There is also an elusive destination. Tony Schrager and John Drennen see light at the end of the tunnel. Like other minor league players, they are consumed with the desire to reach the seemingly unreachable. Though the odds are stacked against them, they never waver in their quest for baseball immortality.
Schrager and Drennen are endearing figures. They put their heart and soul into their work with one singular goal in mind. They endure the long bus rides, live in sparse hotel rooms, and constantly work on their swing. There are highs and there are lows. As physically demanding as the sport is, mentally it may be even more so.
Drennen was drafted out of high school in the 1st round by the Indians back in 2005. Schrager was drafted out of Stanford in the 6th round by the Cubs in 1998. He retired from professional baseball in 2006.
Schrager paid his dues and worked his way to AAA. His career line was .258/.370/.424 for an OPS of .794. Pretty good numbers for a middle infielder. Had he ever been given a chance, I believe he could have stuck in MLB as a utility player. He had versatility, excellent plate discipline, and a little pop. The only thing missing was an opportunity. Cody Ross, a former teammate, thought he had what it took.
Drennen has worked his way to AA. His last 2 seasons have been solid. I believe he'll be in AAA at some point in 2011. He has also paid his dues. In Time In The Minors, we see his transformation from a fresh-faced kid to a young man. There is a great moment in Okun's film where Drennen takes a notable pitcher deep in a rehab start.
What does the future hold for John Drennen? I don't know. But the dream is alive and well. And isn't that what life is all about?