Oscar Sanay is all too familiar with the feeling of being skipped over in the Major League Baseball Draft.
So when the three day event ended on June 7 and his name wasn't called, it reminded him of the feeling the year before, when it happened as well during his first year of draft eligibility.
Maybe it felt worse when his hometown school San Diego State told him in 2011 they had a scholarship for him, only to pull it off the table at the last minute, forcing him to seek other options. Those options turned into a brilliant four-year career here at CSUB.
Despite leading the program in batting average in three out of the four years he played and leaving the Roadrunners with several offensive records, he was skipped over again. To compound the issue, he had two goals at the beginning of his senior season he wanted to accomplish, two goals that were brought on after being snubbed following his junior year; this was a setback in accomplishing those goals.
He was waiting for two days in Bakersfield for his name to be called; he had his parents on Face Time from their Chula Vista home so they could share the moment. He'd get calls from scouts and coaches saying he was going to be selected soon. It never happened. Following the conclusion of the 40th round he locked himself in his room and was trying to figure out what to do next.
Disbelief. Shock. These are a couple of emotions Oscar says he went through during what turned out to be a 12-hour waiting period. He woke up on Sunday, went through the motions of breakfast, settled down on the couch to watch the college baseball regional tournament and fell asleep again.
That's when his phone rang and his life changed. On the other end of the line was Tampa Bay Rays scout Robbie Moen. He spoke with Oscar about the disappointment of not being drafted, then he offered him the chance he waited his whole life for, a free-agent contract with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Before he answered, Oscar looked out the window. He wasn't sure if he had woken up or was still dreaming. He was awake, and this was real. He was finally getting the chance that he was looking for, the chance to be a pro ballplayer.
A true example of dedication and determination, Sanay's been through it plenty in his career, but he speaks about how those challenges have made him stronger as a baseball player, as a man. He now gets the same opportunity the first round draft picks are getting, a chance to play in the minors and make a big league roster.
Oscar had a chip on his shoulder when he came to CSUB after his San Diego State snub, he says he'll carry that same chip into the Rays organization. More motivation to prove others wrong and reward the organization that took a chance on him.
This whole story however isn't just focused around one student-athlete's roller coaster ride into pro baseball; it's also about the two goals he set for himself. You see, when Oscar wasn't drafted as a junior, he returned to CSUB this year as a senior. His two goals were simple. Graduate college and play professional baseball.
The extra year allowed him to finish that degree. He walked across the stage last weekend a recipient of a Bachelor's degree in business. He checks off the next goal this week when he reports to Fort Meyers, Fla., and the Tampa Bay Rays training facility.
Oscar says both goals were also dreams; both were equally tough and not easily obtained. But he again proves with enough work and dedication, dreams come true.
See you in the big leagues.
COREY COSTELLOE, a Tehachapi High graduate, is Director of New Media and Broadcasting for California State University, Bakersfield.