Home | Webstore
Latest News: OOTP Update 20.6 - OOTP 20 Available - FHM 5 Available

  

Go Back   OOTP Developments Forums > Out of the Park Baseball 20 > OOTP Dynasty Reports

OOTP Dynasty Reports Tell us about the OOTP dynasties you have built!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-23-2019, 09:36 PM   #1
gskweres9
Major Leagues
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Houston
Posts: 439
Thanks: 75
Thanked 109x in 78 posts
The Life of Travis Everett

"Number one has always been baseball for me."

Bob Uecker said this line or something close to it multiple times during his legendary Hall of Fame speech. What rings true for Bob Uecker rings true for many people around the world.

One of those people is Travis Everett. Like Uecker, Everett is talented compared to the general public, but he likely won't be getting into Cooperstown as a player. No, if he wants to stand on that hallowed stage one day, it will likely be through a different path. In fact, Everett, who is currently playing in college, is majoring in broadcast journalism. "I figure one day if I can't play it anymore, I might as well be paid to watch it," he would tell people.

Uecker proved that you don't have to be a superstar to tell a great story, and Travis Everett is here to prove the same.

Welcome to the life of Travis Everett.
gskweres9 is offline   Reply With Quote
2 thanks for this post:
Eugene Church (03-31-2019), vrobx1 (03-31-2019)
Old 03-23-2019, 09:40 PM   #2
gskweres9
Major Leagues
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Houston
Posts: 439
Thanks: 75
Thanked 109x in 78 posts
Hello y'all!

This will be my dynasty posting for OOTP 20, and I'm really excited about it. The story will follow Travis Everett, who is not so loosely based on myself. The story will begin in 2021, which is the year I will be hoping to hear my name called in the MLB Draft (I'm a current collegiate athlete). Using the OOTP sim engine, we'll follow the career of Travis Everett, from minor league ball to indy ball or wherever the world takes him. Eventually he'll retire, and I'll transition the story from looking at Travis Everett the player to either the manager or the executive. We'll cross that bridge when we get there I guess. For now, we begin in June 2021. Thanks for reading, and if you want to leave a comment, it is always welcome.
gskweres9 is offline   Reply With Quote
4 thanks for this post:
ayaghmour2 (03-24-2019), Eugene Church (03-31-2019), Lee (03-24-2019), TigsOs (03-24-2019)
Old 03-24-2019, 10:29 AM   #3
gskweres9
Major Leagues
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Houston
Posts: 439
Thanks: 75
Thanked 109x in 78 posts
Donnie Siple, Jeff Jeon, Blaze Jordan: These are the names that will likely be remembered 20, 30, even 40 years from now. After all, they were the first three picks in the draft.

People likely won't remember Travis Everett, and while his high work ethic could help him carve out a big league career, he will have to do exactly that...work. Fans aren't licking their lips to watch him play, scouts aren't writing about him, and teams aren't targeting him in trade. He is truly just a guy.

That being said, Travis still expected to hear his name called on draft day. He expected that dream to come true. He had confidence in the preparation he had put in. From the little league fields in Houston, Texas, to being redshirted at a D1 in New York, to transferring to a D2 to find more opportunity, he had earned the right to be a professional.

The call he had been waiting for his entire life came in round 22, as the Toronto Blue Jays selected the left-handed hitting outfielder. Everett would report to Dunedin, home of Toronto's Gulf Coast League Rookie League team. He knew he would have to earn his spot every day. He wasn't a blue chipper. He was just a guy, but that's just how he liked it.
Name:  Travis Everett.png
Views: 361
Size:  452.8 KB
gskweres9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Thank you for this post:
vrobx1 (03-24-2019)
Old 03-25-2019, 12:26 PM   #4
gskweres9
Major Leagues
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Houston
Posts: 439
Thanks: 75
Thanked 109x in 78 posts
Dunedin is a beautiful town, and it's unique compared to a lot of the spring training and minor league towns in Florida. It is small and quaint and has a real family feel about it. With a population of just 35,000, you'd have to make the roughly hour drive to Tampa to really get a big city feel. I guess Clearwater would work too. That doesn't mean there isn't anything to do in Dunedin. After all, it's on the beach, and who doesn't like the beach?

Unfortunately, Travis Everett wouldn't really take all that much time to explore the area. I guess it really depends on your point of view whether it was unfortunate or not. He planned on spending pretty much all of his free time at the team's facility, Dunedin Stadium. It didn't take Travis a long time to sign his contract after being drafted in the 22nd round, and he reported to Dunedin immediately, ready to get to work.

