Blog by: Ryan Flanery
After a planned day with the Detroit Tigers, Kids N’ Kubs, Ball State baseball and a departure time of 8:00 a.m. some of our plans were moved to later in the week and our group of 15 was left with an extra hour before leaving to cover Ball State baseball.
So, what did I do with an extra hour of my time that early on a Saturday morning you might ask?
I went to a local coffee shop, of course.
The Reserve, a small locally owned and operated business in Sarasota, Florida welcomed a group of eight under-caffeinated individuals after just opening a few minutes before our arrival and missing their barista who was apparently late for work.
Co-owner, Jessica Simmons was ready and waiting patiently for our orders as we glared into her menu filled with assortments of coffees and teas.
Seeing a perplexed look on her face due to a swarm of pasty people was in her shop wearing T-shirts and shorts in 60-degree weather, I decided to start small talk.
Noticing her clothing choice of pants and a jacket I asked, “Is this a cold morning for you in Florida?” Her response, “I had the heat on in my car this morning.”
I had to chuckle because I was about to get my iced chai tea latte and sit on the patio during this ‘cold’ Florida morning.
Still looking confused, I explained the purpose of our pasty selves visiting Florida for spring training baseball.
Simmons instantly sprung with joy and told us about the room above her coffee shop and how she is renting to a couple whose nephew is a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles.
That pitcher is lefty Wade Miley, throwing in his sixth season in the big leagues.
Most recently, Miley has played for the Orioles, helping stabilize the back end of the rotation for Baltimore.
Miley is posting a 4.18 career earned run average and holds a 58-59 win loss record.
The couple here to watch their nephew ventured down from the room and I was able to catch a quick conversation before I had to leave for the Ball State baseball game.
During that conversation, I learned Miley and his wife are parents to a five-month-old little boy, and that is the reason Miley’s aunt and uncle are here for spring training, and that is the reason they are staying in the room above The Reserve, an urban-like coffee shop, tasting room, and book store wrapped into one with family like living quarters above.
Family brought together by baseball.
If today taught me anything it is that this little game we call life would not be possible to get through without family.
Today, my Ball State Spring Training family and I adapted to the changing schedule and found meaningful stories.
Right now, baseball is everywhere in Florida.
And every day, someone has a story to tell.