he's chasing dreams hitting seams.
she's chasing dreams talking sports.
Shortly after we made Arizona home for the offseason, I sent my resume and some clips to a few newspapers here.
We got busy with baseball and training for my part-time job at Lululemon that I forgot to follow up. On Thursday (Nov. 16), I decided to forward my first email to make sure the email got through blah blah.
After my spin class Friday (Nov. 17) morning, I checked my email to see a couple responses. One response from the Glendale Star read a little something like this, “I didn’t receive your first email. Can you resend it to me? And also, if you’re available can you cover a high school football game tonight? Let me know asap.”
After re-reading the email like five times to make sure that’s what it said, my first thought was ‘no way. I know nothing about either team. I never even heard of these teams until right now.’ But then I thought ‘I can’t say no because I’m nervous or a little intimidated by the situation. I have plenty of experience and know what I'm doing.'
I think I would have felt a little better if the editor had read my work/seen my resume and felt I was OK enough... Still not sure if that’s a good or bad thing BUT I took it either way. Newspapers need all — random Jes —hands on deck these days.
Big thanks to Clubhouse Corner and Doug Hall for featuring Dreams and Seams and our journey so far! Read the feature here!
The more the season went on the more I had to realize I’m 100 percent learning as I go and flying by the seats of my pants when it comes to doing things “right” in the WAG life.
(If you do not know what a WAG is, stop right now and click here to find out and read some fun stories from spring training.)
Along with the moving lessons, I thought sharing other WAG lessons I learned/realized would be fun — and of course keeping up with/adding new ones in the future.
1) Apartments are not ideal in the baseball life.
…But I mean what else can you do? Unless your affiliated team has host families, you have to get an apartment, house or live in the hotel. (Host families are local families who take in players and their families during the season. Matt had host families throughout summer ball and in Rookie Ball and Low A. He had great experiences, and we would definitely stay with a host family if they were available.)
I’m not sure we’ll ever get around staying in an apartment without host families, but I now know to ask the team if there are certain apartments they work with. The teams may be able to give apartments who understand the baseball life and won’t make you pay fess if have to break the lease if moved up or down and will allow month-to-month leases.
Don’t base apartments off of photos online. Before leaving spring training, we already signed a lease for an apartment in Tulsa with three other roommates. We got to Tulsa, and two of our roommates did not want to stay at that apartment. Apartments always post the most glamorous photos and sometimes when you get there the apartments do not look like they do in the photos. We obviously wanted a place to move into right away, but now we know to just wait until we get to the place we’re going and shop for an apartment in person. (Unless can get name of apartments people have lived in before, and they recommend.)
We were only allowed to break the lease because the dates were wrong. But we were stuck with the furniture the first apartment had already contracted out for three months. With another fee, the furniture company transferred the furniture from the first apartment to the new apartment. Which leads me to my next point…
Including our move from Texas, we’ve moved five times this year…wow & yikes all in the same breath.
(Yes I know technically the year isn’t over yet but we’re finished moving until after spring training. Well hopefully *knock on wood* a trade could always happen that could send us to FL ST. Anyway we’ll face that if it comes about.)
Packing is my number two thing on the list of I HATE — right below Alabama football. :)
So me hating packing with all my being is hilarious since ya know we’re living this baseball life where we don’t know where we will be called to tomorrow.
But with all the moving, we’ve (had no choice but to) learned ways to make the process a little easier.
I wanted to share those things in case someone is reading who is about to embark on the baseball life or other moving-often-lifestyle.
Disclaimer: I’m nowhere near an expert. This is just my first year, but I know these things have helped. Also, it will be fun to document other things I learn as we continue this baseball journey.
Even though there are a few months of the “offseason” in baseball, those months are rarely spent baseball free for most. The options for playing during the off-season involve instructs, fall ball or winter ball.
Instructs — aka Instructional League — is mainly where the guys just drafted go or sometimes guys the organization wants to get more reps. Instructs take place at the organizations’ spring training facility and usually last through the end of the season through November. Players do not get paid during instructs. (I know the Dodgers put their players up in a hotel and feed them.) The schedule is similar to the schedule during spring training. Matt went to instructs after the 2015 season – the year he was drafted.
Winter ball has leagues all over the place including the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Australian. Players play winter ball to get more exposure, make good money or get more reps if they were hurt a lot during the season. Usually the teams in each league reach out to players if the team wants said players to play for them. Players can also let their agent know or person in their organization assigned to winter ball business know they would be interested in playing winter ball, and those said people can reach out to their connections in the winter ball leagues. Winter ball runs from October through January, but most guys do not play an entire season if they played a full minor league season. Early on Matt was talking with a team in the Dominican Republic about playing winter ball before he found out he got an invite to fall league (fall ball).
Corky and Rachael Britton have been working at ONEOK Field since 2011. The duo will say a final goodbye to DrillVille after the championship series but not before leaving a lasting impression on players, players’ families and fans.
Corky and Rachael met on the Internet, and their very first conversation revolved around baseball. “The first thing he asked me was if I liked sports,” Rachael said. “And I said yes, and I told him my favorite was baseball. He followed up with asking who my favorite team was. When I said the Giants, he said we could talk.”
“I married into a Dodgers family the first time, and it just didn’t work,” Corky said.
Rachael was living in Tulsa, and Corky was living in California. Rachael was from California, and she visited to explore the relationship. Their first date was on Jan. 31, 2005, and Corky’s mom tagged along. “He wanted to make sure I was comfortable because I hadn’t dated in 32 years,” Rachael said. “By the end of the first date, we were finishing each others sentences.” In October 2005, Rachael moved to California but kept the house she had in Tulsa.
