*UPDATE* Matt has announced that the Arizona Diamondbacks have offered him a contract! Congratulations Matt and best of luck in the next chapter of your baseball story!
Back when I first started Indy Ball Island around 9 months ago, I was really worried about how I would be perceived by players when I asked for an interview.
One of the first players I wanted to write a blog post about was Matt Fields. I had seen him play in the Frontier League a couple years ago, and I knew Matt had an interesting journey that I really wanted to capture. His story of perseverance is what Indy Ball Island is all about.
Through a connection I had with his manager in the Frontier League, I was able to get in touch with Matt in November and hear him tell his story. (I highly recommend giving it a read if you haven’t already. You can see that post HERE.)
Matt was awesome to work with. He gladly agreed to help with my post and encouraged me to stick with the writing. We’ve kept in touch, and I was really enjoying following him with the AAA Storm Chasers this season.
Despite having a decent year so far – batting .244 with 4 HRS this season – the Royals organization decided to release Matt after the game on July 3rd.
I just wanted to write a post on here to personally thank Matt and all that he has done for me. He will never know how much he helped me out in a time when I wasn’t too sure of what I wanted to be doing with this blog. That’s the thing with baseball… It really is a small, close-knit community. Through baseball and an awesome mutual friend, I was blessed to have Matt come into my life in a time when I needed it the most.
Thank you, Matt. I wish you nothing but the best in whatever is next!
Below is his own blog post on his “Next Steps”:
On Friday, July 3rd, I played what will likely be my last game of professional baseball.
After the game, we were auctioning off our special jerseys before the fireworks started. I signed my jersey for the winners, then made my way up to the clubhouse. The bus was leaving for the 8 hour trip to OKC shortly, so I was getting ready to shower before the trip.
As I started to get undressed, the clubbie came in and told me my manager wanted to speak with me. There are really only two reasons your manager calls you in after the game. You’re either getting called up, or you’re getting released.
So many feelings flashed into my mind all at once. I haven’t been performing like myself. Baseball is a business, and I’ve seen the moves being made. Though this is how it’s been my entire career, I’ve never really been on this side of the mirror. But even before I walked into my manager’s office, I knew what was likely coming.
I braved myself and stepped inside. He asked me to close the door. He explained it simply, that these were some of the toughest days he has, that there were moves that needed to be made, and that the club just didn’t have room for me any more.
With that, I was officially released by the Kansas City Royals.
I thanked my manager and went out to say goodbye to my coaches and teammates. I’ve built amazing bonds with these people over the last few years. Truthfully, they’re all family. Just like in any family, there are ones you like and don’t like, but I love them all.
I packed up my bags, walked out the clubhouse, turned around and said “thank you” before driving off.
Every player knows that there will be a day when they have to hang it up. I expected to be filled with sadness when it came. Certainly, I had many emotions running through in the moment. Truly, I feel a profound sense of excitement. I am grateful for all the chances I had to play the game I love. Now, I will allow God to continue to lead the way. Only He truly knows why we are here and what comes next, but I’m looking forward to the journey ahead.
I intend to work hard, stay open, and move forward with the next chapter of my experience. I’ll be sharing it here as well, and I hope you’ll stay with me.
You can also check out his other posts about baseball and life on his website. You won’t be disappointed.