Thursday was the opening bell of the free agent market, during which baseball players are able to talk trade and negotiate with teams about their commitments. The period often serves as a catalyst for inspiration and realization for aspiring major league players.
Unlike in other sports, however, a common requirement for those looking to break into the major leagues is minor league or college experience. Even then, the chances of making it are slim.
Q: Hey team, nice to meet you. Care to start off with an introduction?
Flannery: Hey, nice to meet you as well. I grew up about 30 minutes from New York City, and that was both a blessing and a hardship. The weather, coupled with some other stuff, was an obstacle that gave me the grit I needed to become a top-tier athlete.
Humphries: Hey! I’m from a town outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. I’m heavily into sports, as well as motivated to become a better version of myself and uplift others.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about how you got into sports?
Flannery: That happened at age nine for me. My father always wanted me to be active, but I lacked passion. One thing led to another, and I found baseball. The sport being so dynamic, coupled with little force from my father, really made it an attractive pursuit for me.
Humphries: I was a little all over the place. From the age of five, you could find me playing soccer, basketball, and baseball. Neither of the first two really did it for me. It was baseball.
Q: At what point in your career did you really begin to take sports seriously, and what inspired that?
Flannery: I remember it like yesterday. I was 14 and one of my good friends started talking to Division I colleges. That made it real for me. I quickly elevated myself and sought to do it right.
Humphries: It was a coach for me, on the other hand. I was a sophomore in high school and Zach Boraski, a coach who invested a lot of effort in me, helped me envision something more for myself.
Q: What’s the driving force behind your success on the field?
Flannery: It’s winning – that simple. Now, I’m not talking about winning for myself. For me, just as Jackson said earlier, it’s about uplifting others. If I can show up, put in hard work, help bring happiness to my teammates, and help them feel great about themselves, that’s all I need.
One thing that always stuck with me was something Lou Collier once said to me. He told me to, simply, “play the game.” That took a while for me to understand. Now, I take it as letting the offense and defense work synchronously, as a team.
Humphries: I’ll provide you a bit of a shorter answer than Boston. For me, it’s about staying accountable. Taking advice and coaching not only elevates me on the field, it turns me into a better person off the field, too.
Q: What do you think is your best feature or characteristic as a player on the field?
Humphries: I’d say I’m mentally tough and perform well under pressure. I’d add that I’m confident, too.
Q: Where do you envision yourself in the next few years and how will you get there?
Flannery: Likely going to play at a school, such as the University of North Carolina, and then, pivot to professional baseball. It’ll be a lot of work, but I’ve never been more prepared.
Humphries: Major leagues. I have one vision. Like Boston said, It’ll be a lot of work, but my commitment is unparalleled.
Follow the players at @bostonflannery and @jackson_humphries.
Image and article originally from www.benzinga.com. Read the original article here.