On to the Next Adventure!

I’m not insane enough to say that, over the past nine years, I’ve done everything perfectly, have no regrets. If I was perfect enough to have no regrets, I wouldn’t be human, would I?

I’ve played my last professional baseball game, perhaps my last game ever. I’m retiring.

It’s sad to say goodbye to a game that’s been such a large part of my life for so many years. There is certainly a lot I will miss. Mostly the people. Coaches and fellow players, meeting and getting to know a new group of guys every year. Bonding with a summertime family as we jointly take on the grind of another long minor league season.

I’ve been a professional baseball player for nine years and I have $300 dollars in my bank account. That is one thing that I definitely won’t miss. The long hours matched by short pay has left me at a crossroads in my career. I can’t afford to play another year of baseball and I have a job offer with a respectable paycheck that can’t be ignored. I’ll make more money in my first year at my new job than I made in my first seven years playing baseball.

Some of the things that people like to say about playing baseball is, “I would play for free” or “I should pay them” or “getting to play the game is payment enough for me.” I never much related to any of these sayings and to be honest, I’m not sure that anyone who actually plays does. I don’t see how anyone could check their bank statement at 30 years old, see $300 and think they are lucky.

Also, I would think if that’s the case, maybe big leagues wouldn’t be making millions of dollars. Perhaps they would be making just enough to scrape by and not enough to actually save anything, like so many of the minor league lifers. There is a lot to love about baseball but it’s a game that doesn’t always love you back, and that, as anyone who’s been in a one-sided relationship will tell you, can sometimes spawn resentment.

I don’t mean to come off bitter towards the game. I don’t regret my time spent playing baseball.  In fact, it’s baseball that has taught me so many skills that I’m certain will come in handy in my next line of work.  Skills like work ethic, resiliency, ability to work effectively within a team as well as competitiveness and the ability to perform under pressure. Perhaps I had a foundation of these skills genetically, but I surely honed them playing baseball over the past 9 years.

I’m off track… The main reason I’m writing this memo is because I want to thank everyone that supported me over the course of my career. My family most of all. Putting up with the emotional and financial burden of having a son who is “chasing the dream” is no small task. The unwavering support I received from my parents and siblings didn’t go unnoticed. I appreciate and love all of you very much.

I want to thank my agents Dave Pepe and Billy Martin Jr. of Pro Agents, Inc. for settling me down when I was frustrated with lack of playing time or wanted to quit for one reason or another.  And for always picking up the phone when I needed someone outside of family to talk to. I know you both put in a lot of time and effort on my behalf and I’m forever grateful. I’m going to miss working with you both and hope we can remain friends. Maybe I’ll write a book and need a book agent, you’re my guy Dave.

To my teammates and staff members who made it easy to get up and head to the stadium for another day on the grind, I’ll miss you guys. Thanks for all the memories, it was fun while it lasted.

I don’t want to drag this on much longer.  As much as this is an ending to a period of my life, I’d rather think about it as a beginning, look to the horizon. Eyes on the road, forward into the morrow, on to the next adventure…

If you like this post, please subscribe. I plan on doing a lot more writing in the coming months. Thank you for reading.

Tim Pahuta

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18 thoughts on “On to the Next Adventure!

  1. Tim, I wish you all the best in your next endeavors. I can’t imagine how much of a trial and a grind being a professional athlete can be – with or without the paycheck. Next time you are in DC, there’s a steak with your name on it on me and my husband.

    As a baseball fan who has season tickets to the big club and lives near one of the minor league affiliates, how can people like us help? I’d like to give back to the teams/sport that’s given me so much joy and brought an incredible group of friends into my life.

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    1. First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to read what I wrote and more importantly, thank you for wanting to give back by helping out. That speaks highly of your character and I’m sure the players at the affiliate you live near would appreciate whatever help you offer. Unfortunately the most obvious answer to your question also requires the biggest sacrifice. Players at the lower levels, make so little money that they can’t afford to pay rent at apartments. Often times relying on the kindness of families that volunteer their homes as a temporary dwelling to the players is the only way we would get through a season. That being said, its a huge sacrifice, and we understand that, I’m sure there are plenty of other ways to help. A lot of the affiliates have booster clubs, which are great organizations that do a lot to make our brief stays in their communities as easy as possible. If you leave near the Potomac affiliate, they have a GREAT booster club full of very helpful people and are always looking for more members, that would be a terrific place to start. Thank you for caring!