At 23 years-old, Travis was one of the elder statesmen in Dunedin. He was the oldest position player, and two relievers named Chris Shivers and Jay Wilson were the only other 23 year-olds. Shivers was a 28th round draft pick out of UCF in Orlando. Wilson was drafted the year before by the Rockies in the 14th round out of Miami of Ohio, but got released after injuring his elbow. As the older guys on the team, the three naturally got along. Both Travis and Shivers played their collegiate ball in Florida. Travis' best friend on the team, however, was a fellow outfielder named Miko Rodriguez. Rodriguez was a 19th round pick out of Texas A&M. Travis had grown up a Texas A&M fan, and his brother and father both attended A&M. The two bonded easily. They were both familiar with College Station, they were both middle round draft picks, and they were both outfielders.

The two bonded even more when June 21st rolled around, the date of the team's first game. Neither Miko or Travis were in the lineup. Travis got in the game in the 9th inning as a defensive replacement, but he didn't get an at-bat.

After the game, the two went for drinks and food at Dunedin Microbrewery, which is actually the oldest microbrewery in Florida. Travis loved history, and doing little things like this was enjoyable to him. I guess it makes sense that he loves a game with the history of baseball. After wallowing in misery temporarily, Travis looked at Miko.

"You know what this means, right?" Travis said.

"What's that?" Miko replied.

"Time to get to work," Travis said, gulping down the last bit of his beer.

His life in baseball had never been easy.

Last edited by gskweres9; 03-25-2019 at 01:07 PM.
gskweres9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Thank you for this post:
Eugene Church (03-31-2019)
Old 03-25-2019, 12:59 PM   #5
gskweres9
Major Leagues
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Houston
Posts: 439
Thanks: 75
Thanked 109x in 78 posts
The True Debut

Travis' wait didn't last forever. The late inning defensive replacement had become a theme. He came in to play right field in the 9th in the team's first three games, and he walked into the clubhouse for the team's game against the Marlins on June 26th expecting more of the same.

Travis sat down next to his locker. It was 11:30, and considering the game didn't start until 7:05, he was going to take his time getting going. He hadn't yet settled into a game day routine, although it was something he was going to work on. He remembered when Andy Pettitte told him about his game day routine. About how he would eat at the same restaurant, sit in the same booth, and order the same thing every game day. About how he had planned to the minute what time he would walk in the stadium, go to the trainer, get in the hot tub, get in the pool, get dressed, go out to the field to stretch, start throwing, head to the bullpen. It was a science. Travis didn't have that yet, but he was working towards it.

"Everett," the manager said nonchalantly as he walked past his locker.

"Mornin' sir," Travis replied, his Texas upbringing still seeping through even though he had been away from home for five years.

"You're batting sixth," he said.

"Yessir," Travis replied. He bent over to pretend to tie his shoe, trying to hide his smile.

Travis walked out to his car, a 2014 Mazda CX-5 his parents bought him in high school. Originally, he wasn't happy with the purchase. He wanted a Dodge Challenger, but he had grown to love the car. He turned it on and called those exact people that bought the car for him. He had tons of other people he wanted to tell, but it was time to get ready.

He got some food, then went to the cage to hit. After that he got some stretching in. It was still five hours before the game. Batting practice. Warmups. Stretching again. It was all a blur.

"You're locked in bro. You're gonna have a good day, I can tell," Miko said, dapping him up in the process. Miko still hadn't gotten his opportunity, but was supportive of his new friend.

"'Preciate you, bro. Keep grinding. Your chance is coming soon. Hell, you'll probably take my spot in the lineup tomorrow," Travis replied.

"Not after you go deep a couple times today," Miko said half-jokingly.

Travis smiled and shook his head. After a long pause, he walked off. He needed a private moment.

The Baby Blue Jays went down in order in the first inning, meaning Travis' first at-bat would have to wait for the second inning. A righty named Kyle Luckham was on the mound for the Marlins. He was an 18th rounder out of Cal State Fullerton. He didn't have overpowering stuff, 91-93. He had four pitches, but didn't have great feel for his changeup, and his curveball was hit or miss. Everett knew he was pretty much facing a fastball/slider guy.

"Alright, kid. Go have some fun," the hitting coach said before Travis stepped into the on deck circle.

