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Taking One Last Swing At Baseball's Big Time

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Taking One Last Swing At Baseball's Big Time

Sports

Taking One Last Swing At Baseball's Big Time

Taking One Last Swing At Baseball's Big Time

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/151315885/151418091" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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After being called up to play for the Atlanta Braves in 2009, Reid Gorecki batted in a run against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Jim McIsaac/Getty Images hide caption

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Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

After being called up to play for the Atlanta Braves in 2009, Reid Gorecki batted in a run against the New York Mets at Citi Field.

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

On the night of Aug. 17, 2009, Reid Gorecki achieved what every minor league ballplayer hopes to achieve: He played in his first major league game.

"Everything I hoped and imagined it would be, it was," he says. "Being a part of that for the first time was just fabulous."

Gorecki was picked up by the Atlanta Braves after bouncing around various minor league teams for seven years. He put on a Braves uniform for a total of 31 games.

Then, it was over.

He hasn't been back to the majors since, and he's struggling over whether it's finally time to make a new life for himself beyond the field.

Today, Gorecki teaches youngsters how to play baseball.

"Gotta give back for all those years that I received lessons," he says. "Baseball was my life for 30 years."

Reid Gorecki coaches a young player in a batting cage. Remembering the first hit he got in the majors, Gorecki calls it "a dream come true." Jim Wildman/NPR hide caption

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Jim Wildman/NPR

Reid Gorecki coaches a young player in a batting cage. Remembering the first hit he got in the majors, Gorecki calls it "a dream come true."

Jim Wildman/NPR

He gives lessons in a warehouse-like building on Long Island, close to where he grew up.

"I have to start thinking about life after baseball," he says. "Tomorrow morning I have a test for the New York City Fire Department."

Still, he's having one more go at baseball — to say goodbye to the game in his own way.

Gorecki is playing outfield for the Long Island Ducks.

Their first game is Thursday night. Gorecki says he's looking forward to not only playing for this final team — but to winning a championship.

"I'm greedy when it comes to winning," he says. "I want one more ring."

Perhaps one more championship ring — and the remote chance of another big league ball club calling him to play.