Taking One Last Swing At Baseball's Big Time
On the night of Aug. 17, 2009, Reid Gorecki achieved what every minor league ballplayer hopes to achieve: He played in his first major league game.
"Everything I hoped and imagined it would be, it was," he says. "Being a part of that for the first time was just fabulous."
Gorecki was picked up by the Atlanta Braves after bouncing around various minor league teams for seven years. He put on a Braves uniform for a total of 31 games.
Then, it was over.
He hasn't been back to the majors since, and he's struggling over whether it's finally time to make a new life for himself beyond the field.
Today, Gorecki teaches youngsters how to play baseball.
"Gotta give back for all those years that I received lessons," he says. "Baseball was my life for 30 years."
He gives lessons in a warehouse-like building on Long Island, close to where he grew up.
"I have to start thinking about life after baseball," he says. "Tomorrow morning I have a test for the New York City Fire Department."
Still, he's having one more go at baseball — to say goodbye to the game in his own way.
Gorecki is playing outfield for the Long Island Ducks.
Their first game is Thursday night. Gorecki says he's looking forward to not only playing for this final team — but to winning a championship.
"I'm greedy when it comes to winning," he says. "I want one more ring."
Perhaps one more championship ring — and the remote chance of another big league ball club calling him to play.
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.