UM fan pursues dream in Tuscaloosa

Submitted by Look Up_See Blue on June 12th, 2012 at 2:48 PM

It's been awhile since I posted on this board.  And I wanted to share something with my fellow MGoBloggers.  

Back in January I was at a pretty low point in my life.  A really close friend of mine encouraged me to pursue my dreams.  I didn't take him seriously at first, but then decided that I only live once on this earth and to get off my arse and take care of business.

My dream has always been to play Major League Baseball ever since I was a little boy.  My dad grew up in the Bronx and worked at Yankee Stadium as a kid and had many stories for me.  (I hate the Yankees by the way, Go Tigers)

I played my whole life up through college and then just figured that was the end once I finished school.  I started doing some research and saw that the Major League Scouting Bureau conducts open tryouts in the summer.  So I decided that I was going to attend as many of them as I could, and started training immediately.  

Fast forward to now.  After approximately 5 months of training in the gym, and throwing bullpens, and pitching in a few games on an adult summer league team, I will leave Nashville today and travel down to Birmingham to stay overnight with a friend, and then head to Tuscaloosa early in the morning.  I will be trying out as a LHP.  It's kind of fitting that I will be doing all of this in enemy territory.  The funny part is I traveled up to Kentucky Sunday night for an early morning tryout Monday but it was cancelled because of rain.  

Sorry if this post is too long, there's a lot more to it but I wanted to give the short version and figured some of my fellow Michigan fans out there would appreciate it.  Please wish me luck and send me some prayers, I sure need them.


Thanks so much!




restive neb

June 12th, 2012 at 2:53 PM ^

I always admire anyone who does so for the simple reason that I haven't figured out what my dream is yet, and I'm nearing 40.  So how long have you been out of baseball before trying to jump back in?


June 12th, 2012 at 2:54 PM ^

Much like a fellow poster, I am happy to hear another person pursue their dream, and I am still trying to figure out what my dream is.

Everyone Murders

June 12th, 2012 at 2:54 PM ^

The cliche goes something like "we don't usually regret the things we do - more often we regret the things we don't do" and like a lot of cliches there's a lot of truth in it.  Whether you succeed or not, it takes some serious cajones to try out.

Good luck!


June 12th, 2012 at 2:57 PM ^

Congrats, if you can pursue a dream that is cool. Just don't take it too personal if the dream doesn't work out as you hope. You will have the knowledge that you gave it a try. No shame, in that.


Mr. Rager

June 12th, 2012 at 2:58 PM ^

There should be more personal stories on this board.  Stuff like this is great and you don't see it here very often (whereas on Rivals it's a daily thing).  I wish this board was more conducive to having more threads / lower average posts per thread.  It seems like people are quick to get in an uproar if the subject is lacking depth to inspire 100 replies.  

Look Up_See Blue

June 12th, 2012 at 2:58 PM ^

Thanks everyone, I appreciate the kind words.  I've been out of baseball for about 6 years since college.  Just turned 29 in March.  But I've always been in good shape and athletic, and you don't forget how to play, it's more about getting back into baseball shape and working out some kinks.  Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you figure it out.  I hope none of you have to go through that, but if you do, just know that there is light at the end of the tunnel, just push yourself.  The only person in the way of achieving greatness is you!


June 12th, 2012 at 7:32 PM ^

I'm doing the same.  Things are getting better for me.  Just got offered a full-time job (not in the media), but in addition, will be doing some broadcasting work for Modern Tribe TV (small media outlet) in Highland Park this fall.

Blue in Yarmouth

June 12th, 2012 at 3:04 PM ^

I have to say that sometimes I look back and wish I would have had the drive to further pursue my hockey career. After playing in the CHL and not getting drafted I decided to give on the pursuit of a professional career and went to university (played hockey there as well, but in Canada university hockey isn't what it is in the NCAA. 

I was told at the time I had a pretty good chance of getting picked up by a team as a free agent but they would have likely been looking at me to take on an "enforcer" role, which I didn't relish. I love the game too much to put in a role of simply being a fighter so I moved on with my life.

One of my good friends is still in the league today and is in the enforcer role for his team as well. He has played for 15 years and made a lot of money doing what he loves and many times when hanging out with him I start to wonder....what if? 

Good luck to you in your pursuit. I hope everything works out for the best for you, whether that is in baseball or something else.


