Sociology of Baseball Players
There have always been those kids in high school who are really athletic and just particularly amazing at sports. Many of those kids go on and begin a road to attempt to elevate their game to the level of a professional athlete. Of those that attempt to go pro many will try and enter the world of professional baseball. The path of a Major League Baseball player is long, difficult and more often than not a short lived occurrence. Along the way potential players learn the life of being a professional baseball player from small to big time stages of play.
That life includes knowing what is expected of a player’s skills, handling the media, baseball values, and learning how to be a member of the baseball community that a player becomes a part of in their professional lives. Professional baseball players are not just people who enjoy baseball and want to give the sport a whirl as a career; they are people who know the physical conditioning and time consumption that it takes to be good at a sport.
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The people who enter professional baseball are either eighteen year olds fresh out of high school, college athletes who have been drafted by an organization and players from different countries who have already established themselves in a foreign league. Any way these players get noticed they are expected to have two to three already developed skill tools of baseball with the potential to possibly obtain more.
The general baseball skill tools looked for in a professional baseball hopeful are running speed (a necessary skill in any sport), Arm strength (which includes how hard a player can throw and how long they can consistently throw), Hitting for Average (the ability to consistently hit the ball in play), Hitting for Power (how deep a player can drive the ball), Fielding (the ability to catch the ball and know where to go with it).
Once a player has been recognized as having the basic essential tools or greater they will be commonly placed in one of the organization’s minor league teams. Once, a part of minor league team a professional baseball player has begun his way to the major league level. The time a player spends with a minor league team accomplishes many things for both the player and the organization. The player begins his learning of a professional athlete lifestyle, taking trips with the team to games, planning a schedule around your pro career (meetings, gym time, and ractice/games), and developing the rest of the necessary tools to be an effective player at a major league level. The organization watches the player and his teammates develop and make plans based off of growth and money to organize their team for the best chance to win. The baseball organizations use of minor leagues and minor league teams help weed out the players with limited potential and ability from those who have the capability to play consistently on par or better with the rest of the best at a professional game.
Major League team organizations make decisions on a professional player based on their skill, health, work-ethic, efficiency at their position and age. If a player has value in any of these areas, but is deemed to be ineffective in others a player is moved down to a Minor league team till they are considered ready or healthy. Once a part of a team, on any level of play, a professional baseball player is required to be a good teammate to his fellow team players. The players work together to win games and are expected to be able to work together to become better as well.
Although every player is competitive with one another due to the simple fact that not everybody can make it to the major leagues, so a player consistently works to out shine his fellow players particularly those at the same position as them. All professional players know the better you are at your position the sooner they will make it to the majors, the sooner they make it to the majors means the sooner they start making a major leaguers base salary, and the better they are from there the more they will get paid to be on team, because of their play (being on a consistently winning team does not hurt either).
Players know they are in a free-agency market with teams having no salary cap limit. Meaning players can make as much as a team is willing to pay them to come play for them as long as contracts are built around the current collective bargaining agreement between the MLB and the major league teams. Even with all of the team mentality going on in professional baseball each player brings his own personality to the game.
Baseball players as a group of athletes have been known to be a particularly superstitious section of professional athletes. Baseball players like to develop a schedule that makes them feel good and energized before going into a game or practice and do not like to have something in that schedule mess up particularly on a game-day. If something does happen in their schedule players have often followed this up by having a bad or sub-par game, because they have not felt completely ready.
Another well-known superstition among baseball players is to not talk to a pitcher when he is on course for a no hitter or a perfect game. This superstition has been ground in to players since they started watching and playing baseball that it has become part of the culture and totally taboo to attempt even making eye contact with a pitcher. Professional baseball players as a group are completely different in the type(s) of people that people that are a part of the sport.
Pro baseball players tend to have very short major league careers and as such this creates a want for long term deals between players and teams to ensure a player sticks around longer and at least gets paid if not. These players have their own culture that has developed from watching the sport of baseball and these people in their own small way have become a part of the history of major league baseball.