Wednesday, July 11, 2007

minor league all-star break

Soon to be posted on

Just like in the big leagues, we minor leaguers also have an all-star break. While lacking the pomp and pageantry, not to mention the international media coverage trying to ascertain the meaning behind every word uttered by every player regardless of language, our break is no less important to us, whether we make the team or not.
This year’s break got off to a little bit of a slow start for our team. Coming home from Binghamton on Monday, we were expected to arrive home at a decent hour due to the fact that we played a day game. This was until the bus had a flat tire about thirty minutes into the trip. In addition, in an apparently unrelated incident, the bus’s air conditioning died as well. Though sabotage was suspected by many players, no proof was ever found (another yet to be filmed Unsolved Mystery).
Needless to say, the team wasn’t too happy to be sitting alongside the road, looking for snails and watching cars go bye for nearly two hours. Not the ideal way to start the all-star break, especially since the Eastern League only allows for a two day break instead of the customary three or four days afforded by most leagues. Like school off-days, perhaps we had too many snow-outs early in the year.
Finally, though, we arrived at our home destination, and the all-star festivities began, whether baseball was involved or not. Some of the favorite things that I’ve done over my all-star breaks:

2005 Trip to Yosemite- During the ample four day break the California League allowed, we made the trip from San Jose to Yosemite. Thankfully my Ford Focus rental car navigated the mountainous terrains better than expected, and I saw some of the most beautiful waterfalls and rock formations in the world, not to mention the Sequoia.

2007 Trip to Cooperstown- While not actually part of the all-star break, my parents met our team in Binghamton this year for the last few games before the all-star break. After a Sunday day game, we made the one hour and change trip to Cooperstown. Seeing all the memorabilia, I had the euphoric feeling of a kid in Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Luckily I didn’t eat anything that made me purple.

Beaches and fishing- This is what summer is all about. If I have a couple days off, I better be doing some fishing, and some laying around. Connecticut has more places to fish than the moon has craters (does the moon really have that many craters?), and beaches aren’t too far away either.

My parents have made an annual tradition of visiting me over the break, as team rules dictate that I’m not allowed to leave the general area of our home team. My two younger sisters have also made the trip, which means that I get to play the role of big brother for a few days, an authoritarian role I dearly miss.
It’s great to spend some time with family, and great to get my mind and body away from the game as well. When you play every day, a mental and physical break is necessary at times. Doing some touristy things with family, and maybe some fishing, provides a great diversion.
I would love to play in an all-star game but in its place I think I’ve filled the void. Granting me the opportunity to spend some quality time with family, an all too rare occasion for minor league players, an all-star break without the all-star game is no less enriching.


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