The reality of pro baseball looks very different from the inside. What is a game to the fans is a business to the players and franchise owners. Competition is stiff. Slots are few. Disappointments - for the players - are many.
Jim Morris found that out. And more. Beginning his pro career in the rookie league, he didn’t travel to games on an airplane - his team took a bus. His per diem allowance was barely enough to buy hamburgers for each meal - and he was miserable:
Then you checked into fleabag motels and ate three meals a day of burgers and fries, which is all you can afford on a six-dollar per diem and six hundred bucks a month. You played in small stadiums with so few fans that by the third game in a town you recognized everyone’s face and voice. (The Rookie, pgs. 79-80.)
Was the reality of pro baseball something Morris could handle, or was his life turning into a nightmare?
If baseball wasn’t fun anymore, why did I still care about playing? And did I really care? Or was it just a lifetime’s momentum carrying me from day to day? Those were the riddles I couldn’t answer...It was disappointing to discover that the thing you thought you wanted all your life doesn’t feel at all the way you thought it was going to feel. (The Rookie, pg. 86.)
The "wannabe" major-league pitcher was beginning to understand the reality of pro baseball - and life in general. He would soon discover another truth.
Injuries to a pitcher’s arm can ruin his career.