“Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.”
If anyone knows me, they know that my world revolved around baseball coming up as an adolescent. I felt in my heart that I would follow in my fathers footstep and ultimately become the next great middle infielder to come out of Jackson, MS. That dream ended after one long extensive practice in 100 degree weather during the summer of 2007.
Riding from JSU, me and my teammate were discussing how we were going to set the tone for future JPS baseball players being that baseball had become a dying sport within our inner city. Very enthusiastic about the possibilities of changing the dynamic in our city, we parted ways and planned for an intense practice the next day. While driving away from his house in the Queens, I called my ex-fiancé to tell her I was on my way home and then proceeded to crank Lil Boosie, "I'm Kinda Hot Right Now." As a kid visiting my cousins and friends in the Queens riding our bikes down the steep hill on Flag Chapel was a thrill. I remember times falling off the bike and getting up only to laugh it off. On this day, there would be no laughing. While turning onto this infamous street linking the Queens and Presidential Hills together, I was behind a logging truck. While rapping, bouncing, and nodding my head I wasn't giving my undivided attention to the log falling off the back of the truck. Abruptly, I tried to dodge the log and flipped my SUV 7 to 9 times. I remember vividly seeing myself going around and around. It hands down was the scariest moment of my life. The only thing I could do was say a quick prayer to God asking Him to cover me. Body numb and in a state of shock, I climbed out of the sunroof not knowing what to do or who to call on not realizing I had a dislocated shoulder, swollen face, and a back that would later haunt me. My father came to get me and preceded to take me to my mother's house. Limping into to my childhood bedroom and broke down only thinking about my future in baseball.
After letting my pride go after several pleads from my family to go to the hospital, I was admitted to the hospital for X-rays and a cat scan. As I lay stricken to the bed, I kept asking myself "was this it," "could I somehow get my ass up for practice tomorrow," and "what is next?" I received a phone call from my coach stating that he was hopeful and prayerful for a speedy recovery. That eased my mind at the moment but I knew I had an uphill battle in front of me to get back on the field. As months passed by and I had gone through several rehabs, I thought I was ready to go back out and compete for a spot on the team. I had a rude awakening. After a solid showing, my coach dropped a bombshell on me and told me that he had decided to go in another direction. I struggled to find an identity as to who I was outside of baseball eventually dropping out of school. I often became suicidal and thought there was no purpose to live any longer. Overtime my hatred for my coach turned into understanding. I had to understand that he had a job to maintain and that collegiate sports is a business.
"What is Plan B if baseball didn't work out?" This was a question that was asked to me from several role models in my life growing up. I never took the question seriously because I always envisioned myself playing in the Major Leagues, on national television, and counting millions. At this very moment, I realized that the real life my elders once warned me about had now began whether I liked it or not. So what was next for Rick Deuce? I can tell you this much...the transition wasn't easy and I faced a lot of obstacles on the way to finding out my purpose.