Since I was let go from the Uni-Lions in the Taiwan C.P.B.L I am not quite sure what the next step is for me in my professional career. I want to continue to keep playing. I know the stat heads and some fans will laugh but I feel if I am right and if I am given an opportunity I can contribute in the Major Leagues again.
This being said, the McClung household has a mortgage and other bills to pay. I made some nice money in my career but not boatloads, like people assume. So I must find my next step and try to stay afloat.
My mental checklist broke down like this ...
- Coaching Jobs
- Letters of recommendation
- Setting up some lessons for when I get home
So, I started to look for coaching opportunities in the college ranks. I applied for a few baseball coaching jobs. These included the University of Iowa head coaching position as well as Florida A&M head coach. I looked into the Florida Gulf Coast pitching coach position as well as University of Cincinnati assistant coaching position, just to name a few.
Most schools require a four-year degree and want a masters with coaching experience in college. Well, I have one semester of college (3.1 GPA – I'm quite proud) but I have 15 years of professional baseball under my belt. That's got to count for something, right? Is this some form of discrimination? Just kidding. Unless it is.
A week has gone by and I haven't heard much positive back. I am out of that loop, or rather out of that circle of people. This made me think, I have to get my resume out and I need to connect with people. LinkedIn was my answer. LinkedIn is like Myspace for business people ... wait ... no one uses Myspace anymore. It’s like Facebook for business people. Through this service I have reached out and started connecting to baseball people as well as business people across the country.
It's a hustle and I am trying to get my name out there. For a person with zero work experience this process is hard, not to mention downright scary at times.
My next step was to start contacting old coaches and mentors and ask for letters of recommendation. It was good to reconnect with them. After touching base and catching up I asked them if I could use them as a reference, or if they might write a letter of recommendation for me. (I couldn't find Ken Macha’s info. Oh well. Moving on). I got a lot of positive responses and advice and the letters were awesome and quite honestly made me feel pretty good about myself. I was honored and humbled people would say those things about me.
On my way home from Taiwan, with the help of the in-flight Internet, I started contacting my regular kids who I teach lessons with. They were all excited to have me back, saying "Hey, sign with the Rays." It's hard to explain to them that it doesn't work that way. Although I would welcome a return to the Rays.
With all this time, I pause to thank God for the opportunity to do what I have done for a living since 1999. I have had a great honor to be able to say I am professional baseball player. I have met so many great people.
I would like to say hello to them by name but mostly I remember faces ... Like in Tampa the guy who looked like Elvis or in Milwaukee the family who brought their young boys (one who was a newborn) to about 30 games a year and they always got autographs.
People in the minor leagues also had a huge impact on me, from my host families in Princeton, Hudson Valley and Bakersfield, as well as my host mom in St. Petersburg, to people in the stands. The toast guy in Charleston West Virginia, the man who took pictures of all the players in Hudson Valley, the red-haired lady who brought her son (fully dressed in a Braves uniform) to all the home Durham Bulls games, as well as the rough and rowdy pack of fans that sat behind home plate in Nashville (and thoroughly pissed off Donovan Hand).
I would like to say thank you to them! Those type of people make it special to be a baseball player.
So, if you have a job for me, I am looking and open to exploring possibilities! This is the process of a normal everyday guy who just happened or happens to play or have played baseball for a living.
Seth McClung pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers from 2007-2009, but broke into the Major Leagues with Tampa Bay in 2003. The West Virginia native is now a pitcher in Taiwan.
McClung, a popular player during his time in Milwaukee, remains connected to Brewers fans through this blog on OnMilwaukee.com.
"Big Red" will cover baseball in a way only a player can, but he'll talk about other sports, too. The 6 foot, 6 inch flamethrower will write about life outside the game, too.