he's chasing dreams hitting seams.
she's chasing dreams talking sports.
Carolina Carmichael moved from Illinois to Tennessee for a track and field scholarship at the University of Memphis.
Memphis gave her two life changing things: a stellar pole vaulting career and her husband.
Carolina was a freshman, and Memphis native Sam Moll was a junior pitcher for Memphis. The two first met in April 2013. “My best friend was dating a baseball player which is how I met Sam,” Carolina said. “She told me ‘yeah, Sam is stud’, but I knew nothing about baseball, so I really wasn’t impressed.”
Carolina and Sam spent one week together getting to know each other before Carolina headed back to Illinois for summer break. “We had mentioned to people that we were just talking,” Carolina said. “So it got kind of awkward because a few days after I got home he texted me and told me he was just drafted in third round. I was like what, what does that even mean.”
Carolina’s dad played college baseball and played a stint in the minor leagues. “I went to my dad and told him this guy I was talking to was just drafted in the third round and asked him if that was good,” Carolina said. “My dad thought I was crazy for being kind of clueless and explained the process to me a little bit then he told me I needed to keep talking to this guy and hang on to him.”
Sam was sent to the Rockies short season team after being drafted, and Carolina quickly learned the minor league life. “We had a lot of Skype time,” Carolina said. “It was so weird because I wasn’t going to fly across the country to visit this guy I had barely met, but we talked every single day. I listened to all the games. I guess we used the distance to really get to know each other.”
Sam is from Memphis. His family still lives there. So for the offseason, Sam was back in Memphis and Carolina was back too for the school year. “Luckily, his home was Memphis because I’m not sure how all of this would have worked if we both weren’t in Memphis during the offseason,” Carolina said. “The same night he got back from season he came over to my place, and we were like oh hey so good to see you...”
That offseason Carolina and Sam spent every day together. “He was coming to all my indoor meets, and he met my parents,” Carolina said. “Before he left for the 2014 season, we finally had the like ok-we’re-doing-this-you’re-my-boyfriend conversation.”
If you guys follow the blog on Instagram (@dreamsandseams_), you saw my first taste of big league camp fails on Feb. 20.
So those instances made me think I should just go ahead and start a running blog of my big league camp struggles and lessons.
1) On Feb. 20, the Dodgers did live batting practice for the first time. (Live batting practice is where the pitchers throw to hitters in a game like situation.) I decided I wanted to go see Matt at camp before the actual games start. He sends me the schedule to let me know what field he will be on. I get to Camelback. After walking around trying to figure out how to get to field three, I asked an usher how to get to field three. He tells me to keep walking around the path I get to the field. So I keep walking around — keep in mind I'm watching field three from a far and it is literally the only field in the complex you can't get to. I get around to the minor league side and ask that usher how I get to field three. He says I can't unless I have a wristband. I then proceed to ask what a wristband does. He says members of players family get wristbands that lets them go freely throughout the complex. The players have to get the wristbands each day for the member of the family. OHHH that's new to me and to Matt. Lesson number one, get a family wristband. Otherwise you'll be creep-ily watching from the space in the outfield fence...oh and you missed live batting practice.
2) Trying to pick Matt up is a struggle. This only happened once, and I haven't went to pick him up again. The entrance into the big league player parking lot is fenced from the top of the regular parking lot down to the gate that enters the player parking lot. The fence is there to keep the fans out and allow a clear path for the players, personnel, etc. to come in and out. Anyway, I go to pick up Matt, and the attendant at the start of the path wouldn't let me in because I wasn't on the list. And I even dropped him off that morning. Granted it was a new guy at the start, and we got it worked out but I was still just laughing at how different this process was than what I'm used to on the minor league side.
*I should also say I am VERY thankful for the security and protocols because it keeps Matt safe. But I'm just out here learning.*
From the Stands is a series where WAGS share their journeys in baseball.
Stephanie was a senior at the University of Miami, and Harold Martinez was a sophomore third baseman at UM when they met.
Stephanie explains the two met through a group of friends after…a baseball game, of course.
“We didn’t see each other for a little bit,” Stephanie said. “We reconnected through friends again, got to know each other and have been together ever since.”
Harold was drafted by the Phillies in the second round of the 2011 draft after his junior season. “At the end of a dream season Harold’s sophomore year, he got hurt and never really felt the same during his junior season,” Stephanie said. “So, going into the draft we weren’t really sure what was going to happen. When the Phillies reached out in the second round, we were really surprised but excited and grateful. And then began the craziness of minor league baseball.”
Following the 2011 season, Stephanie and Harold got engaged. The following offseason the two were married — Nov. 2012.
In 2013, Harold started the season in High-A. “High-A was interesting. He could never seem to get out of there for different reasons,” Stephanie said. “I’ll never forget when I left a few days before spring training ended, and they still hadn’t posted the team assignments. Everyone had been talking to him like he was going to AA. We knew you couldn’t really plan on anything in this career, but then he called me and told me he was going back to Clearwater (High-A) for the third time. It was really frustrating.”
Harold faced several injuries and other setbacks. Stephanie says they realize how those hard times really made them stronger in their relationship and in their relationship with God.
“Without our relationship with God, it would have been impossible to make it through everything.”
If you’re reading this, it means the Dodgers – finally – announced their 2018 Big League Camp (BLC) non-roster invites.
Anddd guess who is one of them? Yep, Matty B. We’ve known (unofficially) through Matt’s agent he was getting an invite since the winter meetings. He got a call from the Dodgers a couple of weeks ago, which made it official. And I’ve been waiting for the Dodgers and media to announce the invites to the public before sharing with you guys.
I wanted to write this post and explain what exactly getting a BLC invite means.
Just slow your roll before you start freaking out and telling everyone Matt is officially with the Dodgers. Because he isn’t.
Every Spring Training each MLB team invites players to BLC who are not on their official 40-man roster. The number of invites varies each year and between each club. The Dodgers invited 22 players this spring training.
Essentially the non-roster invites are competing for a spot on the 25-man/opening day roster. Matt and I know he isn’t really competing for a spot this ST but to earn an invite is a great accomplishment in and of itself. Also, having a strong ST at BLC will help him make a case to be put on the 40-man roster after next season to save him from the rule-5 draft. (Future blog for when that is happening.)
I’ve thought labeling prospects is a dumb concept for as long as I can remember. But I never thought I could really write that because Matt wasn’t on a prospect list. BUT now he is AND guess what…I still think labeling prospects is dumb. And now I’m going to write why I think that.
In sports, prospects are labeled all the time, but in baseball labeling prospects is most common because there are so many minor league players.
Usually each MLB organization has a list of 30 prospects then there is a Top 100 prospects list, which is just the top 100 players throughout the entire minors.
First things first — according to Wikipedia, “a prospect is any player whose rights are owned by a professional team, but who has yet to play a game for the team, or is not established with the team yet.”
Second thing, you’re probably wondering who makes these prospects lists. So Baseball America and MLB Pipeline each make lists. Baseball writers are the main people who are making these lists.
And I’m here to say as a writer I’m not dissing those writers who make the lists. I’ll be the first to tell you I think it’s so cool that Matt is on the prospect list — mainly because he earned it/deserves the recognition. But that also doesn’t mean I still can’t think labeling is dumb.
I will say though I would love to know how many of the people making the lists have actually seen Matt (or a majority of players on the list/considered for the list) play a game of baseball. Sure they’ve watched him on film, right? But that’s minimum to me to get the whole picture of what kind of player he is. And again I know they’ve done their research and definitely know what they’re talking about. They really go off numbers — especially with someone like Matt.
But anyway, the people making the lists aren’t the point of this post.
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