Drafted 10th overall in 1988 by the Chicago White Sox, Robin Ventura spent 16 years in the MLB. It was everything a kid from Santa Maria could ask for.
“You know when you ask your 10-year-old self what you would like to have happen, that’s the cool part of it,” Ventura said. “You really don’t feel like you’re an adult with a job. It was more of, if you could pick one thing you always wanted to do, that was it.”
While a member of the New York Mets in 2000, Ventura reached the pinnacle of any big leaguer’s career, the World Series. However, their ‘Subway Series’ rival New York Yankees were crowned champions after five games.
“The journey is so long,” Ventura exclaimed. “When you get there, you’re a little overwhelmed with the fact that you’re actually in there and there’s only seven games left. You’re one of two teams left in baseball.”
Ventura finally hung up his cleats in 2004 after spending two seasons with his favorite childhood team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was a dream come true.
“I grew up listening to Vin Scully, going to games. It blew me away. It was probably the greatest thing for me just thinking of yourself as a kid,” Ventura added. “You have dreams and that was the one dream I had.”
Coincidentally enough, when Ventura was with the Dodgers, he was teammates with both managers of this season’s World Series, LA’s Dave Roberts and Boston’s Alex Cora.
“Well, they’re both smart baseball guys and that’s the biggest thing,” Ventura said. “Both of them are good guys, they’re smart, and they know how to relate to people.”
And as a former manager himself [Chicago White Sox], Ventura knows how tough it is to switch hats from player to head coach.
“When you’re a manager, you come to the ballpark every day and there’s 25 screaming needs and you’ve got to figure out a way to make everybody feel like they’re ready to go and can be productive that day'” Ventura explained. “You’re kind of looking out for everybody else before yourself.”
It may seem like a tough decision, but Ventura knows exactly who’s he’s pulling for to win it all this season.
“I do like both guys, but I’ve been a Dodgers fan my whole life,” Ventura said. “I would like to see them pull one out.”