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  • Writer's pictureRay Digmi

20 Years ago I got "my chance"

20 years ago last week on June 22nd, a few days after the Major League Baseball draft came and went without a phone call from any of the 30 teams, I was convinced my baseball ️ career and my dream of being a professional ball player was over...⁣ But then the phone rang a few days later...the Pittsburgh Pirates called to tell me they had a roster spot open on their then Short Season A Ball team, the Williamsport Crosscutters of the New York - Penn League, and they needed someone who could play 3rd base. They didn’t have to tell me twice! ⁣ The next day on June 23rd 2000, I drove to Auburn, NY to meet the team and sign my professional contact. Not the big signing bonus kind of contract - more like a lottery ticket kind of contract - the “dead man walking”, “you have no shot in hell” kind of contract - so for $1,000 a new Wilson A2000 glove and brand new pair of cleats, my childhood dream came true! ⁣ My first series of my career, we were on the road for a few days and I didn’t get to make my home debut in Williamsport, PA until around the first week of July. I didn’t start the first few games, but once I got in there, I never came out of the lineup. The kid from @setonhall_baseball who didn’t get drafted turned out to be the kid doing his thing! ⁣ This is me 20 years ago this week, signing my very first autograph as a professional baseball player. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since I put on that #16 jersey (yep #16) and started a career that lasted a lot longer and went a lot further than almost anyone could’ve thought! ⁣ I may have come up one level short of the ultimate goal, but damn, we sure gave it one hell of a ride! ⁣ In this life, you don’t need to be 1st round draft pick or get a $million dollar signing bonus...It doesn’t matter if you’ve lost your whole life and haven’t won anything yet...All you need is a chance. A chance to sign. A chance to play. A chance to prove yourself. A chance to redeem yourself. A chance to make your comeback! ⁣ So get out there and make “YOUR CHANCE”⁣ It may be 20 years later, and my dreams may have changed a bit, but I’m still the same kid swinging for the fences. ⁣ Here’s to never growing up and never giving up on your dreams! ⁣
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