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      1. You are quite welcome. We live in Alexandria, so it’s a doable distance from the Potomac affiliate. We were actually at their Hot Stove banquet in January with some friends. I had a chance to meet the Aswells, who are one of the regular host families for the P-Nats, as they were at our table. If I had a proper second bedroom in our condo, I’d cheerfully offer it up and host one of the players. Since that’s not the case, we’re planning to get involved with the P-Nats boosters as much as possible.

        David and I did get a chance to reach out and spend some time with one of the Nats’ call ups from Syracuse when h was here in May. And then when September call ups came to town, everything changed in a heartbeat after the Navy Yard shooting. We were blessed to host Jeff and his parents (whom we’d already met) at David’s restaurant. And then watch him be the winning run cross the plate off of Denard Span’s hit the next day.

        The offer stands. And if you get wind of any of the guys in Potomac (or hell, anywhere else), who need a hand or just a cup of coffee, we are only a phone call away.

        Best of luck to you…stay in touch.

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  2. Tim what a classy way to end a career!! I wish I would have had the chance to see you play but as a Nats fan who happens to live in San Antonio TX I don’t get to see many of our minor leaguers. I wish you nothing but great success and pray God gives you everything you wish for, good luck in the Future!

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  3. Tim,
    As I read this and think about the young kid I coached in Winchester, VA all those summers ago, I feel amazing pride in the player and man you have become. As a coach, my only hope would be that a player would grow to love the game so much that it would simply become not only his life, but a guide for his life as well. With all of the failures associated with the everyday of the game, baseball builds a wonderful foundation for what we will have to face when our playing or coaching days are done. It sounds to me that you have loved the game and the grind, and it has prepared you for the road ahead. I wish you all the best in everything you do and, as I would do for any former player, if there is anything I can ever do for you, please let me know. All my best!!

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  4. Man, that was very deep, I am a Toronto kid who is now in his mid 20’s who realized his true love and talent in the game to late, to the point it was almost impossible to get a look at.. I gave up my dream this year, on the road to Michigan for an open tryout via the mlbsb.. I realized, I am 25, I am now even in single a, it just is not realistic, and at this stage in my life I would have put those around me under a lot of pressure..
    I love the game of baseball, an will continue go do so as a fan.. Glad you realize and seem to appreciate the support you received from family, sadly.. My parents did not support me in any way shape or form athletically… And here I am.. Working a 8-4 job, watching others live my dream.. Bitter? A bit. Atleast I am honest about it, and strive day by day to ensure that I get over it the best way possible.

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    1. I know the feeling. I always take the mindset of hey, someone’s got to do it. That wasn’t it for me, so time to make another it

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  5. Sad story, but it is the scary reality of baseball. There are many other players in your situation, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Good luck on your future endeavors, baseball gave you a great ‘base’.

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  6. Don’t forget that baseball will always lead to a walk away no matter what level you reach. You are doing it on your terms and having played professionally as long as you have is believe it or not going to make many former baseball players who didn’t very jealous. Though it seems tough today you’re so much better off for not letting the dream go away without giving it your all. I’d encourage you to write that book as I’d think you’d have a lot to say that people would want to hear. Lastly, I’ve enjoyed following your path Tim and wish you all the best.

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  7. Good post, Tim. Now that baseball is in user rear view mirror, is there anything you would have done differently? Maybe it’s too early to ask but my guess is you can answer this already.

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  8. Great writing, Tim. Now that baseball is in user rear-end mirror, what would you have done differently? It may be too early to reflect on this but I’m guessing you know already.

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  9. Tim,

    Good luck. I know you will succeed in whatever you do. You were always one of my favorite players and (most importantly) people to work with. Much respect.

    TB

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