Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Persistence Pays Off — Florida Marlins call up Vinny Rottino

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The Florida Marlins have called up Vinny Rottino, the hardest-working minor league player I know.  Rottino is a Racine, Wisconsin, native — just like me in that — who plays baseball, and is 31 years old.  As I’ve stated in other blogs, he plays many positions, including the outfield, most of the infield, and catcher.

I’d nearly given up hope that Rottino would get called up as I’ve been reading Marlins’ manager Jack McKeon’s comments on the subject; McKeon seems to believe that he needs time to evaluate the players he already has, as he came to this year’s group of Marlins mid-stream, and McKeon was not sold on calling up anyone at the September 1 call-up date.

Fortunately, someone in the Marlins’ front office either overruled McKeon, or sold McKeon on how hard-working Rottino is and how much he’ll enjoy having Rottino around.  Because after Rottino’s fine AAA season, where he batted .304 with 31 doubles, two triples, 10 HRs, 81 Rs scored, 17 SBs and 59 RBI, Rottino definitely deserved to be called up to the major leagues.

Peter Jackel, who is a sports columnist for the Racine Journal-Times (my local newspaper), wrote an article for today’s paper (September 6, 2011) about Rottino’s call-up and quoted him as saying:**

“It means a lot,” said Rottino, who was signed by the Brewers as an undrafted free agent in January 2003.  “I’ve been playing for nine years, I’m 31 years old now and there may have been other paths I could’ve taken.  But I just felt with a lot of conviction that this was the path I was supposed to be on and that I was supposed to be grinding out minor-league at-bats, for whatever reason.”

Rottino, as you might remember from me blogging about it before, started out the season in dismal fashion, going 1 for 24.  But then, he went on a tear and never looked back.

For whatever it’s worth, last night I Tweeted that the Marlins should call up Rottino right now because he has such a great story to him — he’s a fine player, but it’s his persistence that makes him great.  His stalwart refusal to give up on himself is why I keep writing about him; I find it inspiring to realize that other people who might be a little older than others in their chosen profession come to realize their gifts and continue to act upon them.  Because persistence really does pay off.

I don’t know if Rottino has read Malcolm Gladwell’s book OUTLIERS.  But if he has, he knows that sometimes, it just takes someone a little longer to put in the 10,000 hours of work it seems to take to become proficient — then excellent — then outstanding — at any given profession.  I believe Rottino’s done that work and I believe even more strongly that he will do well in the big leagues if the Marlins only give him a chance.

Congratulations, Mr. Rottino!

—————-

** Note: I’m having trouble posting links to WordPress right now.  Once I’m able to do so, Mr. Jackel’s fine article about Vinny Rottino will be added to this blog.  For now, I hope the longer-form attribution will serve as it’s the best I can do.  Never mind.  Link has been added.  All is well.

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Written by Barb Caffrey

September 6, 2011 at 4:12 pm

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