WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Walking in the afternoon sun at Raley Field, River Cats utility player Myles Schroder, with his catchers' bag flung over his shoulder, sunflower seeds in one hand, energy drink in the other, has his hands full on the diamond. Back at home with wife, Summer, daughter Tenley, another daughter coming in the fall, and three dogs- things are just as demanding. But starting in February of each year until October, Summer knows she is in charge of everything... all day... every day.
"He gets home and has to go straight to the park from two-thirty until Midnight," says Myles' wife of six years. "He gets home at midnight but he sleeps in until 10 am because he couldn't get to sleep until 2am, then he goes back to the ballpark again at 2pm. So we have about 50 percent of his mind that we get now."
With Summer holding it down at home, the Schroder family is all-in on making their major league dreams come true. Born in Pleasant Hill, California and drafted by his hometown Giants in 2007, Myles journey ended almost as soon as it began when he abruptly retired from baseball.
"You're away from what you know," says Myles about feeling homesick at Spring Training. "I was young and it was something that was hard to get used to." Myles left baseball for more than 3 years. He worked odd jobs to survive but the baseball bug never left. Myles called Giants General Manager Bobby Evans, who was the VP of Baseball Operations, in 2011 and told him he still wanted baseball in his life. After a few workouts the Giants were still sold on Myles' talent and they invited him back. Myles took this second chance and never looked back. He started with Single-A ball in San Jose in 2011, then onto Double-A ball in Richmond, Virginia. Now, he has reached the Triple-A level and Myles is on the Giants radar for potential big league call-ups.
River Cats manager Dave Brundage believes there is something special about Myles. "He is not shy in the confidence department," says Brundage who has spent 12 of his 20 seasons managing at the Triple-A level. "But Myles really backs it up."
Time may be running out on Myles Schroders' Major League dream. He is turning 31 years old this summer and he has spent the better part of a decade in the Giants minor league system. He does have one big factor in his favor- he has spent the last decade learning to switch hit and play every single position on the diamond- a move that could help Myles stick around a lot longer.
"I don't believe I have ever had a player as versatile as Myles Schroder," says Brundage. "We can put him anywhere on the field. In fact, we recently put him on the mound."
That fact makes Myles beam with pride. "Now that I have pitched I can say that I have played every spot on the field, it took me eleven years before I was able to pitch."
Myles is a utility player in high demand in a system that is crowded from top to bottom. But, for the Schroder family, every day is all about working hard, head down and spirits high until that days finally comes when they get "the call." For Summer, whose job as a travel NICU nurse supports the family in the off season, it's a pure pursuit of happiness, not necessarily dollar signs.
"I've found my calling in life, I love my job and I could be a NICU nurse forever. I want that for him. I want him to reach his dream because I want him to be happy. The money? That definitely would be nice because we have struggled in that area."
"I am always thinking about it," says Myles, "waiting for that call or to be called into the coaches office."
"That's the one thing I love about this level", says Brundage. "I get to make that call that and help a young man fulfill his dream."
Brundage just made that very call for another young player, maybe his next call is for Myles Schroder. Only time will tell.
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