Brock Stassi’s Tale About The Grind

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Opening Day across the country symbolizes different things to many different people.  For a grandfather it may represent an opportunity to spend time with his grandchildren and pass down his favorite pass time to a younger generation. It may be a teenager’s opportunity to socialize and spend time with friends in an exciting environment.  The first day of the MLB season means a fresh start to every team in the league along with its players.  To Brock Stassi however, it is the culmination of a career full or trials, doubts and trusting his dream.
As the world’s second biggest sport, it is virtually impossible to go pro.  Out of all the high school baseball players in the country, less than 5.6% of those players will play for an NCAA member institution. Statistics say that less than 10% of those players that reach it to the next level will have the opportunity to get drafted in the 40 rounds of the MLB draft.  Any players drafted after the 20th round has less than a 7% chance of every making it out of the minor leagues onto the active roster of a MLB team.
Brock Stassi didn’t receive a Division One offer until his senior year, when the highest recruits usually are committed by the end of their Sophomore year.  Stassi was recruited and didn’t hit a ball in college until his Junior year, the next year winning the batter of the year in his collegiate conference.  Brock was drafted in the 33rd round of the 2011 draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.  He spent roughly 7 years in the minors, slowly grinding through the ranks his last 4 seasons after a frustrating first 3 while simultaneously substitute teaching and giving lessons 2-3 hours a night.  On March 28th Brock found out he had made the Opening Day starting lineup for the upcoming week. The fruition of nearly 7 years of a minor league career and life time of hearing that he was never good enough to compete at the highest level left Stassi speechless as reporters bombarded him when he found out he had made the Opening Day roster.
During the interview with reporters (view here), Stassi talks about how thankful he is for the opportunity to make his childhood dreams come true, but more importantly chooses to focus on the idea that he doesn’t want to just make it to the league, he wants to stay in the league.  After watching the video and learning about Stassi’s story, it is very easy to see how he embodies his hard work ethic and blue collar mentality in everything that he does on a daily basis.  To any athlete or person reading this article, Brock Stassi is the living embodiment of you never taking no for an answer.  At every step of his journey he was faced with roadblocks and situations that were designed to keep him from his goal and acted as the perfect opportunity for him to give up.  With all the odds stacked against him for over, from his senior year of high school until he finally got called up for Opening Day Brock Stassi spent over 12 years actively pursuing his dream day in and day out.
Success is no accident. Success is not an instant thing.  In a society that is consumed with instant gratification and finding ways to make obstacles and life easier, the one thing that cannot bypassed is the journey it takes to achieve success.  Nothing in life worth having comes free, and very often the greatest things in life come in result of countless sacrifices and failures.  Brock Stassi is an example to every person going through a struggle or that has doubts about a specific goal that the only way to achieve that goal is to stay the course and continue to unwaveringly work to achieve that goal.
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