George, on George and Perseverance...
Thanks to msb adding the link on today's USSM news comment thread, we have the opportunity to gain a little insight into George Sherrill's journey to the big leagues. George wrote a brief story for mlbplayers.com talking about his different path to reaching the majors. His story and his perseverance combined, of course, with his talent, has always been one of the biggest reasons why I became probably the biggest non-blood-relative George Sherrill fan on the planet.
For those of you who may not be familiar with his story, in a nutshell -- George came to the majors via the Independant Leagues, and his time in the minors was relatively brief. George was never drafted, and chose to go that route in order to follow his dream of reaching the majors some day. I've written a little bit more for George's BR Bullpen Wikipedia article, if you're interested in more (and he's also in Wikipedia now, too). As you can imagine, it wasn't an easy route as George summarizes himself in that article:
You really have to love the game to be able to stick it out in the independent leagues.
For me, a lot of my inspiration for re-entering the pursuit of my dream of becoming a photographer certainly has come from following George's major league story. His perseverance has made him a very tough competitor, and has certainly been rewarded. It's easy to cheer for the stars, whose super-talent has given them a much clearer pathway. Following someone who's got talent, too, but has flown under the radar and has had to persevere and put in that much more work is very inspiring for me. Maybe his story isn't as sensational for Hollywood to make a movie out of it, like they did for Jimmy Morris. But, it's still an important one, and I'm glad George at least got a little bit of a chance to tell it.
It certainly continues to inspire me to persevere in doing what I can to make narrow that line between dream and reality.