This is the third installment from Twins right-hander Trevor May in MLBTR’s Player’s Perspective series. We at MLBTR are fortunate to have him share his thoughts and experiences as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. You can check out his first two posts and also submit questions for an upcoming Mailbag hosted by Trevor: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s been a hot minute since my last post (writing is hard!), so let’s dive right into entry #3, which covers a topic that unites you (reader) and me (writer), while also providing the very foundation for a cool website like MLB Trade Rumors: Fandom.
Do you remember in my first post when I mentioned that every single situation in life has a silver lining? I not only believe this — I actually spend considerable time in my day-to-day life making sure I seek out, identify and appreciate these silver linings. This rehab process has provided me with a whole bunch of silver linings, the most impactful of which might just be the rediscovery of my own personal fandom for the game of baseball.
There is a perception across the baseball community that a thick, bold line divides players and fans…and that is mostly (and unfortunately) true. That said, while all fans will not have the opportunity to take the Target Field mound in front of 40,000 screaming people, I think it’s important for you guys to know that every single player carries his own unique memories of when he first felt love for this wonderful game. And we all — players, fans, kids, adults alike — still have moments that bring us back to our sacred baseball roots. I had one recently.
Screen goes all wavy, flashback style. “Several weeks ago…” comes into view… then fades.
It really hit me unexpectedly. I was streaming “MLB the Show” on Twitch, a game that, as you can imagine, brings a majority of baseball fans into the channel. I use this time as opportunity to focus discussion around baseball, to make myself available to questions and answer them en masse. It was the day of the Home Run Derby, my teammate Miguel Sano was participating, and I decided that I could extend the stream a little and watch the competition with the viewers.
Man, was it a blast.
In the last few years, I’ve not watched the All-Star festivities much at all. Those four days were for mental and physical rest, a complete removal from baseball. This year, having been benched by Tommy John surgery, I wanted to watch. I wanted to feel excitement, root for my guy, my teammate, as a FAN.
It’s a crazy thing, the difference between rooting as a fan and and rooting as member of the team. It takes you back to the times as a wide-eyed 10-year-old watching Griffey go deep over and over again toward his eventual 1999 Home Run Derby triumph. I even got to interact, in real-time, with a bunch of baseball fans rooting for their own heroes. I had a perspective that I hadn’t had in quite a while.
I have so much gratitude for the opportunities I’ve had, for everything I’ve learned and overcome in my journey from a small town in southwest Washington to the Big Leagues. It’s easy to lose that perspective, especially when baseball has been your job for 10 years. But, as I keep saying, there are always silver linings (I’m probably at the point that this sentence should be tattooed on me somewhere). Surgery has allowed me to see the game through fans’ eyes with clarity once again. I just want to go into the back yard like I used to on those warm summer nights of my youth, and practice my windup. Bottom of the ninth, two outs, perfect game on the line. I cannot wait to get back on that field.
Trevor will be opening up the mailbag for his next post at MLB Trade Rumors. If you’ve got a question for him, email it to email@example.com!