WOW! I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve written an actual blog. Not only that, but I missed A TON! It doesn’t help when you run away for a week, and then when you’re getting ready to come back, you’re totally plastered with stuff to do! I missed EVERYTHING! Manny Ramirez re signing, baseball games, the World Baseball Classic, all the spring training news. Man, can’t get a break. And having to catch up after like… two weeks. Man, don’t even try it. I’d say it’s pretty much impossible.
So, let me tell you about life. If you read my last entry, you’ll know that I’ve been going to bartending school, and let me tell you, I am pretty freaking good at it. At this moment, probably one of the best in my class, and I don’t really know how that happened. I have no problem remember recipes, glasses, garnishes, those types of things. I find that odd because I’m not much of a drinker. In fact, I’m quite the light weight, or a better way to put it, a cheap date. It’s kind of just coming naturally. If I didn’t want to be a sports psychologist so bad, I would think I would have a future in bartending. However, sports psychology is my true calling, so, I have every intention of rocking that.
Anyway, so, Julia informed me that I made spot # 28 this past week! Whoo hoo!! I’m moving up!! I find that to be exciting so thanks to all who have been reading!! I’ve missed being here. I don’t really expect to make the list this week mostly because I’ve been crazy busy and haven’t been blogging, therefore, no comments. So, I had intentions of dedicating a blog to Aaron Cook, a phenomenal Rockies pitcher. However, I recently stumbled upon an article that made me think I should dedicate my blog to someone else.
Like everything else, this has a back story. My dad bought me the book Beyond Belief. If youhaven’t heard of it, it’s about Josh Hamilton, who currently plays for the Texas Rangers. It was one he just so happened to know that I’ve been dying for. My parents don’t know anything about sports, so I don’t really know where I got my love for it. So, there it is, Josh Hamilton’s book and I.
Hamilton is a phenomenal player. In the beginning he was the number one draft pick, destined for greatness. An unfortunate incident would make him fall into a world of drugs and alcohol. This book is about Hamilton finding the strength to come back to the greatest game on earth. It’s about Hamilton fighting off all the odds and everything that’s against you. Of course, I’m not too far into the book, but I know how it ends.
With that intro, you’d think I was dedicating my blog to Josh Hamilton, however, that is not the case. When you become an athlete, essentially, the franchise completely owns you through a contract. They have the power to deal you away for whatever they want. This leads me to my next point and who I am dedicating my blog to.
His name is John C. Odom. He never made it to the show, he stayed in the minors. You may know him best as the bat boy, that’s how he was commonly refered to. He played for three different teams, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, the Augusta Greenjackets, and the Laredo Broncos.
Before going to the Laredo Broncos, Odom was on the Calgary Vipers.
Here’s why I’ve chosen to dedicate my blog to John Odom. In 2008, Odom was picked up by the Calgary Vipers, however, he was unable to cross over into Canada due to an assault charge when he was a minor. So, the Vipers were looking to get rid of him. They needed a deal for Odom, but no one was really willing to put up one.
Finally, the Laredo Broncos offered the Vipers an
offer that… apparently they couldn’t pass up: Ten Prairie Sticks Maple Bats, double dipped black, 34 inch, C243 style.
After that, Odom always joked about it, about how great of a story it would’ve been if he had made it to the show.
Now, it’s true that the Vipers had made some ridiculous deals. They did try to acquire a pitcher for 1,500 blue seats…
Still, the dedication to Odom is not because he was traded for a bunch of bats, no, lest we forget, I did relate it to Josh Hamilton.
John C. Odom died November 5, 2008. Odom had struggled with alcohol and drugs in the past, and thoughts now are that this trade pushed him over the edge. November 5 he was found in a hospital without explanation overdosed on heroin, meth, BZP, and alcohol.
My thoughts came to Josh Hamiton after I read that. Odom may not have been the best, but he was still a player.
There’s certain things… they don’t necessarily mean a player’s worth. For example, it’s my opinion that Alex Rodriguez is over paid. However, like this season, Atkins thought he was worth some… 7 million or something. That’s what he believed he was worth. When you trade a player for ten bats, what does that tell you? You’re worth ten bats. Your entire career is worth ten baseball bats.
Many people would associate their career with their life. That’s what I would do if I had my dream job. My job would become my life and not because it had to, but because I was passionate about it. Imagine being passionate about something only to find out that nobody believes you’re worth it.
Odom was three years older than I am, he was 26.
My bartending teacher loves baseball. I’ve acquired a couple nick names in class, including “Baseball” and “Red Sox” because of my awesome Red Sox jersey bag (I know, both very original). No Rockies associations yet, but, my other favorite so, I’m okay with that. Anyway, my teacher and I have been talking about how much of a mental game baseball is and the mental challenges that it gives you are more than any other sport. The pressure to perform in 162 games can be overwhelming, and on top of that, knowing that you’re worth 10 maple bats is what ultimately drove Odom over the edge. I mean, that’s just my opinion.
When you think about the tragedies of baseball, you get more of an understanding. Donnie Moore, a reliever shot himself believing that he cost the Angels the American League Pennant.
Odom was constantly mocked for being traded for ten bats, people playing the Batman theme music, and if he did anything wrong, the scrutiny he faced was tremendous. After all, he was the guy traded for ten bats. On June 5 of 2008, you could practically see him falling apart at the mound as he was mocked for giving up eight runs in three innings. On June 10, he would say to his manager, Dan Shwam, “I’m going home. I just can’t take it. I’ve got some things to take care of. I’ve got to get my life straightened out.”
Those would be his last words to baseball.
He literally disappeared. No record of where he was living, how he got to the hospital, where he’s buried, and no police report. The bats that he was traded for have never been used.
I wanted to dedicate my blog to him, and… it may not have been written well, but I certainly don’t claim to be a writer. But I hope that it’s a good way to show respect to him, to admire him, and know that there’s no doubt in my mind that he was worth more than ten maple bats.