Posts filed under 'Game of Life'
In an age when the news media is filled with stories of the mega-million dollar lifestyles enjoyed by the superstars featured on ESPN, it's easy to forget that the vast majority of professional baseball players get by on a much lower standard of living. And yet, most professional ballplayers, even those playing at the lowest levels of the minor leagues, confess to feeling blessed by the privilege of making a living playing baseball. Unlike their MLB counterparts, minor league ballplayers do not receive a penny in royalties or fees from MiLB-licensed memorabilia. For the most part, they're still happy to sign photos, cards, and jerseys. Many happily volunteer for promotional events such as public appearances, community events, and kids' clinics. And others use their celebrity to reach out to at-risk or disabled youth. Every year, Salt Lake Bees players volunteer to make a number of visits. These are some of my favorite "sports stories."
Miracle League 2010
Miracle League 2012
Juvenile Justice Services 2012
South Salt Lake Juvenile Detention Center 2012
Shriners' Hospital for Children 2012
Shriners' Hospital for Children 2009
Knothole Club Clinic 2010
June 9th, 2012
I was ready to do anything to get to the big leagues. . . .So I went to the gym, went over to the biggest gym rat/muscle head guy I could find and said, 'I need to get big.' He said drugs were the way and I said, 'Where do I sign?' —Dan Naulty, Salt Lake Buzz (1995, 97-98)
In 1997, pitchers Dan Naulty, Dan Serafini, Brett Roberts, Shane Bowers, Kevin Legault, and catcher Jeff Horn were members of the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, the Salt Lake Buzz. Only two of them, Naulty and Serafini, managed to make it to the major leagues and stick for more than a handful of games. Naulty even won a World Series ring pitching for the New York Yankees in 1999. As for their teammates, Bowers appeared in five games in 1997 and never returned to the major leagues. Roberts, Legault, and Horn never played higher than the Triple-A level.
Naulty and Serafini shared something else besides major league careers. They used steroids to get there. Naulty regrets his decision. Serafini doesn't.
Most of the discussions about the fall-out from the steroid era focus on how cheating ruined the game of baseball. In Naulty's case, however, the devastation was much more personally damaging. In person and in print, Naulty openly shares the story of his descent into a personal hell that began with being sexaully abused as a child, progressed through steroids, speed, and alcohol, and nearly ended with suicide. The thread through all of this, Naulty explains, was a desperate need for acceptance and love. By the time he hit bottom, he was taking speed to recover from the hangovers, and HGH and testosterone to stay healthy and bulked up.
Miraculously, he made the decision to quit the PEDs and baseball before they killed him. Since his retirement, Naulty has been trying to make amends for the sins of his past. After retiring from baseball, he entered the seminary and became a pastor. And now he uses his life story to preach about the real-life dangers of temptation. When contacted by the Mitchell Committee in 2007, Naulty admitted to using PEDs and spoke candidly about the details of his own usage.
Just because I have become a Christian doesn't mean I can give back all that I took from those so-called friends, as I stabbed them in the back on the way out the door, to another year of chopping rocks in the minors. —Dan Naulty, doctoral candidate in Biblical Studies, 2007
June 2nd, 2012
• UPDATE •
Baseball Camp Still On!
August 20, 2008 —You may have heard by now that Nick Gorneault was assigned to the Arkansas Travelers. Have no fear, however, matters are all neatly in hand. Terry Evans has graciously agreed to take over the role of Camp Director, should our high-flying outfielder be unavailable. Evans is another longtime Bees outfielder, and was a featured Player of the Month in 2009. If you haven’t turned in your registration and medical release forms yet, (and why haven’t you?!?), remember there is a $10 discount for early registration!
I went to last year’s camp last with my 8-year-old baseball pal, and everyone there had an absolute blast. Don’t just take my word for it. . .seeing is believing, right?
• • • • •
Photo Credit | Brent Asay (c) 2010
July 18, 2010 — Hey young ballplayers! Salt Lake Stingers/Bees ballplayer, Nick Gorneault, is offering an advanced baseball clinic at Spring Mobile Ballpark next month. Click on the flyer below to download a printable flyer and registration form.
A bit of background on our veteran outfielder. In 2005, Gorneault led the Salt Lake Stingers in most offensive categories, including home runs, runs batted in, runs, hits, and slugging percentage. He led the PCL in RBIs for much of the season, finishing the year with 0.293 BA, 108 RBI, 26HR, 179 H (36 for extra bases) and 268 TB.
Upon his return to the Salt Lake Bees this year, Gorneault was voted Team Captain after Ryan Budde was called up to the Angels. It is important to note, unlike football or hockey, in professional baseball, the choosing of a captain is left completely to the discretion of the team. Most baseball teams simply don’t have one. Thus, when the “C” gets sewn onto a player’s uniform, it is truly an emblem of honor and respect, as determined by a his professional peers. …Your friend in baseball.
July 18th, 2010