In the midst of a do or die baseball game that ended up in extra innings, Michael Massey knew this was the path for him. A path that many try to embark on, but is a challenge to many: the drama of the biggest stage in his baseball career up
In the midst of a do or die baseball game that ended up in extra innings, Michael Massey knew this was the path for him. A path that many try to embark on, but is a challenge to many: the drama of the biggest stage in his baseball career up to this moment in time; the fans that have spent the time, energy and investment into the 3 month season of the Burlington Royals; and finally, the hope, and dream of a celebration to follow.
Massey says; “My favorite moment from last season was when we came back in extra innings to beat the Yankees at home and clinched a playoff spot. The celebration on the field and in the clubhouse was something that I'll never forget.
When it comes to minor league baseball there is simply something different about it. It is more intimate than anything else in sports. It is a product that appeals to all five of your senses.
“The game of baseball has a shelf life, but the relationships that you make in the game last forever.”
“Throughout the season there are a lot of ups and downs that take place but to be able to have a moment like we did where you're able to celebrate with your teammates in the clubhouse is something very special.”
Throughout the course of a season the players draw close to each simply because they understand what each other are going through. The players rely on the bonds with each other, and that's what happened.
“The funniest teammate that I played with last year was Vinnie Pasquantino. He is just one of those guys that keeps the clubhouse light and always seems to be in a good mood. Everybody on the team loved him and the positive energy he brought to the park each day.”
Playing in the minor leagues takes time, and it is an adjustment that challenges many. When Massey was asked about what he had to overcome last season, he said the pitching.
“The new style of pitching was a challenge. In college there are not a whole bunch of pitchers who are running their fastball up to the mid-90's like in pro ball. That being said, I was lucky enough to be able to work with our great hitting coach, Andy LaRoche, who really helped me make some effective in-season adjustments last season.”
Massey was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 4th round in 2019, and in his own words, “being a Royal is one of the biggest blessings in my life up to this point”.
He added; “From the top down, this organization is first class in every aspect. It is an honor to be a part of an organization that truly cares more about my development as a man, a brother, and a son as opposed to my baseball statistics. The opportunities that the Royals have given me over the past year, as well as the people that I have been lucky enough to be around during that time, have changed my life. I thank God every day that I am able to be a part of the Kansas City Royals because there is not another organization in sports that is as much of a family as the Royals.”
While his family, friends, past coaches and teammates have made an impact, he can’t say enough about his own parents.
“The amount of sacrifices that they have made so I can chase my dream of playing in the major leagues is nothing short of remarkable. Every time I put on a Royals uniform, I can’t help but feel lucky because without them I wouldn’t have a jersey to wear.” Massey said.
Alex Feuz *is the broadcaster and reporter for the Burlington Royals. You can follow *@alexfeuz on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.