His teammate grounded up to short, bringing Travis up to the plate with two outs. Luckham had been cruising, retiring the first five guys. Luckham missed with a slider. 1-0. Then he came back with a fastball painted away. 1-1. After that he came back with another fastball. Everett roped it into left-center for a single. First at-bat, check. First hit, check. Having finally drawn a little blood, Everett figured he would try to wreak a little havoc. He got his lead, peered in towards the pitcher, and took off first move. The throw from the catcher was high, and he was safe. His first steal was in the books too. The next batter flew out, ending the inning and rendering the steal moot.

"Good work, kid," the first base coach said, taking Travis' helmet from him.

It was the beginning of a day full of good work. Travis would finish his debut 2-for-3 with a walk. Not a single ball was hit to him in right field. The team lost 3-2, but these games weren't really about winning and losing. They were about development, and Travis was happy with his day at the yard.

Now he just needed to come out and do it again.

Last edited by gskweres9; 03-25-2019 at 01:06 PM.
gskweres9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Thank you for this post:
Eugene Church (03-31-2019)
Old 03-26-2019, 03:44 PM   #6
gskweres9
Major Leagues
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Houston
Posts: 439
Thanks: 75
Thanked 109x in 78 posts
Streaking

The start of Travis Everett's professional career was going well to say the least. The first 20 at-bats of his career yielded a .600/.652/.950 slash line. I promise that isn't a typo. The most special part of his run? His first career home run, which he blasted in a game on July 4th against the Phillies. His dad's birthday was July 5th, and his parents happened to be there for his first career shot, making it all that much more special.

The ridiculous hot streak had propelled Travis into playing nearly every day, although with it being a Rookie level GCL team, there were lots of bodies in camp and there was a fair amount of rotating. Even when Travis wasn't starting, he was coming on late as a defensive replacement.

Following the Fourth of July game, Travis went out to dinner with his parents. It was a waterfront restaurant in Dunedin. There would be a view of the fireworks over the water later in the night. The restaurant was crowded, the Sunday night not keeping people from celebrating.

"How you feelin' son?" his dad asked.

"I'm good. Pretty hard to be upset with how I'm swingin' it right now," Travis replied.

"No way they keep you down here for long. They're gonna have to promote you soon," Travis' dad replied.

"I mean it's a pretty small sample size, pop. They're gonna want me to prove it over a longer span," Travis said. The two paused, the hustle and bustle of the restaurant prevalent in the background. "Besides, I can't be thinking of that sh--. I just have to focus on doing the next right thing. When your focus leaves the field, that's when you struggle," Travis said.

"I'm proud of you son," his father replied.
Name:  Travis Everett.png
Views: 321
Size:  492.4 KB
gskweres9 is offline   Reply With Quote
2 thanks for this post:
ayaghmour2 (03-27-2019), Eugene Church (03-31-2019)
Old 03-30-2019, 08:01 PM   #7
Archelirion
Minors (Double A)
 
Archelirion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Portsmouth, UK
Posts: 135
Thanks: 181
Thanked 123x in 82 posts
Oh lawd please don't let this die so soon

You write excellently and I already feel invested in how this middle-of-the-road talent is going to do. Gotta know how long this streak lasts!
Archelirion is offline   Reply With Quote
3 thanks for this post:
ayaghmour2 (03-31-2019), Eugene Church (03-31-2019), gskweres9 (03-31-2019)
Old 03-31-2019, 02:44 PM   #8
gskweres9
Major Leagues
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Houston
Posts: 439
Thanks: 75
Thanked 109x in 78 posts
Flying High in July

The fireworks lasted all July for Travis Everett. Well, it was a suboptimal ending, going 0-for-5 against the Houston Astros, the team he grew up rooting for, but he finished the month slashing .418/.467/509 with a couple of steals. Combined with his hot June, Travis was hitting .456/.507/.574, which leads to a whopping 1.080 OPS. He had four steals and hadn't been caught stealing yet. The part Travis was most proud of, however, was his strikeout-to-walk ratio. In 77 plate appearances, Travis had six walks compared to just four strikeouts.

All signs showed this 23-year-old outfielder was ready for the next level, but as of August 1st, he hadn't gotten the call yet. Travis was an analytical thinker. He tried to do what people say is right, keep his head down and not look towards the future, but it was so tough for him to do that. He took a look at the Bluefield Blue Jays roster, which would be the next step forward for him. They were also a Rookie level team, but they played in the Appalachian League, which is more prestigious than the Gulf Coast League.

