But like the players, I figured the 60 games (including playoffs) in 66 days would help my game, but when I look back at it I cherished just being part of the team as the highlight of the summer.
Think about it. From early June to the second week in August I spent most of my time with these 25 guys, all who had aspirations of playing Major League Baseball.
Getting to know the guys and briefly living the baseball life is an experience I will always cherish.
Some of my memories were not always positive. There was one time on a plus-100-degree day where the air conditioning went out on the bus – and in the first 15 minutes of a trip to McKinney.
I will never forget what Josh Rodriguez (we called him J-Rod) of Rice University said about an hour into the trip.
While wiping his brow of sweat that was coming off his forehead like running water, he barked, “I am playing in the Cod next year.”
The “Cod” he was referring to is the Cape Cod League in New England, the pioneer of these wooden bat league and with a summer climate more favorable that Texas.
My favorite road trip was always Mineral Wells. For two reasons: The first, because it was the closest and we got back home at a decent hour; the second because we were always fed Chicken Express tenders after the game.
Road teams in the TCL were responsible for “feeding” the visiting team, and Chicken E, a big Steam sponsor, provided the visitors a box for the bus ride home.
What was funny was that almost every time we boarded the bus on a Mineral Wells “trip” someone in the back of the bus would say “We play Chicken E. today!”
The guys really liked that chicken.