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From Wiffle Ball to Pro Ball

May 9th, 2018

By Logan Ice

It has been almost three years since I was drafted by the Cleveland Indians and am still amazed I get to live out my dream every day.

The ability to play a game for a living is the definition of a dream to me. The benefits of being a professional baseball player are almost endless.

One of the most obvious benefits is the end goal of playing on the biggest stage in front of thousands of people while collecting a significant paycheck. The financial aspect is very appealing and is something that I strive for every day.

More importantly, professional baseball provides the opportunity to build a network of people and players that I have connected with and created bonds with. Once my career as a professional baseball player comes to an end I will have developed countless number of relationships and created a large network. This is all priceless.

The money and the people are great and very important to me but the main reason I feel so incredibly blessed to be a pro baseball player is the fact that I get to be that player that little kids grow up aspiring to be. I strive to be a role model for these kids just like I had growing up such as Edgar Martinez or Jason Varitek. To say the least, it’s a dream come true that I get to play a game for a living that has the potential to create great financial stability, build an enormous network, and become an idol for those growing up in generations after myself.

I believe that my success and path in life was created by the wonderful support I was surrounded by. My parents, family, and friends have been the biggest supporters and aids in my development as both a person and player. The love I have for baseball has always been around, it even goes back to when I was a toddler hitting wiffle balls off a tee in the backyard. Interestingly enough, my parents recently informed me that one of the main reasons we moved out of our first house was because the backyard didn’t have enough space for me to hit my wiffle balls. It didn’t help that I kept knocking on our neighbor’s door to get the balls I had hit over the fence into their yard. Once that became an issue we moved to a larger place with more room for me to play ball in the backyard.

As time passed and reached high school, reality started to set in for me. I was a prospect in high school and was drawing some attention from pro scouts. Interest from pro scouts dwindled down but college teams started to become very interested. Schools like the University of Arizona, University of Washington, Oregon State University and others began to inquire about scholarship offers. It was a crazy time in my life and potentially the most influential component of how I got to the place in my career I am now.

Oregon State showed interest in offering me a scholarship but wanted me to visit the campus before officially offering me a baseball scholarship. I was extremely excited about this opportunity. We made the trip to Corvallis, Oregon and toured of the campus before sitting down with one of the coaches. He told me that they couldn’t offer me a scholarship because they were worried about how overweight I was. This was a huge wake up call for me. Being 213 pounds and only about five feet ten inches tall doesn’t work well. At this point I only got by with my natural ability but the coaches at Oregon State really hit me with a rude awakening. I used this setback as an opportunity for motivation to get that scholarship offer.

A slight change in the food I was eating along with running on the treadmill for one hour every day lost that weight in a short amount of time. The coaches at Oregon State were very impressed I lost the weight and they offered me a scholarship. The sense of accomplishment I felt after I got that scholarship was incredible.  Soon enough I enrolled at Oregon State and had an evolving career that lead me to where I am today. This experience really showed me that life and baseball wouldn’t always be easy. My life has been full of support and people looking out for my best interest. Without the support of all those people around me and some harsh conversations I would not being in the position to be living out my dream playing professional baseball.

Being a professional baseball player has many benefits and gives me the opportunity to live out my dream of playing major league baseball. With it comes imperfections that many people are blind to when looking from the outside in. Theoretically, the opportunity to have a chance to make it to the big leagues is great but in reality the percentage of players who make it to the show is only about 10%. When you understand that number it shows how limited your chances are to realistically achieve your dream.

Another downfall of minor league baseball is the lack of financial compensation. In pro baseball the salary is just around $1,000 a month and you are only paid during the season – not including spring training. That adds up to approximately $5,000 annually. It’s important to point out that you get about $20 a day on the road for meal money however, you have to pay clubhouse dues at the end of every home stand and road series. Ultimately, you are lucky to be left with $40 for the road trip for food.

The financial security that comes with minor league baseball is almost nonexistent. The only way to achieve financial security is to make it to the big leagues. Not only does pro baseball set you up for financial insecurities but the lack of experience within the work field that you can obtain is slim to none. While pro baseball is your full time job it doesn’t pay much like a full time job. Looking at the ability to have work experience to add to a resume is almost impossible. A 19 to 22 year old who enters pro baseball will have a 5 to 7 year period where he can only obtain service level jobs in the offseason. Those offseason jobs are primarily to help support you and your family for the next season.

As pro players it is our job to spend all our time on baseball in hopes to one day achieve our dream of being in the big leagues. It is easy to see that the time that is required to train negatively affects ones ability to gain experience in the workforce. Once a player ends his career, he is a 26-30 year old man with nothing but a handful service jobs to add to his resume. The dream that pro baseball has given me will always be there but can’t pretend the harsh realities that come with pro baseball system aren’t there.

Achieving my dream of playing in front of thousands of people, creating financial stability, and becoming that player every kid grows up wanting to be motivates me each day. Although that sounds nice, the odds of making it to the big leagues work against the collective group as a whole.

Since being introduced to Pando Pooling I have decided to own my odds throughout my career. With them, I have allowed myself to have a sense of financial security while partnering with them to gain experience in the business field for post baseball endeavors. Before I was introduced to Pando Pooling the unknown of my chances to make it added unnecessary pressure.

Now that I am participating with Pando Pooling I have been able to get back to playing the game I love with a fearless determination to make it to the big leagues knowing that I have positioned myself to be in a comfortable spot outside of baseball. The dream of playing in the big leagues has been made even greater with Pando.

Logan Ice was drafted in 2016 by the Cleveland Indians in the 2nd round and is currently with the Lynchburg Hillcats, their High A affiliate. To connect with Logan on LinkedIn, click here. To follow him on Instagram, click here

One Response to “From Wiffle Ball to Pro Ball”

  1. Larry Marshall says:

    PBL. Play Better Longer.

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