Every spring new players make their debut in baseball's major leagues. Some have gone through the ranks of the minor leagues to get there. But what happens when you've toiled in the minors and you don’t get the call for the parent club-- or in baseball terms, “The Show”? Sounds like the plot from Bull Durham, but here, fiction mirrors real life. When players don’t get that call, many pack their bags and go home to assess their futures. Others hang on in the minors as long as they can and hope their dreams will still be realized.
One young player from south suburban Chicago, Jeff Kunkel, had to make just such a decision about his baseball career path this spring. Kunkel was a standout Oak Forest, Ill. high school baseball player who went to the University of Michigan on a partial baseball scholarship. He had an outstanding college career as the team’s catcher, which included making the All-Big Ten first team.
Major league teams drafted Kunkel and six of his teammates. (White Sox fans may remember two of them, Clayton Richard and Chris Getz.) The Detroit Tigers selected Jeff.