First baseman and right fielder Brock Stassi was drafted in the 33rd round back in 2011, which is where most players are just afterthoughts and are never expected to make it to the major leagues. For a few years, he struggled through some seasons in the minors, waiting for his chance to make it to the top of his sport. When the Major League Baseball season starts next week, he’ll be in uniform for the Philadelphia Phillies.
When he learned that he’d made a Major League roster for the first time, the 27-year-old Stassi couldn’t hide his emotion. As he held back tears, he told the assembled press that this was a “dream come true.”
Yeah, there’s a lot of money involved in sports, and there can be a ton of cynicism, but there are also great moments of joy and emotion—moments that have nothing to do with TV deals and contract negotiations. For Stassi, this wasn’t about cashing a check, this was the culmination of a lifelong goal. “I can finally say I’m a big leaguer,” Stassi said. “It’s special.”