The Chronicles of Agent Zero is a special feature at Through The Fence Baseball. “Agent Zero” is an agent for MLB players who will write about what it’s like to be an agent, the ups and downs, the travelling, etc. Agent Zero prefers to remain anonymous, but you can be assured his stories are true. Any questions, just ask!
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Chances are if you came across this blog you’re a baseball fan. Why else would you be checking out the website Through The Fence Baseball? Sure, the content is great but odds are you’re looking to get closer to the game and, to be honest, who isn’t? Baseball is America’s pastime, and this is my blog about my experience as a baseball agent.
As you read these entries, let me warn you that, although the names have been changed, the stories are real. In fact, I, too, am writing this blog under an alias so I can be free to write as open and honest about this business as possible. In doing so, I hope I can provide each and every reader with an inside look into the game we love.
With that said, let’s get started. Often times, when I tell people what I do for a living, I am met with a pleasant response and curious questions about how I became a sports agent. Well, the truth of the matter is I, like you, love the game, was blessed with some luck, put in a little hard work, kept believing in myself and made it happen. Well, it’s a little more complicated than that, but here’s my story.
Upon graduating from high school, I moved to the city to be closer to my local Major League Baseball organization. In reality, being close to a major-league organization was about 95 percent of why I chose to attend the university I did. In doing so, I spent every free moment at the stadium, team hotel and anywhere I thought I could interact with people working in baseball. Although I was mostly interested in speaking with the players, I did not discriminate, as I just wanted to get closer to the game. In fact, my willingness to push the boundaries into getting closer to the game caused one double-A franchise to ban me from the park, but that’s a story for another day.
As I started college, playing sports was replaced with partying and hanging out with friends. I stayed close to the game, but some of my interests had changed. I was an undecided major and had no clue what I wanted to do. I thought about following my parents footsteps by going into medicine, but chemistry and organic chemistry got in the way of consuming Busch Light beer and only worrying about the present.
So, even though my major remained undecided, one thing remained the same: my love for baseball. As the days passed, I realized all my free time spent away from partying with my friends was spent at the ballpark. I lived a short five-minute walk away, and every time I saw a player or front-office employee, I thought how wonderful it must be to walk to the ballpark knowing you were going to work.
So, as I continued to enjoy college and focus on my undecided major, I kept reverting back to my original thought of how I could make a living by waking up and walking to the ballpark knowing I was going to work. However, seeing as I gave up baseball for the perks of being a college student with too much free time, the thought of making a living from the game of baseball seemed anything but a reality. On the flipside, what organization was going to hire a college student with an undecided major who enjoyed partying with friends and Busch Light beer?
Then things changed. One night while playing a game of caps, a beer-drinking game that consisted of sitting on the floor throwing beer caps into full cups of beer and drinking them, my roommate informed me he was likely to get drafted in the upcoming MLB amateur draft. He did not know what to make of the situation and asked my opinion. Problem was that, although I loved baseball, I had little to no clue what even occurred on draft day, and all I could say was it sounded like an opportunity of a lifetime.
As the day rapidly approached, questionnaires from interested organizations poured in, meetings with team personnel were scheduled and all the momentum culminated into his selection by the San Francisco Giants. Negotiations took place and, poof, he was gone. My best friend, roommate and college buddy was gone, assigned to the lower ranks of the minor leagues; leaving me to shoot caps by myself.
Then it dawned on me. That MLB amateur draft changed both our lives. Sure, he was now a professional baseball player, but I finally had a close relationship with someone who could show me the inside workings of the game. Gone were some of the obstacles that stood in my way. I knew then I had to spend as much time with Justin as possible.
As I worked towards my undergraduate degree, I would visit with him every chance I got. I had been to spring training before, but now I went and stayed with him. As my other college friends were drinking Busch Light beer during spring break trips to Acapulco or Cancun, I was in Scottsdale, Arizona, hanging out with Justin.
While visiting with Justin, I took the opportunity to network with his teammates and, one night, the conversation surrounded the players’ agents. Much of what was said was unflattering and left me wondering how I could improve on what I was hearing. It was then, and because of my college roommate, best friend, and now minor league ball player, that I went from having an undecided major to having some direction of where I wanted to go in the future.
To be continued …