A look at Bluefield's outfield made Travis understand why he hadn't gotten a call-up yet. The left fielder was named Jared Hart. A fellow Houstonian, the 21-year-old was selected in the 9th round in 2019. He was batting .301/.360/.434. While Hart didn't have any homers, he had eight doubles and five triples in his 136 at-bats. The center-fielder was a 20-year-old international signee out of Venezuela named Jhon Solarte. The toolsy outfielder also had solid stats, batting .280/.407/.398 with two homers and seven steals in 25 games played. The question with Solarte wasn't talent, but mental fortitude. He was known to have a temper, and his rise up the organizational ladder would depend on whether or not he could learn to keep that temper in check. Bluefield's right fielder was also a 23-year-old outfielder. Dwain Ormon was a 6th round pick in 2020. Canadian born, Ormon played collegiately at Ohio State. Ormon was hitting .296/.355/.456 with five homers in 33 games.

The stats of the guys in front of him reassured Travis, but it ruffled his feathers at the same time. Aside from Ormon, those guys were younger than him, and Ormon was a Canadian in a Canadian team's system that played at a power 5 D1. What team is going to give a real shot to a 23-year-old D2 graduate? If batting over .400 and having an on-base over .500 through two months wasn't enough, what would be?

The key for Travis would be to keep his speculation to a minimum and keep performing on game days. As so many coaches had told him in the past, control your controllables.
gskweres9 is offline   Reply With Quote
2 thanks for this post:
Archelirion (03-31-2019), Eugene Church (03-31-2019)
Old 03-31-2019, 03:05 PM   #9
gskweres9
Major Leagues
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Houston
Posts: 439
Thanks: 75
Thanked 109x in 78 posts
First Struggles

It absolutely happens to everyone.

Travis Everett played a solid baseball game on August 9th. He went 2-for-5 with 2 runs scored and an RBI against the Rays, but a catch crashing into the wall in right field injured his shoulder. The pain was real, but it wasn't enough to keep him from playing. The greatest asset is reliability after all. That shoulder strain would bother him, however, and it had an obvious effect on his performance.

He got a pinch hit at bat the next day on the 10th, but grounded out to short. The 11th was an off day, and then he appeared as a defensive replacement on the 12th and 13th. Travis got the start on the 14th against Washington, but went 0-for-3. On the 15th against St. Louis? 0-for-6 with a strikeout. For the first time in his professional career, Travis' average had dropped below .400. For the first time in his career, he looked...human. Going back to the shoulder injury, Travis was 0-for-12.

Following the game on the 15th, Miko and Travis went to the Dunedin Brewery as they so often did. There wasn't much talk or banter between the two, but they enjoyed each other's presence. Miko had never really cracked the lineup, although he had done well in his limited opportunity, batting .364 in 11 at-bats with a homer.

"I don't know what it is man," Travis says, taking a gulp of his beer before placing it down forcefully on the bar. "I just can't hit right now."

Miko chuckled. "If not knowing how to hit means leading the team in batting average, count me in," he said.

Travis smiled, but he also gave him a little bit of a side-eye. "You know what I mean," he said.

"Of course I know what you mean, but you gotta relax. You hurt your shoulder, slumps happen. Besides, at least you're getting to play," Miko said.

"That's another thing, bro. I'm 0-for-12 and injured, why wouldn't they let you play?" Travis said.

"Don't ask me to get inside Rick's mind," Miko responded.

Rick was the team's manager. He was a reliever with the Royals back in the day, appearing in a total of 29 big league games between 1995 and 1996. The guys liked him. He was a personable guy that wanted the best for his players, but lots of the guys felt like his lineups didn't make much sense. Rick's retort would be to write a lineup of the 70 guys he had in his camp and find one that made more sense than he was doing. He was probably right, but it didn't keep Miko from being frustrated with his lack of playing time, and it didn't keep Travis from feeling for his friend.

"It's bull, man. I didn't expect pro ball to be like this. I'm making dirt money, riding the bench," Miko said. The two fell silent for a bit, then Miko smiled. "And then I have to come drink beer with mopey over here," he finished.

Travis laughed. "You're the one complaining," he said.

"You're the one complaining about hitting .387," Miko quickly retorted.

