- Over my 14 seasons of professional baseball, I’ve kept a key card from every hotel/motel I’ve stayed in. (minus the motel in Billings, Montana… they had real metal keys)
- Hotels are part of the game.
- Minor League teams play a 140 game schedule. That’s 70 at home, and 70 on the road. So the “hotel equation” is as follows…
- 70 nights on the road + spring training + a few random stays = 1/3 of the year living in hotels.
- Every player in the minor leagues also has a road roommate.
- My career statistics at MiLB.com have my number of hotel “road roomies” somewhere between 74 and 91. (it’s listed in-between E.R.A. and balks)
- Having a roomy keeps it interesting.
- AND I’ve had a lot of interesting experiences as a minor leaguer living in hotels…
2003 When my roommate was past curfew, I made a “fake” sleeping roommate out of pillows to trick the hitting coach checking curfew. Later that night I was awoken when my roommate yelled, “Get the hell outta my bed!”
2004 I shot a bottle rocket from my hotel room into a parking lot and nearly hit a cop car. The officer confiscated my fireworks. Apparently in the state of Wisconsin it’s legal to buy bottle rockets, but illegal to light them without a permit.
2005 At a Comfort Inn & Suites in Jupiter Florida, I drug an extremely heavy entertainment center from one room to my room. The tv was bolted to it, and we needed 2 tv’s to play Halo on Xbox. (4 on 4 no screenjacking)
2006 Next to an old motel in Kodak, Tennessee there sits an ironic gas station/fireworks store. During an in-room Bible study, a smoke bomb was tossed through our doorway completely filling the room with smoke. However, the most disturbing thing was that neither the sprinkler nor the smoke alarm went off.
2007 From my hotel room window, I witnessed a future Cy Young Award winner try to swim across the Missouri River.
2008 After my MLB debut in Washington DC, a mistaken fan in the hotel lobby asked me to sign his Ben Sheets baseball cards… so I did.
2009 When the team arrived at the hotel in Memphis… after a 7 hour post-game bus trip from Oklahoma City, we were met by 30 boxes of pizza, 30 bottles of soda, and 1 Trevor Hoffman on rehab assignment.
2010 My 1 year old son took his first steps at a spring training hotel… just moments before my wife told me she was pregnant.
2011 As my roommate and I were leaving the team hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico, we were grabbed by police. They pulled us away from the lobby, and told us there was a man waving a gun on the 3rd floor. (it wasn’t Walter White)
2012 The clubhouse in Las Vegas used to give away free food vouchers for one of the hotel’s restaurants. I recklessly managed to eat a 5 course meal, 3 times a day, for 4 days!
2013 My hotel room in Campeche, Mexico sported an 11″ televisión, tile floors, a window, and a portable closet safe. (FYI… The Simpsons may be even funnier in Español)
2014 The Venezuelan government shut down the power to the city. Two days in a hotel without a phone, internet, or twitter was very excruciating. (oh yeah my wife back in the U.S.A. was also concerned)
2015 Mark Wahlberg was starring in a movie being filmed at our hotel in New Orleans! He ignored me when I tried yelling at him from down the hallway. “Hey Wahlberg! You’re not a good enough actor to act like you can’t hear me!”
2016 After a day game, I made a dubsmash video of “Hotel California”… while in a hotel in California. (the air guitar was real, and so were the random high school field-trip kids in the lobby)
“Housekeeping, you want mint for pillow?”