It was nine years ago this month when I stepped out into the big world with my first job, and surprisingly still the same job I have today.
While its not important what exactly it is, just know that it is retail management.
Here's the deal...
When I was young, all I dreamed about was being a big time ballplayer. I had eyes on being a center fielder called up from the minors. Rather it was the Rome Braves or the Columbus Clippers, it didn't matter to me.
Was I talented enough? Maybe. I never got or gave myself the chance to find out.
The problem was, a financial set back. I was raised from a family that wasn't poor, but wasn't wealthy either. I needed to get a job and pay bills and that is what I did.
Before I knew it, practicing and playing baseball became second to working my job.
I did however meet someone within the first two months of my job, who is like a brother to me, his name is Michael as well, just not spelled wrong like mine.
He is from New York, and game after game of watching the Yankees, it became a part of me.
Derek Jeter was my favorite player as a kid, so it wasn't a big deal to me at the time to cheer for the team he was on.
Jeter and Alex Rodriguez were the two players I held the closest to my heart growing up. Their cards, always in the front of my albums.
Michael and myself still go out on nice days and hit the ball around and play catch. I can tell you right now, that when I throw a baseball back and forth, it is the only thing in the world that can make me smile instantly without even thinking about it or having control over it, I just smile.
I didn't want to become a bandwagon fan of the Yankees, and not being from New York, that could be easily attributed to me, so I did my homework.
To be familiar with the present and ready for the future, you got to learn about the past.
I learned about all of the greats that have their number retired, threw a perfect game in the world series, hit three home runs in one world series game, hit 61 homeruns in one season, the list goes on and on.
I didn't even know that the number four of the late Lou Gehrig was the first number in the history of sports retired.
It just amazes me how many great players have not only played for the Yankees but how many great human beings have played professional baseball throughout the years.
Look at Roberto Clemente, the man died in his prime trying to help others while flying overseas.
Thinking about the game of baseball can take me out of any stressful situation that is going on at my job or in my life.
I work around fifty hours a week, and it can be very tough, especially when your body is working retail, and your brain and heart is playing the game of baseball.
I have always heard from people, do what makes you happy, well at age 25 now, I may have let playing baseball professionally slip away, and that is no ones fault but my own, no matter what excuse I have.
However, it doesn't stop me from being the Yankees fan that I am and it won't stop me from loving baseball more then anything in the world.
Obviously, unless I find a counterpart who loves baseball as much as me, I am single and I am going to be single for a while.
When it gets down to it, I am lucky to have the great American game in my life and embracing it, because without it, who knows what I would be doing with my life.
In turn, just like anything you love in life, it can't always make you happy, you have to make it work. With the steroid allegations on someone who means a lot to me, someone that I have looked up to for many years, it hurt.
But when Alex Rodriguez came out and admitted it, then asked for forgiveness and to judge him from here on out, I was left with only one choice.
He is human, I am human. I have no problem with forgiving him, respecting him and still pull for him with every ounce of energy I've got, and that is what I will continue to do.
I still get chill bumps when I think about last weekend in Tampa, when I held up a dark blue and white Westminster High School jersey of Alex Rodriguez as he smiled at me and nodded his head as he was coming off the field.
Its moments like that, I'll always cherish.
With it being March now, I am geared up for another great season, not knowing if this is the year or not I will get to celebrate my first World Championship as an official Yankees fan is just half of the excitement.
With the moves the Yankees have made, any Yankees fan has to be thrilled about the upcoming year. If the new additions aren't enough, maybe a brand new, gorgeous ballpark will get your heart pumping.
While I have passed up a dream, life could be worse, I am blessed to have a friend in baseball.
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