Yesterday I mentioned that today is the 35th anniversary of one of the most important days of my life, a day about which I usually write on this date. Before I share the details that many of you already know, I have to express my disbelief that the time between then and now represents more than half of my life. Of course, that proportion will only increase until the day I stop breathing.
On this day in 1987, I was formally offered my first full-time job in baseball. The offer was delivered via telephone by the Assistant General Manager, who began to tell me where he could be reached over the holidays so I could give him my response. I cut him off with, “Are you kidding? I accept the offer right now.”
I was in employment limbo after having lost a job in July, 1987 and I had no idea what I was going to do next. I had been working for this team as a consultant since October of 1986 and actually gave them an ultimatum telling them that if they didn’t offer me a full-time job by the end of the year (1987) then I would no longer work for them in any capacity. Of course it was a giant bluff, but it worked. What would I have done if they had called my bluff? I guess we’ll never know.
The best part of the day was calling my marvelous mom to give her the news. After I told her I heard the phone drop and I heard her crying with joy. She was the only other person in the world who believed I could get a job in baseball and with the hometown team, no less. It is a GREAT feeling to be right when virtually the rest of the world is wrong.
Dreams can come true, but they don’t always last.
I have now been out of baseball for over a decade. However, Major League Baseball is still paying me via the pension I earned in my two full-time Baseball Operations jobs. Early in January I will receive my 90th such payment, which–of course–means if I live for all of 2023 then I will receive my 100th pension payment. I couldn’t really live on my pension, but it is a nice income supplement.
Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? Is it better that I reached most of my baseball dreams, but will spend the rest of my life on the outside looking in, or would it have been better to work in “my field,” Economics? Of course, I am not really looking in as I haven’t watched a baseball game in at least a decade.
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