadcasting days hoping to get OFF the bus. I realize now, that it never really happens if you’re lucky enough to live the baseball life
Baseball is back…enjoy the ride!