As a Minor League Baseball player, I don’t look forward to early mornings. Night games translate to late nights, and Friday night was no exception. After we won an extra-inning contest, I headed back to my apartment, packed my bag for our 10-game road trip, and fell asleep around 1 a.m. I set my phone alarm for 5:40.
My iPhone did its job, and I headed to the field just after 6 a.m. Stanton and I hurried onto the bus to grab our seats in the coveted exit row; extra leg room immediately improves an unavoidably cramped bus trip. Five hours and a team full of sore knees later, we made it to Kodak, Tennessee’s Days Inn—our newest home away from our home away from home.
Shortly after arriving in Kodak, we headed to the Tennessee Smokies’ stadium. As mundane as it may seem, my first walk into the visiting clubhouse always brings a level of excitement. Every clubhouse is different, so I will typically take a few minutes to explore the intricacies of my new environment. I quickly discovered that my current circumstances in the Smokies’ visiting clubhouse are favorable. To give some detail, here are three reasons why I like this clubhouse: 1) The clubhouse is large—space is very important; 2) I have a corner locker; 3) Bottled waters are always available in a mini fridge.
It is four great days after that first walk through the clubhouse, and we are checking out of the Days Inn. Being only a few hours from home, I’ve been fortunate to hang out with my parents, throw rocks at my brother in a Smoky Mountain stream, see 3 of my favorite aunts, my funniest uncle (Ben, I’ll be sure to give you a shout-out soon ha), and my best Pa-Pa. On the field, we have played four games against the first place Smokies; if we win today we win the series and pull to within a game of a first-place tie. I pitched in game 3 and got to help the team get a W.
Regardless of today’s outcome, we will climb back onto the bus around 11 p.m. and begin our southbound trek to Huntsville, Alabama. I hope I get an exit row seat…