As romantic and sexy and awesome as “being a baseball player” sounds, the reality is that some days -- it just sucks. And it can be worse for minor league players.
When the going gets bad, minor league guys turn to The Cup Check. Launched late last year by Nick McCoy, a catcher drafted by the Yankees in 2010 -- McCoy attempted to capture the brotherhood between minor leaguers. The site is a community where minor leaguers write and publish motivational material to show dreamers like themselves what the life’s really like and to help their brothers out.
McCoy said he went through a couple hundred names before settling on The Cup Check. “I wanted something true to minor leaguers,” he said, laughing. The site’s slogan is “Protect the goods,” which actually goes a little deeper than it sounds. McCoy says the romance of chasing the baseball dream can fade quickly, but the goods is the thought of why you love he game. McCoy has roughly a dozen contributors (he edits everything) and they all know and appreciate how hard that minor league life is, the things they give up for it, and the odds against them.
He started the site late last year after his uncle, Kevin Kuhn, kept urging him to create a blog about baseball. McCoy talked with a bunch of his teammates and friends, and the response, McCoy says, “was overwhelmingly positive.” So he set it up through WordPress, picked out a free template, paid just ten bucks to register the domain name and the stories came flooding in.
Taylor Rogers, a pitcher in AA ball with the San Francisco Giants, wrote how singers should do the pre-game national anthem. Caleb Cotham, a Yankees pitcher who writes under the name “C2,” does book reviews. Preston Claiborne, also a Yankees pitcher, wrote a two-part survival guide for playing Puerto Rican winter ball. Most recently, The Cup Check featured ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte writing about his experience pitching for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic.
Ideally, McCoy wants the site to grow to where he has a minor leaguer from every organization contributing, who then pass the site on down to the new guys in the organization when they hopefully graduate to the majors.
“It’s helped a ton in providing a good work-life balance,” McCoy says. “In professional baseball, you’re doing a job every single day with maybe one or two days off a month. This is a nice outlet to be productive, to help other people out, and to watch something grow.”
Whatever happens with The Cup Check, priority number one will always be: Protect those goods.