Tag Archives: CJ Beatty

Holding On To A Dream In The Pecos League

Much has been said, especially on this blog, of the harsh realities players can face in the Pecos League. But much more can be said about the guys that are there just trying to live out their dreams.

Life is what you make it. So is the Pecos League.

This is something that 2014 Alpine Cowboy infielder, Tim Henry, knows first hand.  Despite a successful high school and college career, Henry lost focus during his senior year and wasn’t drafted following his graduation from Ithaca college.

He could have completely given up on baseball and continued down the wrong path in life, but he didn’t.

When he received the opportunity to play with the Alpine Cowboys in the Pecos League, he jumped at this second chance.

“I knew what I was getting myself into, which was playing for only $60 a week, but the fact of the matter is that I knew and believed that the opportunity to play professionally in front of passionate fans for the game and for the kids was way greater than how little money I was playing for.

“It’s a matter of what you make of the opportunity and how you see it. I took advantage of it and worked hard. I understood that if I played well and helped the Cowboys win, then I would continue to get more opportunities.”

All around the baseball world, players who thought they would get drafted will be left sitting at home without a phone call. What they do after the disappointment is the true test.

Many, like Henry, see the Pecos League and independent baseball as their chance to get better and prove themselves.

“I don’t want kids to give up on the dream, even if they don’t sign or get drafted,” Henry explained. “Playing independent baseball is an amazing opportunity and so much fun.  You’re playing with a group of guys who don’t play for the money, but play for the love of the game.”

These players live, train, and play with others who have the same dreams and desires. They experience the highs and lows together which creates a bond and “brotherhood” that cannot be broken.  Memories are made and lessons are learned that last a lifetime.

With the Pecos League located in the heart of the southwest: Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to play professional baseball in a beautiful area of the country that the players normally wouldn’t get to see if it wasn’t for the sport.

A lot of players cherish having another platform to showcase their skills and to earn a chance to play at a higher level. The experience a player takes away from independent baseball is entirely up to them.   It can fulfill your biggest dreams, or become your worst nightmare. It’s really depends on the player and his attitude towards the situation.

Henry made the most of his time with the Cowboys. He worked hard, played hard, and thoroughly enjoyed his time in the Pecos League.  He used his experience there to earn a spot on a team in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia this winter and is looking to move up in the independent ranks for the 2015 season.

However, being able to continue playing, training and improving his skills this off season was only one reason that he decided to head “down-under.”  He also wanted the chance to be outdoors and experience all that Australia had to offer. Henry is currently working as a coach, giving lessons to aspiring young Aussies while helping the popularity of the sport grow.  Working with young players has helped him realize that what he has is special.  He doesn’t plan to ever make the same mistakes off the field that had once jeopardized his professional career and the support he has from his family.

The Pecos League isn’t glamorous, but it could be that second chance – that one opportunity to put someone back on the right track.

Henry still has dreams of reaching an affiliated organization and isn’t ready to give it up just yet because he knows what life is like without baseball in it.

“Baseball saved my life because I know that without it, I’d probably be nothing. I’ve had a lot of failures, trials and tribulations in my life, made a lot of mistakes, and it’s baseball that’s honestly really kept me out of trouble.”

Henry was also recently featured in a “Motivational Nuggets” video produced by Chicago White Sox prospect, CJ Beatty.

Indy Ball Artist – My Story

As some of my readers may know, I enjoy drawing as much as I enjoy writing.  I know I’m not a really great artist compared to a lot of people, but I do have some talent. In a way, it helps me relate better to independent ball players. They have talent, but they have to keep honing their skills to rise through the ranks of true professionals.

Baseball gives me a chance to escape from reality too.  It gives me an outlet for drawing and writing.  I can be as creative as I want while always working on getting better and enjoying things I love.

For the most part, I choose to draw players who play in indy ball or in the minor leagues. Even though major league players are appreciative when they see a drawing I’ve done, there is nothing like giving an independent or minor league player a drawing of themselves. Usually, it is the first time they’ve ever had someone do that for them. The look on their face is priceless.

I frame all of the original drawings after they are signed by the players and put them on my own “wall of fame.”  It’s grown over the last two years as has my skills as an artist. My first player drawing was done in the summer of 2012. The subject was then  AA Altoona Curve Pitcher, Vic Black who is now a member of the Major League NY Mets bullpen.

Take a look at my “wall of fame” and my drawings so far.

2014-11-29 11.19.22

Independent Players

EddieJustin Edwards, Washington Wild Things

DrewDrew Rossi, Washington Wild Things

stewStewart Ijames, Washington Wild Things (current DBacks prospect)

CJCJ Beatty, Washington Wild Things (Current White Sox prospect)

Q drawingQuincy Latimore, Washington Wild Things (Current Nationals Prospect)

zacZac Fuesser (Former Pirates prospect and Wild Thing) with his father.

samSam Montgomery, Washington Wild Things

pomaDanny Poma, Washington Wild Things

jimmyJim Vahilk, Washington Wild Things

jkJonathan Kountis, Washington Wild Things (Greek God of Saves)

perfect gameMatt Sergey and team, Perfect Game Washington Wild Things

richieRichie Serritella, Trinidad Triggers (Check out the Pecos League posts!)

tylerTyler Elrod, Washington Wild Things

Minor League Players

VicVic Black, Altoona Curve (current Met) My first drawing!

ryanRyan Hafner, Pirates prospect

NickNick Kingham, Pirates prospect

stetsonStetson Allie, Pirates Prospect

CoryCory Vaughn, Mets prospect

mattMatt Curry, former Pirates prospect (current FA)

Major League Players

pedroPedro Alvarez, Pirates

cutchAndrew McCutchen, Pirates

chapmanAlrodis Chapman, Reds

john axJohn Axford, Pirates (Current FA)

johnJohn Holdzkom, Pirates

lamboAndrew Lambo, Pirates

tonyTony Sanchez, Pirates

me and tonySelf Portrait with Tony Sanchez

Thank you to all of my wonderful drawing subjects so far!