Thursday, October 28, 2010

Here Goes Nothin..

Alright guys, so I’m a little green to this whole “blogging” thing (notice my blog doesn’t even have a name yet ), so bare with me through this first post; I promise I’ll try to be interesting!
Ok, here goes nothing..  Let me start by giving you a little background information on myself.  I’m pretty much your basic, everyday Texas male.  I grew up in a small town; I love the outdoors, sports, beer, and pretty much everything else that comes with growing up Texan.  There is however, one thing that kind of sets me apart…I’m a professional athlete (kinda cool right?... I thought so too when I finally realized it was true).  But before we get delve into that portion of my life, let’s go a little deeper into my background (I know you’re just dying to know EVERYTHING about me!). 
As I said before: I grew up in a small town.  How small you ask?  Well, let’s just say that when I got a low report card grade in Spanish my freshman year of high school, my dad knew about it before I did (the rest of the town knew in a matter of a couple days).  But anyways, small as it may have been, West Columbia, Texas, really was a nice place for a kid to grow up.  The people are nice, gas prices are low and on fall Friday nights you can ALWAYS expect a fight out of the Columbia High Roughnecks! 
I grew up in a family of five as the oldest of three children.  We were pretty much your basic American family, my parents (William & Rhonda) worked hard for everything we had and did their best to give my sisters (Madison & Taylor) and me everything that we wanted.  If us kids decided to step out of line, Dad would….well, let’s just say he would give us some “physical encouragement” to act right (something that I believe should be implemented more often in some families, but that’s another issue). 
As you may have guessed from one of my previous pride-filled statements (the one about fall Friday nights for those of you that aren’t paying attention), I attended Columbia High School, where I was a three year letter winner in football, basketball and baseball (I also lettered by default in cross country and swimming my freshman year because the teams were so small, but I don’t claim them because I was awful at both sports).  Although I had successful careers in each of the three “main” sports, it wasn’t until my junior baseball season that I started to believe that I could play beyond high school (sure I thought I could play, but I didn’t know it. I mean, come on, what 16 year old kid doesn’t think they’re the greatest at everything?).  Anyways, after my junior season, I joined the Columbia Angels, a select baseball team that plays in front of numerous college and pro scouts, and eventually accepted a baseball scholarship to Texas A&M University. 
While at A&M, I found that at the collegiate level EVERYONE was a superstar in high school.  My freshman year was a rough one; I got off to a slow start and ended up only appearing in 4 games the entire season.  But after a full season of summer baseball in Beatrice, Nebraska, and a few mechanical adjustments to my delivery, I had a productive sophomore season and finished with a 4-1 record and a 3.27 ERA (I’m a pitcher by the way…guess I should have mentioned that earlier).  After another good summer season in Beatrice and a less than stellar junior year at A&M (1-1 & 6.45 ERA in 19 appearances) I found myself staring reality in the face.  I had one more year of eligibility at Texas A&M left and wasn’t real sure whether or not I was going to be able to play professionally.  So I had to get serious about my back up plan – graduation and getting a real job (DUN-DUN-DUN!!) 
I only had 28 hours or so left until graduation, so when I returned to Texas A&M for my senior year, I hit the books harder than ever and graduated on time in four years (a pretty good accomplishment for a student-athlete if I do say so myself).  I also had a pretty good senior year on the diamond (2-2, 3.74 ERA in 22 appearances), but after my name wasn’t called in the 2010 MLB First Year Player Draft, I found myself back in the same place I was at the end of my junior year: staring reality in the face.  “You mean I’m not going to get to live my dream and play professionally? Well what am I supposed to do? I don’t know where to look for jobs!” Those were just a few of the thoughts running through my mind.  Needless to say, my head was spinning.
And then it happened…
I had just returned from a job interview at Dickinson High School that had gone great.  I loved everything about the school and staff and was planning on accepting their job offer of JV baseball and freshman football coach.  Everything was falling into place.  And then there I was sitting on my buddy’s couch playing MLB 2010: The Show on PS3 when my phone rang.  I didn’t recognize the number, but I decided to answer anyways.  Turns out it was a good thing I did, because on the line was Pat Murphy, an area scout for the Tampa Bay Rays.  He told me that he had seen me throw and asked if I was interested in signing a free-agent contract with the team.  I immediately put off all other job offers and accepted (I mean come on, this is my dream! Real jobs can wait; I’m a baseball player again!!).
So that’s pretty much how I got to where I am today in a nutshell. I hope you all enjoyed reading my first ever blog entry and if you didn’t well then I promise to do better next time. Till then this is Shane Minks, signing off: you stay classy internet world.