Spring Training and the Love of the Game

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It’s March, and that means that both of our Chi-Town teams have headed to Arizona to escape the chill that lingers in the air, leaving the rest of us jealous of their short-sleeved shirts and much improved tans. But spring training isn’t all fun and games for many aspiring major leaguers.

Sure, the well-known pros can take it easy, but competition among the rank-and-file is fierce, and one mistake can mean another whole year in the minors, or worse. Non-roster invitees are battling daily, hoping to catch the manager’s eye with a slick play or a big hit. For them, the thrill of spring training is a real, if miniscule, chance to play all summer under the bright lights.

Take Cubs left-handed pitcher Ian Clarkin. He’s only twenty-four, but since being drafted thirty-third overall by the Yankees in 2013, he’s been in the minors, lost a whole year to an elbow injury, then bounced back and forth between the White Sox and the Cubs minor league teams… Twice. Granted, it’s a short commute from the South Side to the North Side, but still, it’s not easy to maintain positivity when you get cut from team after team. Plenty of guys would give up the dream and go find a steady job. But what if the challenge of living your dreams is the dream?  

To play the game you loved as a child on the biggest stage. To sing in front of a crowd. Whatever it might be. Springtime might be great for cleaning away the clutter, but it’s also a great time to reflect on who you are and who you want to be. At Double Good, that means doing everything we can to get kids involved in the games they love and of course making the best popcorn we possibly can.

We’re not saying that Ian will be a starter for the Cubs this season — he might not. But that’s not the point. He’s out in Arizona, grinding away and living his dream.

There’s something to be said for the beauty of simply getting in the game.

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