It was finals week of my junior year in college, and I couldn't concentrate at all.
Like most students at Stanford, I was feeling anxious that week, but the difference was that my nerves had nothing to do with exams. My mind was focused on the MLB Draft.
As the draft approached, I was almost certain that I had played my last game at Stanford. The draft is divided into three days - Day 1 is for the first two rounds, Day 2 is for rounds 3-10, while Day 3 is for rounds 11-40. And as the second day was set to begin, one NL team called me to let me know they were thinking about selecting me in the 10th round.
The good news was that I felt pretty confident I would be drafted at some point. The bad news was that I would have to wait the entire day - all 8 rounds - to see if my name would get called on Day 2. This was a dream I had worked my whole life to achieve, and no exam could pull my concentration away from my phone that day. As the day started, I had no idea which team would choose me, or what city I would be playing in, or what minor league level they would be starting me at.
By the end of the day I still had no answers.
About 90 seconds before that team was going to make their 10th round selection, they called me to let me know they were going in different direction.
It hurt, but I wasn't devastated. At least not yet. I knew the 11th round would come around the next morning, and there was still a great chance that a team would take me then.
That didn't happen. The 11th round went by, as did the 12th. And the 13th. And the 14th. And as each pick went by and one round gave way to another, my potential signing bonus started to slowly melt away. There's no guarantee I'll ever make it to the Major Leagues, but when you sign with an MLB team, that signing bonus actually is guaranteed. And the later you're picked, the less it is, and the less financial security you have as you start your minor league career.
By the time I got to the 20th round, I decided to pull my name out of the draft. It was only halfway over, but I didn't want to be in the draft anymore. At that point it wasn't even about the money...I just wasn't feeling valued anymore. And to be completely honest, it has never been about the money. It was just about having the chance to compete.
I started that week wondering which team would make my dreams come true, and by the end of that week I felt like they hadn't come true at all.
Whoever said there's no crying in baseball was wrong, because on that day I can promise you there were definitely tears.
But when you surrender to God's plan and just submit to His will, it's amazing where He can take you. My name is Brandon Wulff, and this is my story.
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