There, on every wall of every minor league locker room, where rosters and travel schedules are pinned, one can find the sign-up sheets for what are known as “player appearances.” They usually consist of things like speaking engagements at local schools, autograph sessions at grocery stores, local meet-and-greets with the team mascot at some random car dealership, etc. Although the venues vary, but the payment—which can be as little as a gift card at the lowest minor league levels—only changes with a promotion. In High-A ball, you’ll earn anywhere from $50 to $100 a pop, which all depends on whether you have to give a speech or not. All appearances are offered at a first-come, first-served basis—and there are usually only three spaces for signatures—which are often are scheduled during a player’s only time for rest or on one of the few days off a player will receive over the course of the seven-month season.
Even though there are slim pickings for opportunities for appearances, you can count on the sheet being covered in names within minutes of its posting. Money is so tight in the minors, getting your name on that list is a godsend.
It’s not the best experience playing as a minor leaguer. Many players don’t like to talk about their experience as a minor league ball player. The travel conditions include long bus rides whereas if you were at the major league level you would have a short first class flight. You find yourself constantly on the road..and for a while.
They are just like other working Americans, they have families, mortgages to pay, bills to weep over. Yea, you may have baseball, the dream, the game, the joy, the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd. But is it truly worth the financial strain that you feel for trying to chase your dream of making it to a big league team and payday. You fly over all in a fantasy land where money has no value. How dare you talk of such trivialities in the face of all you have, you acquisitive minor-league swine. Take your player appearance sign-up sheet and shove it!
Minor League Baseball is not for everyone, but if you love baseball enough and have dreams of the big leagues, you push yourself. Unfortunately, not everyone makes it. There are only 30 big league teams, and each team has 3 or 4 minor league squads. The odds don’t play in the favor of every minor leaguer.