Sunday, May 8, 2011

Letting Go.

                When I picked up a baseball for the first time eighteen years ago, I had no idea how far this beautiful game would carry me.  I never dreamed that one day, it would help pay for my college education; never hoped that it would open the doors that it has; and I certainly never thought it possible that one day someone would actually pay me to play.  I was simply just a kid in the backyard playing catch with his dad; slowly falling in love with the game.

Since that fateful day in the backyard, my relationship with the game of baseball has been nothing short of a fairy tale.  This game has taken me places that I never thought I could go, and introduced me to some amazing people who have changed my life for the better.  It has shown me highs and lows like no other aspect of my life; lifting me up and humbling me, time and time again. 

That is why letting go and walking away is such a daunting task….but it’s something I have to do. 

There comes a point in every athlete’s career when they have to look themselves in the mirror and ask, “Do I really want to keep doing this?”  How long can I deal with the daily grind of training?  How long can I justify the time spent away from family and friends?  How long do I have before I miss out on certain career and life opportunities?  And most importantly, how long will I be good enough to keep competing?  In a perfect world, the answer is forever, but as you know, this is not a perfect world.

When I looked at myself and asked these very questions, the answers deep in my heart pointed towards retirement, which is why I have decided to hang up my cleats for good.  I still love and always will love playing the game of baseball, and I wish that I could continue playing forever, but I can no longer justify the sacrifices that come with playing professionally.   

                I would like to close by thanking the numerous coaches, teammates, friends, family members and fans who have stood by me from day one and helped me throughout the years, but most of all, I would like to thank my parents, William and Rhonda Minks.  The efforts and sacrifices they have made for me over the course of my career are immeasurable.  From my dad building an infield in our backyard and practicing with me as a kid, to my mom always knowing exactly what to say when I was down or discouraged; they have always done whatever they could to help me reach my goals.  And for that, I am forever grateful.    

Signing off one last time,

The Kid That Fell In Love With The Game