One home run. One pinch-hit, solo shot off Logan Kensing in the seventh inning of a nondescript Marlins-Padres game in July of 2008. One big-league blast to symbolize a career. One brief jog around the basepath for a lifetime of labor. One opposite field bomb to neatly summarize the endless, agonizing struggle of reaching the major leagues. A homer that is the career highlight for journeyman minor leaguer, Brian Myrow.
Myrow is a veteran of 12 minor league seasons. He has played in over 1,000 minor league games and has over 1,000 minor league hits. The 33-year-old has played for a litany of cities spanning the complete gamut of classes: Tampa, Norwich, Trenton, Columbus, Las Vegas, Portland, Charlotte, Indianapolis. Don’t forget Winnipeg of the Northern Central Independent League. The affable, intelligent Myrow has seen the entire spectrum of professional baseball from the tiniest one-stoplight towns in the Florida State League to the sprawling, megalithic cathedrals of The Show. Myrow is a baseball lifer.
A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Myrow knows full well that the breezy success of the low minors comes to a grinding halt as one nears the majors. He was recently a guest of Gotham Baseball Live with Jay Ferraro and Dan ‘Hawk’ Drobnis with whom he discussed his career and the various levels of the game. “The difference between a major leaguer and a minor leaguer is the defensive play in the field. It’s all about defense. And the pitchers are so explosive with the fastball playing off the breaking stuff. “
Having played with minor league affiliates of the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, White Sox, Padres and Pirates, Myrow, also a husband and father, is often regarded as the clubhouse leader. Myrow is the first baseman of the Indianapolis Indians, Pittsburgh’s Triple-A affiliate. “I like to help where I can. I certainly don’t have all the answers but if I see something with some of the younger guys, I’ll help out.”
It is unlikely that Myrow will have another extended stay in major league baseball. It is likely, however, that he will continue to cherish being able to play the game he loves. Does he regret having one big-league homer to show for over a decade in the minors? Decidedly not. “That moment was incredible. It was indescribable. I knew all of the effort I put in to get there was worth it.”
It is not often enough that time is taken to notice these silent heroes who work assiduously day in and day out towards achieving their goals and following their passions. These are the exemplary role models that our children should be looking up to.
What a wonderful tribute to Myrow; someone whose dedication and hard work may have gone by without your recognition and your moving words. Perhaps you can use your talented writing abilities to produce an article that accurately depicts and similarly tributes other under-recognized leaders (e.g., school teachers)