A cup of coffee
One in 18 Major League Baseball players in the history of the league have played in only one career game. That’s a fascinating statistic gleaned from an outstanding article about the nearly 1,000 “cup of coffee” players who have appeared in only one career MLB game.
The article offers readers detailed accounts of the circumstances surrounding the fleeting careers of 12 of the 974 players who only got a sip of what it’s like to be a big leaguer.
Some are tales of inspiration, as players overcame physical ailments and many years toiling away in the minors before getting their one (very brief) shining moment. Others are stories of disappointment, as players with youth and physical gifts on their side saw their careers quickly derailed by a serious injury. And others are stories of pure dumb luck, as one player was grabbed off a street corner and thrown onto the mound to pitch eight innings in an MLB game.
The article is both sad and inspiring. It’s sad in that so many young players who thought they had a lengthy career ahead of them saw their chances for greatness end in the blink of an eye (literally the time it takes for a fastball to go from the pitcher’s hand to the side of a batter’s head). It’s inspiring in that some players who never thought they’d get the “call up” after so many years of anonymity in the minor leagues were finally rewarded with a roster spot in the majors.
But what struck me as the most intriguing aspect of these stories was that the majority of the players who shared their tales celebrated rather than bemoaned their “cup of coffee.” It’s a lesson on looking at life with a positive mindset.