On May 22, 2019, in Sporting News, by Bobby Goodspeed

Looking at those astronomical contracts major league athletes are signing these days leads one to wonder if they are actually worth it.  Exactly how special are they?  What does it take to be a major league ball player?

First of all, they have to totally dedicate their lives to their sport. If you are going to be a major league baseball player, you play baseball every day of your life, for your whole life. And for every hour spent on a baseball diamond, 2 or 3 are spent in the weight room or in other forms of training and conditioning.

These young fellows they call ‘rookies’  we see taking the field in a major league ball park for the first time have already played in thousands of baseball games, some of them for championships at local, state or even national levels, long before arriving at MLB.  Their entire youth is spent striving to reach the major leagues only to find out when they finally get there that it is even harder to stay a big leaguer than to become on in the first place.

But how hard is it?  One would think that a gifted athlete, even though not brought up majoring in the baseball, could still make the transition using his natural and developed athletic abilities.  Surely that could be done, right?

Now we have a guy out there who was a great football player, highly intelligent, gifted athlete, Heisman Trophy winner and NCAA National Championship winner, who wants more than anything to play major league baseball. You know the guy, it’s Tim Tebow.

Tebow does not need to prove anything, and he doesn’t need the money, but ole Tim is out there busting his butt every day trying his best just to make it in the minor leagues, and struggling a bit at times at that.  Tim is finding out first hand just how hard it is to be a big leaguer.

That right there should be ample evidence of just how difficult it is to make it in the majors and thrive there.  Those that do make it are living the dream, but at a price.  Professional athletes must, by definition of the job, give themselves over to the team and the team time table and team discipline for a large portion of the year.

But of course these guys are being paid big bucks to play a game they love.  They would gladly be doing it for a lot less money if modern economics didn’t dictate the high salaries we see today.  They are having fun out there!

Part of the enjoyment of watching a baseball game, especially being there in person, is picking up on the energy generated by the players executing their sport with precision skills, and having a ball doing it.

But it still ain’t exactly easy.  Just watch how many of big leaguers show up on the disabled list every day, it’s always something.  When you go all out at full speed, you stand a chance of getting hurt, but that’s part of the game and yet another example of how tuff it is to be a big leaguer.  Just ask Tim Tebow.

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