Travis tipped back the rest of his beer, stood up from the barstool, and put his arm around his friend. "C'mon let's go. Gotta get some sleep so I can get back up over .400 tomorrow," he said.
gskweres9 is offline   Reply With Quote
3 thanks for this post:
Archelirion (03-31-2019), Eugene Church (03-31-2019), Tiger Fan (03-31-2019)
Old 03-31-2019, 06:22 PM   #10
Eugene Church
Hall Of Famer
 
Eugene Church's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 25,347
Thanks: 3,737
Thanked 2,666x in 1,788 posts
You tell a good story... very fine writer... a very good start.
Eugene Church is offline   Reply With Quote
2 thanks for this post:
Galeg (04-01-2019), gskweres9 (03-31-2019)
Old 03-31-2019, 07:52 PM   #11
gskweres9
Major Leagues
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Houston
Posts: 439
Thanks: 75
Thanked 109x in 78 posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene Church View Post
You tell a good story... very fine writer... a very good start.
Thank you, EC. Means a lot coming from you.
gskweres9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2019, 07:53 PM   #12
gskweres9
Major Leagues
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Houston
Posts: 439
Thanks: 75
Thanked 109x in 78 posts
The GCL season came and went and Travis never got the call to the next level. He finished the year slashing .381/.440/.457 with the one homer and five steals.

His exit meeting didn't leave much to evaluate. They said that they thought he played well and that he would need to stay in shape over the offseason and come into camp ready to go. Regardless if they told him that or not, Travis would be ready.

His plan was to go back to Houston and workout and hit as often as possible. Making the minimal wages that minor leaguers make, he would give lessons to high schoolers and younger kids to help make ends meet. $60 for an hour and $30 for a half hour. It wasn't much, but it helped. He'd also live with Mom and Dad. Saving on rent never hurt either, especially considering that there would probably be seven or eight dudes crammed into a three bedroom apartment once the season rolled back around. It was the ugly reality of minor league ball, a reality that was just really starting to enter the public eye.

It was an ugly reality that Travis was willing to put up with. In a weird way, he liked it. Yeah, they really had to grind, but he loved being with his teammates and he loved the camaraderie. They all respected the work that one another put in, and it was a grind everyone was in together.

Name:  Travis Everett.png
Views: 243
Size:  440.5 KB
gskweres9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2019, 12:00 PM   #13
gskweres9
Major Leagues
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Houston
Posts: 439
Thanks: 75
Thanked 109x in 78 posts
The offseason absolutely flew by. The workouts, the lessons, the time with family. Even the occasional time to relax. It was all a blur. Travis reported to minor league camp in...wait for it...the best shape of his life. It was a tired line that was used too often, but Travis believed it. He felt good, he looked good, now he just had to make a good impression.

It is a life of anonymity on the back fields of a spring training complex. Fans from all over the country - even the world - flocked to Florida and Arizona to get an up close and personal look at their favorite stars and upcoming prospects. Despite finishing 79-83 the year before, the Blue Jays were an exciting team, and Dunedin was an exciting place to be. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had established himself as a star. The sons of former big leaguers filled their lineup. Bo Bichette, Griffin Conine, and Cavan Biggio were all fixtures in their lineup. Travis knew Cavan. They went to the same trainer and grew up just a few years apart in Houston, but they weren't close. Those were the guys everyone wanted to see.

But the back fields were a different story. In fact, fans weren't even allowed back there, just family and media. In Travis' eyes it was a fun place to be. It was a bunch of guys that loved to play baseball with limited fanfare. It almost reminded him of being in high school, with family in the stands and not much else. Even though media was allowed back there, most of the media stuck to the big league side. The only time they would come over to the minor league side was if a big leaguer was appearing in a minor league game on a rehab stint or if a big time prospect was playing. They certainly weren't there to watch the likes of Travis Everett.

Like the offseason, camp came and went. Next, Travis would learn where he would be assigned...or if he would be assigned anywhere at all.
gskweres9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Thank you for this post:
Archelirion (04-07-2019)
Old 04-06-2019, 12:21 PM   #14
gskweres9
Major Leagues
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Houston
Posts: 439
Thanks: 75
Thanked 109x in 78 posts
"Everett!" Rick Huisman shouted through the locker room.

"Yessir?" Travis replied.

"My office."

Travis looked at Miko and shook his hand while Miko wished him luck, then he walked into the managers office.

"Sit down, son," Rick said, taking off his cap and rubbing his balding head. He placed the cap down on his desk, folded his arms, and leaned back in his chair.

"You had an impressive camp. You obviously worked hard over the offseason," Rick said.

"Thank you, sir," Travis replied.

"As things currently stand, you'll be assigned to Rookie Level Bluefield. That's a good opportunity. They actually won the Appalachian League title last year. That being said, this isn't a promise. It is only April, and a lot can change between now and June when short season ball starts. The draft is before then, and once that happens we'll have a clearer picture of where you fit. Until then, keep your head down and keep working hard," Rick said.

"Yessir. I will, thank you," Travis replied.

"You're a good kid and you work hard. That will take you places," Rick said. "But your path to the bigs is going to be a lot harder than most. You're 24-years-old still playing short season, that already puts you behind the eight ball."

Travis shook his head, not really sure what to say.

"Anything else?" Rick asked, leaning forward in his chair.

"No sir, I'm good," Travis said.

Travis stood up, shook Rick's hand, and turned around to walk out the door.

"Oh, one more thing," Rick said. "Do me a favor and tell Miko he's going to Bluefield with you."

Travis smiled from ear to ear. "Yessir."

The two got to continue their journey together.
Attached Images
Image 
gskweres9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Thank you for this post:
Archelirion (04-07-2019)
Old 04-07-2019, 01:42 PM   #15
gskweres9
Major Leagues
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Houston
Posts: 439
Thanks: 75
Thanked 109x in 78 posts
The move to Bluefield, West Virginia represented the real start of the minor league grind. Travis grew up in Houston, went to college in New York, and then transferred to another college in the suburbs of Tampa. In his eyes, Bluefield, West Virginia was a far call from civilization.

The "city" of Bluefield has 10,000 people, and it is in a micropolitan area of roughly 100,000. The weather is nice in June and July, usually mid-to-high 80s. In fact, the city's motto is "nature's air conditioned city, where the summer spends the winter." The town's claim to fame is it was the last place where country music legend Hank Williams was last seen alive, but even that is broiled in controversy. The town, to say the least, was nondescript, and it was culture shock in the eyes of a lifelong city slicker.

The good thing about Bluefield? Rent was cheap. Instead of seven or eight guys crammed into a two bedroom apartment, five guys crammed into a small three bedroom house that they were able to rent. Joining Travis and Miko was 21-year-old first baseman Preston Witt, and two pitchers named Jared Platero and Sen Kenneally (I promise that isn't a typo and his name is Sen). Witt played high school baseball in Houston, and Travis and Preston knew about each other from their childhood, although they weren't friends growing up. Platero played his college ball at Long Beach State, while Sen played at the University of Virginia. The five were the older guys on the team, although Travis was the oldest on the team by a full year. They made a good group, and in the early goings, they were getting along well.

They began their city at home against the Johnson City Cardinals. Bluefield won 7-5, tagging bonus baby Albert Hernandez for five runs in four innings. Travis went 1-for-4, lacing an RBI double off of Hernandez in the first inning. Travis hoped the double was a sign of things to come, as he really worked on driving the ball in the offseason and becoming less of a singles hitter. Only time would tell if his hard work would pay off.

Last edited by gskweres9; 04-07-2019 at 04:52 PM.
gskweres9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2019, 02:05 PM   #16
gskweres9
Major Leagues
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Houston
Posts: 439
Thanks: 75
Thanked 109x in 78 posts
Maybe he just needed his parents in town all the time.

The start to 2022 was eerily similar to the start to 2021. Travis was a part time guy to start the year, often entering games late as a defensive replacement. After about a week-and-a-half, Travis started playing every day, and he rewarded the team with solid performances. Travis entered the month of July batting .231 in 13 at-bats, but Travis heated up as the calendar flipped to July. He went 2-for-5 with a RBI. He picked up another knock the next day. His parents flew in on July 3rd on his dad's birthday for the second year straight. Bluefield doesn't sound like the place most would want to go for their birthday, but the Everett's were happy to watch their son. After another 1-for-4 day on the 3rd, Travis went 2-for-5 on July 4th and 2-for-4 with a double on July 5th, his dad's birthday.

The little hot streak brought his average up to .314. Travis was striking out too much for his liking. He hated striking out and didn't care what most experts said in the era of launch angle. Seven K's in 38 at-bats was simply too much. His swing felt good, though, and he felt like things were coming around.

After the game on the 5th, Travis went out with his parents to Brooks & Company Bar & Grill. It was a far cry from the Dunedin Microbrewery, but it was his favorite spot in Bluefield. Bud Light's and Michelob Ultra's were the drinks of choice here. It was more affordable than the craft beer they drank a year prior, which is good for a poor minor leaguer, but Travis was a bit of a beer snob, something he got from his brothers and father, and it hurt his soul a little bit.

