Life in the Minors: Chapter 2- The Road Here
For the fourteenth consecutive year, WFUV talks to the members of the Brooklyn Cyclones and the Staten Island Yankees in the New York Single-A Penn League about the trials and tribulations of being minor league ballplayers. The long bus rides, the low pay, 76 games in 80 days. This is a look into Life in the Minors: How the Other Half Lives.
This week, Christian Goewey and Drew Casey talk about what it took these young ballplayers to end up making it to the minor leagues.
The Brooklyn Cyclones with Christian Goewey:
The Cyclones are off to a tremendous start. At 11-4 they own the best record in the New York Penn League. While the team is led by skipper Tom Gamboa, who brings plenty of experience and helpful guidance, the players have been nothing short of impressive in handling the adjustment to this stage of their careers. We tend to think of these players as people with talent that we wish for and an opportunity that we dream of, but they too thought the same way not long ago.
Rookie Tucker Tharp grew up near the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado. The Cyclones starting center fielder was surrounded by competition with his siblings and always was fortunate enough to have a family to support him. Tharp enjoyed many sports with his athletic family, mainly baseball, football and basketball. With older brothers playing baseball and football in college, Tharp was also recruited for both, but decided to run with baseball along with the influence of his youth coaches. It has been quite the journey for this aspiring major leaguer, as he walked on at Kansas University and eventually became a team captain before being selected in the 30th round of this year’s draft. He may have the odds stacked against him, as most do in the minors, but Tharp’s history provides hope for him to reach the next stage of his career.
Another starter for the Cyclones, left fielder Joe Tuschak, also enjoyed a great environment to be raised in with the game of baseball. A native of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, Tuschak has always been around highly talented ballplayers. The competition made it even more of a thrill for the three year pro, who spent his last two years in Kingsport. In fact, Tuschak mentioned that he played with guys that were recently drafted. While many are inspired by other athletes when they are young kids, Tuschak’s encouragement to pick up the sport came from his father.
Most of these players come from normal and humble beginnings. Though their lives may seem entirely different, they hope, dream and even doubt just like us fans. This may be a long road for most, many of which may never make it to the big show but that does not take away from their journeys of how they got this far.