Amidst the latest round of steroid reports across the league, “Manny be Manny doping”, was a bright sport that emerged in the windy city. Although it may end up being a short stint in the big leagues, the efforts of Bobby Scales should not go unnoticed.
Bobby who, you ask?
Bobby Scales, an 11-year minor league veteran made his MLB debut this past week. His minor league travels include trips to Idaho Falls, Idaho; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Lake Elsinore, Calif.; Mobile, Ala.; Portland, Ore.; Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Pawtucket, R.I.; and Des Moines, Iowa.
In the offseason, Scales poses as a substitute teacher near his home is Alpharetta, Georgia His dream takes a backseat when it comes to making ends meet. Yet Scales never seemed to waiver far from the day that he would play in The Show.
Scales had a career year in 2008 with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, batting .320 BA, 15 homers, 59 RBI, and 94 runs scored.
In 21 games with Iowa this season, Scales was batting .303 before he received the call from the Cubs brass.
The game was bitter sweet for Scales as the Cubs lost 6-2 to the San Francisco Giants.
Scales started at second base and played well going 1-for-4 and scored a run.
But the story does not end here.
Scales’ story is an inspiration one for the Cubs in an up and down year.
Since World War II, Scales is the fourth Cub to make his major league debut at 31 years of age or older. He joins pitchers John Andre (32-years-old, 1955), Freddy Rodriguez (33-years-old, 1958), and outfielder Al Heist (32-years-old, 1960).
His perseverance definitely paid off.
Scales even received a bottle of champagne from former teammate Brian Sweeney. Both shared time together in the San Diego Padres minor league system.
Where Scale’s inspirational performance ranks in Cubs’ history remains to be seen. However, the Cubs did win their next two games against the division rival Houston Astros.
For the Cubs’ faithful though, Scales performance was the breath of fresh air both they and baseball needed. As another superstar’s name is associated with the performance enhancing substance, Scales drug of choice was hard work.
Thus far this season, the Cubs have given their fans heartache and elation even in the same game. Their ace Carlos Zambrano is on the DL, the Milton Bradley project is not working, and now third baseman Aramis Ramirez is out with a dislocated shoulder.
With Ramirez on the DL, Scales’ stay could be longer in the big leagues.
One thing is for certain though. However long he does remain with the big league club, Scales can take comfort in knowing that he earned every minute of it through hard work and determination and not though the use of PEDs.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu