We stepped out of the hotel the next morning; got on the bus, load everything up for our first game, my first professional game. We pulled to an old stadium, it had great character, brick façade on the outside, lively colors accentuating the home team and I remember stepping off the bus feeling scared and alone. My brothers weren’t with me; I was with strangers.
These are the characteristics you must adopt. Its dog eats dog. I was abrasive, but I wasn’t about to get eaten. So, I ran up and I grabbed two waters before we even started moving. One for me and one for Jerome, but I called him, “Pena”.
A week later, I got a phone call from the Kansas City Royals. I was in school. In English. The teacher answered the phone that rang in class.
“Jason, the principal wants to see you,” she said surprised.
I walked into the office, the principal handed me the phone, “It’s for you,” he said.
The bus rides. The hotels. The food — peanut butter and jelly, “if you don’t like it, play better,” as the saying goes. We are infamous, every major leaguer has been through it, but what isn’t chronicled is our optimism and work ethic. It’s a struggle, it’s a grind, but the pessimism surrounding the minor leagues is what makes it feel like a dungeon.