Travis raised his glass. "Pop, here's to you turning 65, and here's to celebrating 66 anywhere but Bluefield."

"Amen to that," his father replied.

Name:  Bowen Field.jpg
Views: 200
Size:  104.7 KB
Bowen Field, Home of the Bluefield Blue Jays
gskweres9 is offline   Reply With Quote
2 thanks for this post:
abell1198 (04-08-2019), ayaghmour2 (04-07-2019)
Old 04-17-2019, 12:37 AM   #17
gskweres9
Major Leagues
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Houston
Posts: 439
Thanks: 75
Thanked 109x in 78 posts
"Everett!"

"Yessir"

"Come here, please."

This can't be good, Travis thought.

It was a tough start to the year in Bluefield. Through 84 AB's he was batting .262/.295/.333. He didn't have any homers, nearly had a 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and had been in and out of the lineup. Bottom line, he was struggling.

"Take a seat," the manager said.

Travis looked down and swallowed, prepared for bad news.

"Now, the start to this season hasn't been ideal," the manager said. "But, there's been some good in it. You've had some bad luck, and the team is thin at your position at the next level, so you've been called up to our Low-A affiliate."

"Vancouver?" Travis asked.

"Yes, Vancouver," he replied.

Travis didn't really know how to respond. Obviously, a call-up was the last thing he was expecting, and bewilderment was plastered on his face.

"Is there something wrong, son? You forget your passport or something?" the manager asked with a smile.

"No, no...I've got that, I just wasn't expecting it," Travis replied.

"Good things happen to good people. Take advantage of the opportunity. I mean it in the nicest way possible when I said I hope I never see you in Bluefield again," he said.

Travis chuckled. "You and me both."

"The team is on a road trip. You'll meet up with them in Salem. Here's your plane ticket. Good luck," the manager said.

"Thank you, sir," Travis finished.

Travis stood up, shook his hand, and bolted home. He had to pack his stuff and hop on a plane. Could he put Bluefield behind him and get back to who he was the year prior? It might be his last chance before he found himself a member of the free agent market.

Name:  Screen Shot 2019-04-17 at 12.36.12 AM.png
Views: 165
Size:  92.6 KB
gskweres9 is offline   Reply With Quote
2 thanks for this post:
Archelirion (04-17-2019), Harry Hibbs (04-17-2019)
Old 04-22-2019, 11:01 AM   #18
gskweres9
Major Leagues
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Houston
Posts: 439
Thanks: 75
Thanked 109x in 78 posts
Well...that didn't last long.

Travis' Low-A career lasted 11 games. He had a nice debut, going 2-for-3 in a game against Salem, but he struggled afterwords, slashing .212/.333/.303 in 41 plate appearances for the Vancouver Canadians before being shipped back down to Bluefield.

All of Travis' fears seemed true at this point. The Blue Jays didn't really care about his development as a player. He felt the only reason they were keeping him around was because of how hard he worked and that he was a good example for the younger prospects that they actually cared about. He was 24-years-old and moving backwards instead of forwards. He was moving back to Bluefield, a town and lifestyle he didn't enjoy. No, the Blue Jays weren't cutting him, but he kind of wished they would just get on with it.

"Maybe I should just quit," he thought to himself.

Travis was an analytical and methodical thinker. He never made rash decisions, and he was going to flesh this out. Playing professional baseball had been his dream since he was six years old, and he was living it, but minor league baseball in Bluefield, West Virginia weren't what his dreams were made of. People don't talk about the long bus rides, the bad food, the cheap hotels and motels, the small minor league towns. Minor league players aren't treated like royalty, especially in rookie ball.

Travis knew exactly who he had to call.

"What's up, Archie?"

Archie Smith coached Travis when he was little from about age 11 to age 16. Archie grew up poor and played collegiately at Texas Southern in Houston. He taught Travis how to play with aggression, how to lay it all on the line, and how to never take anything for granted, especially in baseball. While Travis stopped playing for him at age 16, they stayed close, and they looked at each other as family.

"Aye, Trav, how's it going?" his thick southern drawl easily discernible over the phone.

"Been better, to be honest...I just got sent back down to rookie ball," Travis said.

"Man, them boys stupid. If they would just give you an opportunity..." Archie's voice trailed off, but the two both knew the end of the sentence.

"Yeah...I know," the two sat in silence for a bit. "I'm thinking about quitting," Travis finished.