June 12th, 2012 at 3:08 PM ^

out at a youngish age.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain


June 12th, 2012 at 3:15 PM ^

I loved playing baseball more than any other sport.  I was a pitcher and threw nothing but offspeed junk (my fastball was in essence my change up).  When recruiting letters started rolling in more for football and problems with throwing arm starting to grow, halfway through junior year of baseball I stopped playing to focus on training more for football.  I may not have gone anywhere for baseball, but I regret it everyday, especially seeing as I scoffed at the actual football offers I did get.

What I'm saying is, congrats on growing a pair and trying to live out your dream.  I'm sure there are many of us on here who had aspirations of becoming something in their own respective sport(s), and we'll all live precariously through you.  Good luck, and no matter what, I respect you for no longer having to ever say "what if."

Look Up_See Blue

June 12th, 2012 at 3:21 PM ^

I'm surprised at the response to this.  I can't thank you all enough.  I will do my best to take some pictures and also give some sort of update following everything.  And I'm gad I shared this on the board, I though about not doing it but here's how I look at it.  

We're all here for one thing, a love for The greatest University in the world.  As fans, we are too Michigan Men, and therefore, brothers/sisters, family.  And there's no reason why we can't share things with our family that are important to us.  No matter what happens tomorrow morning I will hold my head high, and keep on keeping on as my Mom always tells me.  Thanks again to everyone. GO BLUE!!!!!!!!


June 12th, 2012 at 3:23 PM ^

Tuscaloosa is a great town.  If you can, check out the path the tornado cut, just a half-mile south of the stadium.  Craziness.  (T-Town, never down!)

Make sure to ask Alex Avila's patron saint to give you some of that good stuff he displayed in that stadium too!!


June 12th, 2012 at 3:24 PM ^

There are open Tryouts like every week during the Summer months. I've been at a few and lefty pitchers get the most attention hands down.


June 12th, 2012 at 3:28 PM ^

Good luck to you in Tuscaloosa! (That might be the only time I say that in this life, but this is a great post and kudos to you for having the dedication to do this)

Hopefully, you'll let us know how it goes in a follow-up!


June 12th, 2012 at 3:36 PM ^

I've always wondered what if when it comes to baseball too. It's not my favorite sport, but I had a mean knuckleball - still do. I don't know if I can throw it 60'6" or not, but I've always wondered, if I had stuck with it and developed it, could I have been the next great knuckleballer?

Good luck with the dream!


June 12th, 2012 at 3:38 PM ^

Wow, I would have liked someone else from the PAC12 on the schedule. We played Utah twice in the last 5-10 years. Lots of good options for us out there. USC, UCLA, CAL, Stanford, Colorado, Washington, and ASU would have been a nice draw. The 2015 game at Utah could be on a Thursday night in a small stadium.


June 12th, 2012 at 4:40 PM ^

If you can throw fastballs for strikes as a lefty I think you'll get some attention. Not a lot more to it than that. At 29, I'm not so sure you'll make the majors, but ain't nothing wrong with spending the summer touring with an AA team somewhere, now is there? That'd offer some great stories, if nothing else!


June 12th, 2012 at 4:51 PM ^

Don't let ANYONE tell you that you can't do it. It IS possible. You can't achieve your dreams if you don't try. Good luck! I'm definately rooting for you. Live life to the fullest and Go Blue!


June 12th, 2012 at 6:15 PM ^

If everyone were able to have and recognize a dream, let alone pursue it, the world would be a far happier place. Good luck!


June 12th, 2012 at 6:23 PM ^

Funny and sort of related story that my husband likes to tell. He and his brother grew up in Chicago as a Cubs and a White Sox fan, respectively. His brother, who was a year older, apparently had a pretty mean fast ball. So, when he was around 19 and heard that the Cubs were having open tryouts, he thought, why not? I'm sure this was more of a PR stunt than anything, but my brother-in-law went, thinking he was trying out for the Cubs. So he steps on to the mound and starts throwing - his best and fastest pitches. After about 10 of his best  throws ever, the guy from the Cubs organization says, "Ok, now let's see some pitches." Deflated, he threw a few more, and then went home. I always admired him for even showing up. 


Good luck to you! As Mick Jagger and Ketih Richards wrote, Lose your dreams, and you will lose your mind.