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An Insider's Baseball Journey

Opening Day for Major League Baseball is Sunday. 

Red Sox-Yankees. Then Braves-Cubs. Diamondbacks-Padres. Tampa Bay-Baltimore. And the season is on.

For relief pitcher Dirk Hayhurst, the path to the big leagues – the majors, “the show” – wasn’t exactly a fastball. 

Hayhurst fought his way up through the minors. He played for the Fort Wayne Wizards, the Portland Beavers, the Mobile Bay Bears and more. 

Now he’s made it — with the Toronto Blue Jays.  And he’s telling the story of that long climb. 

This Hour, On Point:  The Bullpen Gospels, with Dirk Hayhurst.

Guests:

Dirk Hayhurst joins us from Kent, Ohio.  A pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays (currently on the disabled list), he’s the author of “The Bullpen Gospels: Major League Dreams of a Minor League Veteran.” He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2003 and played for six years in the minors. He writes a blog for BaseballAmerica.

Read an excerpt from from “The Bullpen Gospels.”

Mel Antonen, baseball reporter for USA Today. He’s been covering spring training this year.

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  • anonymous

    Would you say this advice (?) applies to all sports? I know a young man who wants to go pro in hockey and I wonder if this would be good for him to listen to especially the part of how poorly you get paid and how all your problems are STILL there?

  • Patricia Ramey

    Dirk mentions that they’re boys doing stupid things and that many never had the whole college process to mature. Actually, neuroscience research shows that college doesn’t really make much difference. Brains don’t fully complete their connections until about age 25. In particular, the parts that connect understanding consequences of actions. Parents have known this for years. One wonders who thought moving the age of consent to 18 was a good idea. :-) Obviously, I’m a parent and long ago passed the 25 age point. But I do remember making countless stupid choices before I was 25. And I’m female.

  • BHA

    Cry me a river.

    Choose to play the game or don’t, no one is forcing you.

    If you make it to the majors, you get paid WAY too much money. Maybe they should push those millions down to the minors.

  • http://wburboston tua

    Had WBUR Boston on all morning…just happened to keep listenin’…got more and more interested…and then – pow!- “the non-prospect diaries”!!! This guy is SO smart – and that assumes funny, gifted, deep and courageous. If he hasn’t done so already, HE would be the best voice for the audio version of his book. And he’s only 29 — Dirk Hayhurst — you rock!

  • Liz

    Well, yesterday it was having your mother in a front-row seat watching your major league debut and then hitting her with a foul ball. (I think she was OK)

  • Eugenius

    Your guest may have been pleased (or perhaps jealous) to know that the Eugene Emeralds have a new, top notch facility this year. However, this saddened many of the locals, who have loved the tradition and small town appeal of this stadium which your guest scoffed at in such graphic detail.

    Personally, I don’t have an opinion as to where a minor team plays, but I have always been familiar with “low-end” farm teams playing in “low-end” facilities.

    If I am subjected to listening to one complain about the difficulties of their job, I would much rather it be from a doctor or a service member.

  • Michael

    I enjoyed the interview with Dirk Hayhurst! Riverside, Calif has seen two minor league teams come and go over 20 years mostly due to a poor stadium and no beer sales in the second example especially. The two were the Red Wave and the Pilots who both moved north to the High Desert. Today’s LA Times (4-3-10) has a book review of a baseball pitcher by Edward Achorn, “Fifty-nine in ’84: Old Hoss Radbourn, Barehanded Baseball, and the Greatest Season a Pitcher Ever Had”..he won 59 games in 1884–a mark that has never come close to being broken. He threw nearly 680 innings vs. 240 innings pitched by Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander in 2009! Great review by David Ulin.

  • Roy Merritt

    I never had the impression that the minors were filled with millionaires everybody is certainly not Robin Yount
    or some wiz kid pitcher that throws a 90 mph fastball and a curve so great that he gets pushed into the lion’s den without toiling in at least in triple A. When I played senior Tar Heel ball a guy on our team Chris Kamack who was All America at NC State in the four his entire four years in the early 70s. He was a tremendous player and I was certain he’d be in the Hall of Fame one day. Whether he ever played minor league I don’t know, but I do know that he got a law degree and is quite successful today. So your advice that the young man take the scholarship was spot on. I look forward to purchasing this book.

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