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One Dream

February 7th, 2018

By Kaleb Earls

Baseball has been and will always be the greatest game to me. Ever since I picked up that bat and ball, I knew I wanted to devote my life to this game. I always dreamed of getting drafted and chasing after my goal of making it to the Major Leagues. My dream got a little closer to that reality when I was in my junior year of college.

I came from a small town where not many people make it out of so me getting the opportunity to play college baseball was a blessing as is but got even better when I drew the attention of MLB scouts that season. It was a lot to take on seeing that I never had that amount of pressure on me with scouts watching me pitch but kept telling myself over and over again to play each game as if it was my last. That helped motivate myself to give it everything I had. I knew that if I did that and put my trust in the Lord, the rest would work itself out.

My junior season was faced with a lot of adversity. In the end, I did everything I could and only time would tell if I had impressed scouts enough to take a chance on me. At the end of the season, I had been invited to a handful of tryouts for major league teams. I was ecstatic and knew this was my opportunity to show these teams what I was made of. I went to every single one I was invited to. After my tryouts, I started hearing from a lot of different teams asking what round, how much money, etc and it was a lot to take in. Once that started to happen, I knew it wasn’t long before I would hear my name called. It all felt so surreal.

Come draft time, I was very nervous. My friends and family were all there to experience this moment with me. The first day went by…no call. The second day went by with one call but ended up not drafting me so it came down to the last and final day. That night before I could hardly sleep because I knew tomorrow was going to be the moment I had waited for my whole life. The day finally came and as tensions were rising. I couldn’t handle it so I went outside by the pool to keep myself from going crazy. I kept up with the draft on my phone but the one time I didn’t refresh was the moment I heard my entire family screaming. I knew that was it so I ran into the house with everyone hugging one another, crying tears of excitement while I looked up on the TV seeing my name on the draft board.

My emotions were flying all over the place and I had to triple check the TV to make sure it was all real. It was very real indeed because only a few minutes later my phone rang with my scout from the Milwaukee Brewers telling me they have chosen me in the 13th round. This was single handily the best moment I’ve ever experienced and only hope the kids chasing the same dream get to experience as well.

I went on to play three seasons with the Brewers. Although my last season with them didn’t go the way I wanted, it was a learning experience for me. I learned that this game can humble you and that you never know when it could be the last time you pick up a ball. My advice is to cherish every moment you have with this game. There comes a time for all of us to trade in the cleats for dress shoes and uniform for a suit but don’t leave the game having regrets. Leave it knowing you gave it everything you have.

Playing professional baseball has been an honor and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I met a lot of great people along the way, traveled to a lot of different places and learned a lot about myself while doing so that I can take into the real world with me.

To connect with Kaleb on LinkedIn, click here.

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