Aug. 10, 2008
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At times there can be a misconception that playing minor league baseball is glamorous, when in fact it is a far cry from the lifestyles enjoyed by those in the majors. Players in the minor leagues endure long bus rides, long seasons and relatively low pay. To compensate for the low pay, most players find second jobs during the offseason to supplement their income.
One minor leaguer who is taking on an additional role is former Vanderbilt third baseman Tony Mansolino, who is in his third season in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
Having already worked as a substitute teacher, a bus boy and a caterer during the off seasons, Mansolino recently took a much different route when he authored a children's book called "Dreams Will Come, Dreams Will Go."
"One thing I did when I first started (minor league baseball) was to find a way I could supplement my income using the talents that I had, and I just started thinking," said Mansolino, who graduated from Vanderbilt in 2005. "Writing is something I've always loved to do -- even as a kid."
The subject that Mansolino chose to write about is one that he is very familiar with -- the life of being a minor league player. The main character in the book is a journeyman minor leaguer named Rock Rogers, who has never reached the majors during his 12-year career. "I wanted to tell the story of what minor league baseball is like," Mansolino said.
Mansolino started writing the book in January 2007 and finished in August, but there were times when he didn't think he was going to be able to finish it.
"I wanted to quit at one point because I really didn't want to do it when I started realizing how much work this was actually going to be," Mansolino said. "There were so many people and family and friends that were expecting me to do it, and I just kept going and going."
To publish the book, Mansolino opened his own company called Play Ball Publishing (Playballpublishing.com) after others turned him down.
Even though the book initially began as a way for Mansolino to earn additional income, it has turned into much more than just that. In fact, a portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to the Bruce Kaye Brain Tumor Foundation, which was started by former Commodore John Kaye.
"Supporting that foundation is definitely one of my top priorities for the whole book," Mansolino said. "The guy that is really impressive is John Kaye and what he has been able to do. That guy has given up so much to help so many people with this foundation, and I just want to help as much as I can.
"This book has taken me all kinds of places so far. Ultimately, what got me doing this was probably trying to supplement my life, but as the process evolved it became much more."