Playing baseball is seasonal work. We don’t get paid outside the regular (and post-) season. If you’re in the Major Leagues, this isn’t necessarily a significant hardship, but to survive the low paying minor league season, most of us are forced to get a second job.
Of course, we can’t work while we’re playing, and Spring Training requires a time commitment that makes a second job unfeasible. That leaves only the offseason to make enough money to live on. As MiLB playoffs finish, I thought I’d pool some ideas from my teammates and discuss a few creative options for ballplayers in need.
The low hanging fruit is to grab a job such as coaching. But, if you are like me and enjoy variety in your life aside from baseball, you should branch out of your comfort zone and use your skills towards something else.
My first offseason I was a baseball instructor at Extra Innings in Middleton, MA. I was essentially doing the same thing year round, and, in retrospect, having my training and job revolve around baseball left me burned out a lot of the time.
That’s why last offseason I decided to start this blog — not to make money from it but to have an outlet outside of baseball and training that felt productive and meaningful. Not many people have the privilege of being both a financially struggling minor leaguer AND a writer.
Damn, how brilliant is this one? This job was the inspiration for this post; I had no idea that one of my teammates did this during the offseason. As long as you have a high school degree (though subs with college degrees get paid more) and no criminal record, this is a solid option that gives you flexibility and invaluable skills for your baseball career and beyond.
From my teammate Jake McCasland (or, as the girls in the classes all called him, the “hot sub”):
I really like it because it gives me a free schedule to lift and prepare for the season. It is also good experience for anyone looking to be a teacher in the future.
You learn to speak in front of an audience, which comes in handy for appearances and interviews, and how to teach. Knowing the basics of teaching obviously helps if you choose to go into coaching after your playing career, but may also help you develop as a player. From Lifehacker:
When compared to learners expecting a test, learners expecting to teach recalled more material correctly, they organized their recall more effectively and they had better memory for especially important information. The immediate implication is that the mindset of the student before and during learning can have a significant impact on learning, and that positively altering a student’s mindset can be effectively achieved through rather simple instructions.
Being able to remember the information you learned from watching video of a pitcher could definitely impact your next at bat.
So, how long have you been driving for Uber?
This one is perfect for being able to work around your training schedule because you get to choose your hours, and most peak times are afternoon and late night.
From my teammate Matt Lujan:
Uber is an easy way for people/athletes to make money with an irregular schedule. As an Uber driver we create our own schedule, everything is used through the application on your own phone and Uber pays you directly on a weekly basis.
To become a driver, Uber and Lyft do a background check, and you must have your car inspected and pictures of the car must be taken. I am not sure what the year of the car must be now but it was a 2004 model or newer with four doors.
Being an Uber driver is an easy and enjoyable way to make money. Basically you get to meet new people, learn the city you live in and listen to great music while earning money. The best times to drive are weekend nights and early mornings. This job has gotten me through two offseasons and allowed me to live and pay rent in San Diego. So if you want to pick up extra cash or make it a part time job, Uber is the way to go!
As someone who almost has had enough rides to be an Uber VIP, I’m going to add that having bottled water, gum, chargers for multiple devices and an auxiliary cord are crucial to people giving you 5-stars. And if you want a free ride, use my promo code of uberHomelessmilb.
If Uber and Lyft haven’t made it to your area yet, but you still want a job that works around peak training hours, bartending might be the route you choose.
First thing that comes to mind for me is that this job could hinder my sleep and recovery. Second, dealing with drunk people can’t be that exciting. However if you’re a night owl and have patience, those may not be huge issues for you.
From teammate Mike Connolly:
Bartending in the offseason is very convenient especially when it’s for a bartending service. I can make my own hours around working out getting ready for baseball season. It’s tough to make good money as a minor league baseball player, but the overall most important thing is to find something that is flexible around baseball. It’s a fun gig and time flies.
- Internship for post-baseball job experience
- Starbucks barista
- Join a pyramid scheme (actually, don’t do that.)
- Be a product model, like me.
Still didn’t find one you like? Here are some things you might want to think about when looking for a job.
- Evaluate your strengths and skills you already have. Most of us are good at pointing out our weaknesses, but naming our strengths can be challenging. My cousin gave me this book that made a huge difference in identifying where I could maximize my potential.
- What’d you get your college degree in? (If you’re a high school draftee, look for jobs that don’t require a degree.)
- Use your networks and connections. When people say they really want to help, they usually genuinely mean it. Remember that really cool season ticket holder that told you to call him if you ever needed anything? Now is the time.