1996 was the last time I played organized baseball. Here’s the real reason why I quit:
I roomed with two teammates who bullied me off-and-on since first grade during our spring training trip to FL. I didn’t get a decent night of sleep because I was afraid the whole time. They did bully me slightly. I got the cot because they said so. But I waited for more to happen. And I kept waiting. Nothing more ever did.
But I was not sharp, was totally exhausted, and performed awfully due to those sleepless nights. And I quickly lost my shot at the starting job. I was heartbroken because I put in so much work over the last three years for that shot.
Then I felt betrayed when my coach asked me to come off the bench as the catcher FOR THE OTHER TEAM during a scrimmage.
I went from starting 2B to replacement player in a matter of days.
After we returned home I asked the coach if I’ll get a shot at 2B again. He said, “I don’t think so Mr. Rhodes.”
The next day I handed my uniform to a team captain.
It’s clear to me now that this is one of those moments where anxiety and depression got the best of me.
Quitting was the right decision because I didn’t have the tools to express or recognize that I needed help. All I knew was that baseball no longer felt safe for me. It was a toxic environment and I needed to escape it.
Fast forward a couple of decades and I have the will to play again. I’m working on my mental wellbeing. I’m relatively healthy. And I believe it’s possible with the right preparation.
My goal is to be in game-ready shape for a 40+ wood bat league by Feb. 24 2021. That’s one year from now.
And it all starts with the basics. It starts with Movement Over Maxes by @zachdechant
To my bullies: Teach your children to be better than you. Also, fuck you🖕🏼 and I forgive you.
Originally posted on Instagram, February 24, 2020