On July 7, 2007, the two were married in California. (along with 300,000 other couples in the United States because how cool is that date! The Brittons met a couple on July 7, 2017 at ONEOK Field who were married on the same day.)
A few years later the economy tanked in California, and the Brittons lost their business and house in California. Corky had also just retired from being a mailman, and the Brittons were both freelancing for the local newspaper. The renter of Rachael’s home in Tulsa left suddenly. “In the midst of wondering what in the world we were going to do, we remembered we had a house in Tulsa,” Rachael said.
Before I get into how we travel with Grainger, I want to tell the story about Matt and I deciding to adopt her.
When I moved to Texas by myself, I knew I wanted to get a dog, I wanted to adopt and wanted to wait until Matt was back for the offseason. I began following all these shelters on Facebook and would check them everyday.
I saw the picture of Grainger on the shelter page in Kingsville, Texas, page in November 2015. I knew instantly she was the one. I sent it to Matt. He agreed, and said we should name her Grainger. I loved it, and that was that with the name.
We contacted the shelter and got the information we needed to go through the process. G was available in two days, and she was “first come first serve.” By the next day, there were over 100 comments on her picture with several people saying they wanted her.
The night before adoption Matt and I were standing in PetSmart for over an hour just discussing if we should adopt her. I was working a ton of hours, and he was going to leave for the season soon. Talk about finances was in the mix. The last thing we wanted to do was neglect the dog and make an irresponsible decision.
But we just couldn’t convince ourselves we shouldn’t. And now more than ever, I see what God’s bigger plan for adopting Grainger was/is.
I loved having her when I was by myself in Texas of course, but having her while we’re traveling and while Matt is gone during baseball is the biggest blessing.
Adoption day: Matt got up super early, drove an hour to Kingsville (I was at work) and was the first one at the shelter – even before the volunteers! Three other cars pulled in…all after Grainger. But the lady knew Matt was there first, and we got her! You guys, I can’t stress enough how important adopting is. We paid $25 that day for G, and got $10 back after getting her shots and fixed. FIFTEEN DOLLARS for our best friend. (Adopting > shopping. That’s my soapbox for the day.)
Grainger and I have four days left before we see Matt after a Drillers 12-day road trip!! WHOOP!
How we went as many as three months without seeing each other last season is beyond me…
As much as I miss being with Matt and going to watch him play, I have to be honest the break has been kind of nice. I didn’t realize how these 12 days where going to give me much needed time to just slow down.
I love living life go, go, go all the time. And that is definitely what this baseball life entails. But it’s always nice to step back and breathe.
This long road trip I’ve been able to put a lot of time into things I really enjoy doing. I always make sure I do things I enjoy, but with baseball and a job, I don’t put in as much time as I would like. And I’m perfectly OK with that.
My job is really the only thing that kept in Tulsa during the 12-days. All of the other wives I know went home, and I was a little bit jealous at first!
I work with kids at a YMCA part-time to bring in a little extra money and to get out and do something. During this long road trip, I’ve worked everyday, and I’ve had the opportunity to work double shifts a few times (more $$!). Work takes up my mornings, which means I get up and moving early because otherwise I would sleep late every day more than likely. (Fun fact: I love sleeping, and I’m good at it.)
If you’ve kept up with my vlogs, you know I’ve been to five out of seven Texas League stadiums (not including Tulsa) which means I have been to five different cities. (Springfield, NW Arkansas and Frisco I have been to twice!)
If you’ve read my “Day in the Life: Minor Leaguer During Season” blog, you know Matt is at the field. A LOT. Because of that many people have asked me what I do when I’m on road trips…in a new city…by myself.
I should preface all of this by saying if you aren’t a pretty independent girl you probably shouldn’t marry a baseball player. Lucky for me, I was raised to be an independent but outgoing person. Meaning I love being around people, but I also enjoy being by myself.
Typical road trip days involve Matt and I getting up pretty late since we went to bed late, and he always needs full rest. We’ll usually go get brunch somewhere then hang out until he goes to the field. Our hanging out can be anywhere from going back to the hotel and watching TV to driving around and checking out the city we’re in. Really just depends on what he is up for. (Cause ya know he is the one playing baseball every.single.day)
On road trips, there are two guys to a hotel room. We’re lucky enough to have great friends who do not mind Grainger and I staying in the team hotel room with them. (Thanks, Mike and Timmy!) On several of the road trips, Ashley has made the trip so it’s basically like we’re in the apartment! If we got our own room, we would have to pay for it ourselves. If that were the case, I would not be going on as many road trips because we can’t afford that.
25. That’s how many players can be active on the Tulsa Drillers roster throughout the season based on minor league baseball regulations.
If you check the Drillers website right now, there are 39 players on the roster which means several are on the DL (disabled list) and a few of the players listed are not even on the team at the moment. (some in Arizona for injury rehab)
After checking some rosters in the system and recalling several from memory, I came up with 17 additional players that have been on the Drillers roster at some point in the season. (And I could have missed someone.) That makes 56 different players on the Drillers so far this season. With about a month left in the regular season plus playoffs (if they make the playoffs.)
I couldn’t find a very good number of how many players a minor league team averages a season, but I would be comfortable in saying 56 is probably way over the average.
What is even crazier is Matt is the only one out of the 56 who has been active on the Drillers roster since the first game of the season. Moves up, down, rehab assignments, inactive, DLs, trades and even retirement have been the stories throughout the Drillers roster changes.
Matt & Jesica Beaty
Welcome in to dreams and seams! A tell-all blog about our career dreams and path to reaching those dreams with some commentary about sports and life plus some videos too.
"Strive for the impossible because it makes the possible seem effortless." -Matt Beaty