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It’s Just a Ring?

March 4th, 2020

By Luke Melms

In the last few months, there have been many emotions stirred within the baseball community especially among current MLB players.

The gasoline on the fire moment was the commissioner referring to the World Series trophy as “a piece of metal” in an interview with ESPN.

Seeing that the fire has only gotten larger, I’d like to use these choice of words to point out one of the keys in the wake of everything going on.

There is a massive misunderstanding of what it takes to play the game at a level most will only ever dream of. Putting on a jersey to compete at the pro and/or college level is the byproduct of making many sacrifices. This can only be fully understood by fellow players not those who have only worn suits and sat in offices.

I don’t care if it is a conference championship, national championship or World Series title…the ring that accompanies the trophy serves as a permanent reminder of the price paid to achieve these feats.

Pushing through the aches and pains of a full season, being away from family while on the road, the offseason workouts, rehabbing from a season ending injury, juggling the student-athlete demands…the list could go on and on. All these form a bond unlike anything else among a group of guys that make up a team.

I write this piece with a little extra emotion brewing within me. I am blessed to say that two weekends ago my girlfriend became my fiancée. The ring I put on her finger symbolizes this pinnacle moment which is the reward of the effort we’ve put in since we met to build a relationship and the future we are committed to build together.

For those married or engaged, imagine telling your wife or fiancée that the ring on her finger is just a piece of metal and stones with an undertone that minimizes what it symbolizes. I can’t even imagine such degrading words being said to someone that is supposedly valued.

Justin Turner summed up the commissioner’s comments perfectly when he asked, “Is he that out of touch with our game that those are his comments?…Does he not know what we put into these seasons? Does he not know how much work we dedicate to winning that piece of metal?”

In moments of chaos, an opportunity for a silver lining always eventually appears. As much as I’m disappointed in the cheating that has taken place on the field, I am glad to see how the overwhelming majority of those who have played the game the right way have not been afraid to speak their mind.

We all get one shot at this game called life which includes baseball and everything beyond it. I believe this is a unique moment for us to showcase to the world who we fully are.

While I’m in the middle of planning a wedding and meeting the high demands at work, I’m committed to getting the next episodes of the podcast published. The most rewarding part of everything we’ve done so far has been helping players’ stories with practical wisdom be shared while creating opportunities for players to connect with one another.

The timing of the new episodes will coincide with the new MLB season starting in only a few weeks. In the meantime, there are 28 episodes already published for those that more recently joined us and were not already aware. You can listen to these on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or Anchor.

You have made Baseball and Business what it is today and thank you for that. It is the only platform I am aware of that has been specifically created to empower current and former players to reach their full potential on the field and in business. If you’d like to help our message spread, please leave a review on Apple Podcasts as it helps get the podcast promoted to a wider audience and create more awareness for our cause.

I look forward to what is in store for us this year!

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