Palm Springs, Calif --
January baseball has been in full service since the winter of 2010, making this go around the ninth season of the California Winter League.
The California Winter League is a month-long developmental instructional league for aspiring professional baseball players. Managers and coaches from several independent leagues across the United States along with scouts and representatives from Major League organizations trek out to watch the on-field talent.
Those that lace up the spikes are players that have recently put a stamp on their collegiate careers or have played at the professional level in the past. At the youngest end of the spectrum, there are even a handful that are making their final high school strides.
All of that said, though, players have one common goal -- sign a professional contract.
For myself, my collegiate career finished in April of 2016 at Limestone College, where I graduated. Upon completion of my college career, I set my eyes on the 2017 season, but was unable to catch on anywhere at the professional level.
But, I stuck to it.
Having heard about the great opportunity that the California Winter League presents, I set my sights for the West Coast.
At that point, it was mid-summer, giving me nearly six months to prepare. During that time frame, I continued training on and off the diamond.
For the final month and a half, I upped the ante. I began working with a professional trainer in hopes of being in the best shape possible for my arrival in Palm Springs. Along with those physical goals, I needed to find a place to fine-tune the baseball craft, which always seems to be a daunting task year in and year out.
This year, I lucked out by being able to find the defensive and offensive work I needed at a local facility.
On Monday, January 22nd, I departed for the West Coast.
Alex Oleszkowicz is a writer for Cleat Geeks and Detroit Sports and Entertainment... but right now he is an aspiring professional baseball player. He agreed to document his journey as part of the California Winter League in a three-part series for us. This is Part One, with a day-in-the-life piece coming soon, and a summary piece at the conclusion of his experience.