Since the start of 2018, I have tracked over 10,000 miles in travel (my Southwest Rapid Rewards are climbing). I feel like I have been living out of my suitcase, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. This past week, over my spring break I caught a flight down to Tampa to catch the end of spring training.
My boyfriend, Kevin, was a fourth round draft pick for the Toronto Blue Jays last June and I have been so lucky to be along for this crazy and exciting ride. This was Kevin’s first official spring training and I joined him on the last week he was there.
I get a lot of questions about how Kevin likes Toronto, so I just thought I would clear up what exactly the succession of teams looks like. Major League Baseball is different than most other professional sports because when you get drafted you are a member of the organization but not a member of the MLB team, in Kevin’s case the Toronto Blue Jays. Ironically, when I met Kevin I was not a huge baseball fan (and by not a huge fan I mean I knew little to nothing) so this year I have learned a lot and come to appreciate this sport and appreciate this man in a whole new way.
When you are drafted, the team makes an investment in you as a player and you work your way up through their organization until the day you are “called up to the bigs”. There are eight minor league affiliates in the Toronto Blue Jays Organization:
- Dominican Summer League Blue Jays – Foreign Rookie League
- Gulf Coast League Blue Jays – Rookie League located in Dunedin, FL
- Blue Field Blue Jays – Rookie League located in Blue Field, WV *Kevin played here last season, right after the draft for what is considered “short season”*
- Vancouver Canadians – Class A Short Season located in Vancouver, Canada
- Lansing Lugnuts – Class A located in Lansing, MI *this is where Kevin will be playing this season, or at least this is where he will start the season*
- Dunedin Blue Jays – Class A Advanced located in Dunedin, FL
- New Hampshire Fisher Cats – AA located in Manchester, NH
- Buffalo Bisons – AAA located in Buffalo, NY
FINAL DESTINATION: Toronto Blue Jays – Major League Team located in Toronto, Canada
Long list short, Kevin does not yet live or play in Toronto but I have no doubt that with his hard work he will be heading off to Canada in no time.
Long-distance is never easy, but it is so worth it. I could write an entire novel dedicated to making long-distance work but the basis is simple: we trust each other to the ends of the Earth and whole-heartedly support each others dreams, no matter how far away they take us. This week was special for me because I got to see Kevin after a long month and a half apart and I got to see him at work. There is no feeling quite as special as watching someone pursue their dream. When we are young we have hopes of being a ballerina, an astronaut, a professional athlete and so few people are fearless enough to continue to chase that dream after the glimmer of childhood optimism wears off. It takes strength, time, dedication and above all it takes a great deal of HARD work. You all know how passionate I am about continuing to dream big, always, and Kevin is my perfect match in that mindset. I am so lucky to have someone in my life who strives to be the best version of himself every day and encourages me to do the same.