Great lengths are traveled to achieve happiness and in some cases, a lot is given up for the chance to do what brings that joy. ?
Finding that happiness in Southern California and with youth on his side, Bryan Robinson, 19, feels like he made the right decision by leaving his small town of University Place, 45 minutes south of Seattle, Wash.
The source of his pilgrimage was not a job promotion, family situation or a search for self worth. It was simply for the love of a pastime , the American pastime to be exact and the chance to play it everyday. ?
“I talk to my brothers in Washington and they tell me they’re getting rained on almost everyday,” Robinson says. “Here we have 70-degree weather year- round and you can play baseball everyday.”?
Robinson, a left-handed pitcher for the Vaqueros who is in his second season, heard about the baseball program when he played in a Southern California summer league and liked what he heard. ?
“I knew Glendale had a great transfer rate and from talking to different people, I knew this was where I wanted to be,” Robinson says leaning back on the bleachers watching teammates run through different drills. “There is just more exposure down here.”?
Robinson moved to the Los Angeles area and lived with his mother for a short time, but she then got promoted in her job and moved to New York, leaving Robinson alone, but not discouraged.
He currently lives with teammates Dan Lee and Blake Gilen in La Crescenta. ?
“It’s just time to move on and live my life,” Robinson explains. “It has worked out well so far.”?
Robinson does visit University Place twice a year and misses his family and friends, but school and baseball (in that order) are what is important now.?
“School is most important right now and baseball is a close second, but how many people really make it into pro sports?” Robinson says. “I’d love to study communications and become a sportscaster or something of that nature.”?
The love and skill of baseball has been bred through the Robinson family, his father Phil Robinson, played professional baseball. Robinson has always known baseball and considers it his “number one hobby.” ?
Robinson is a laid back player off the field but once on the mound, he has to be aggressive in his deliverance to the strike zone. ?
“I like to keep guys loose, keep things fun, but sometimes you have to be serious and deliver,” Robinson says of his demeanor on and off the field.?
Sports are always looked at as a hobby and a cardio workout, but for the athletes there are life lessons to be learned. Coaches serve as guidance counselors not only on the playing field, but also in everyday situations.?
“Coach (Chris) Cicuto has taught us to deal with adversity, he gets things across to us that will help guide us throughout life,” Robinson says as Cicuto watches over batting practice. “He just stresses the importance of team and the whole [coaching] staff puts in hours everyday for us.”?
Robinson says that his life away from home has been made easier by his teammates who he describes as being his family away from home. Even though Robinson has recently been in and out of the rotation, he remains optimistic and supports his teammates despite the everyday battle for the same position.?
“Every position has two or three guys battling for the spot , it gets competitive, but we get behind each other and support each other no matter what and have fun everyday.” Robinson says.?
Robinson will spend this summer in Kansas, playing in the Summer Jayhawk League, which is a league for college players from all around the country.?
“I don’t know what I’m going to do next year,” Robinson says. “I just want to do this baseball thing for as long as I can.”?
This could be the last year for Robinson on a baseball team and that doesn’t bother him a bit. He has taken a lot from the sport and there is a game he remembers that only dreams can conjure up. The sequence unfolds as follows.?
“I’m up to bat at the top of the seventh inning and I hit a three-run homer to make the score 5-4,” Robinson recalls with a widening grin. “We shut ’em out the rest of the way and eventually went on to the playoffs and then won the league.”?
A hit like that can satisfy the hungriest of athletes, but for others it can make them chase the sun and another chance to elongate a career. Robinson will hopefully get another shot playing baseball, because no official offers have been made, but you can be sure he’ll be involved in a sports career even if it involves calling the games.
With his work ethic and instatiable hunger for the game, such goals aren’t far stretched. With his work ethic and instatiable hunger for the game, such goals aren’t far stretched.