3:37 PM ET
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Grueling, late-night road trips are a loathed hallmark of minor league baseball, and most ballplayers can’t wait to leave bus life behind.
Jack Labosky is traveling in a different lane. A relief pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, Labosky used his $3,000 signing bonus to purchase a school bus, and he and girlfriend Madi Hiatt plan to live out of the renovated “skoolie” during the 2019 season. A healthy dose of whimsy went into that decision, to be sure, but it’s also a creative way for the couple to stretch Labosky’s meager minor league salary.
“It’s kind of the one time in my life I feel like I’m able to do something like it,” Labosky said.
The Rays selected Labosky, a two-way player at Duke, in the 22nd round of the draft last June. He quickly accepted the signing bonus — trivial compared to the millions earned by most first-round picks, but for Labosky, “$3,000 was hard to come by as a college student, so that was great to me.” He played the final 2½ months of the season with Class A Hudson Valley in Wappingers Falls,