"You can't quit now, you've worked too hard," Archie said. "But, maybe that organization isn't for you. Maybe ask for your release and go play indy ball or something. Go where you can play every day," Archie said.

"I don't know if I want to quit on these guys like that," Travis said.

"You don't owe those guys nothin'. You've done everything they've asked, and they haven't done sh-- for you. Look out for yourself," Archie replied.

"I'll think about it," Travis said.

"Yeah...I'm tellin' you that you got the talent. Go somewhere you can play and the world will see," Archie said.

"Alright coach, catch you later," Travis replied.

"Anytime."
gskweres9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2019, 04:30 PM   #19
gskweres9
Major Leagues
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Houston
Posts: 439
Thanks: 75
Thanked 109x in 78 posts
Travis never got the chance to ask the Blue Jays for his release. They did it for him.

He walked into the Bluefield clubhouse on August 9, 2022 prepared to play. He was going to ride it out for a week, see how things went, and then ask for his release if his mind hadn't changed. When he walked into the Bluefield clubhouse, he soon learned that he would walk right back out of it. It started with a phrase he had gotten all too familiar with in his short professional career.

"Everett, my office."

The talk was a short one, but it felt like an eternity. Obviously, Travis had seen the writing on the wall, but actually going through it was still tough. The team that had drafted him was giving up on him. He was a 24-year-old free agent that had never played above Low-A and played D2 collegiate baseball. His dreams of the big leagues were officially a long shot.

What would be next for the scrappy outfielder? Only time would tell.
gskweres9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2019, 04:48 PM   #20
gskweres9
Major Leagues
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Houston
Posts: 439
Thanks: 75
Thanked 109x in 78 posts
Travis' first thought was to see if the Sugar Land Skeeters needed an outfielder. The Skeeters played in a suburb of Houston and had better facilities than a lot of minor league teams. They played in the Atlantic League, the premiere independent league in the country. A quick look at their roster indicated that they needed an outfielder, but the last place Skeeters had little interest in spending money on a new player, and were content with controlling costs and riding out the season. "Maybe next year," they said.

Next, he thought the Cleburne Railroaders of the American Association could be an option. Another Texas team in an independent league, he thought they could be a good fit. The Railroaders famously employed Rafael Palmeiro in 2018. He placed a call to the team, but they said they didn't need outfielders, and their season was almost complete.

The Texas Airhogs in the same league? Same story. "We don't need outfielders at this time," they said.

Man, this sucks, he thought.

A week rolled by, and he didn't even have any encouraging news. He got his college degree, but he wasn't prepared to use it. Suddenly, he got a call from his agent.

"Travis. I've got some news for you. I want you to keep an open mind," he said

"Hit me with it," Travis replied.

"The Sydney Blue Sox of the Australian League have offered you a contract. Now, they said you likely won't start, but if you earn yourself some playing time and do well, you could get a job in the states for next season. I think it's the best opportunity you're going to get," he said.

"Wow. Australia, huh? Believe it or not, it's actually something I've thought of before. I never thought it would be reality though," Travis said.

"Where in Australia," his father piped in, eavesdropping from the next room over.

Travis waved him away and shushed him, and his dad replied with a choice finger and a smile before returning to the living room.

His agent had been talking, but Travis hadn't heard a word he said.

"Can I get a few days to think about it?"

"Of course," his agent said. "But don't wait too long. Like I said, this is a good opportunity."
gskweres9 is offline   Reply With Quote
4 thanks for this post:
abell1198 (04-27-2019), Archelirion (04-28-2019), Cactusguy21 (05-05-2019), Galeg (04-30-2019)
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:32 AM.

 

Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Minor League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with the permission of Minor League Baseball. All rights reserved.

The Major League Baseball Players Association (www.MLBPLAYERS.com ) is the collective bargaining representative for all professional baseball players of the thirty Major League Baseball teams and serves as the exclusive group licensing agent for commercial and licensing activities involving active Major League baseball players. On behalf of its members, it operates the Players Choice licensing program and the Players Choice Awards, which benefit the needy through the Major League Baseball Players Trust, a charitable foundation established and run entirely by Major League baseball players. Follow: @MLB_Players; @MLBPAClubhouse; @MLBPlayersTrust

Out of the Park Baseball is a registered trademark of Out of the Park Developments GmbH & Co. KG

Google Play is a trademark of Google Inc.

Apple, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

COPYRIGHT © 2017 OUT OF THE PARK DEVELOPMENTS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright © 2018 Out of the Park Developments