Every person on earth is fighting a battle behind the scenes. Our personal struggles are not made known to the public, and normally we intend to keep it that way. Even the most successful people on earth go through struggles, and that includes professional athletes.
Randy Dobnak, a rookie pitcher for the Minnesota Twins, is no stranger to personal battles, and one of his was made known in the national media on Saturday night. Last summer, while playing in the minors awaiting his callup to the big-leagues, Dobnak worked as an Uber driver in order to earn some extra money in addition to his minor league paycheck. Dobnak had been chasing his dreams, and they finally came true when he was called up to the Twins’ active roster at the beginning of September. He played extremely well in his first games as a pro, and impressed the Twins so much that they made him a starter for Game 2 of the ALDS against the New York Yankees.
However, the ruthless fans of New York caught wind of his history working as an Uber driver. Dobnak struggled in his first postseason start, allowing six hits and four runs in just two innings, and when he was pulled from the mound the crowd chanted “Uber” at him until he was gone.
Players in the minor leagues are all chasing the same thing: being called up to the majors. But with only 1,200 spots on MLB rosters, the rest are fighting for scraps. Amongst the six classes of the minor league system, there are nearly 6,000 prospects trying to work their way up. With only so much money to go around, many of them are not making enough to be financially stable. The average minor leaguer will only make $12,000 a year, and because of this, many of the players find other means of income through part-time jobs. Dobnak was not earning enough to support himself, so he did what he could to stay afloat.
This is why it is so difficult to grasp the fact that the fans in New York were giving Dobnak such a hard time. None of them knew the struggles that he was going through, or what any minor league player has to go through to chase their dreams. It is never a shameful thing to do what you love, and Dobnak has finally achieved his dream of being in the Major Leagues.
Dobnak’s success story should be inspiring to all of those who aspire to reach the MLB level. It is truly amazing what he has been able to overcome, and teaches a very important lesson: don’t look down on someone else for having to work chase their dreams.
Let’s all just hope that Uber helps him get back at the Yankees fans with a brand new endorsement deal.