***The following article was written by Matt Cooper, a pitching prospect in the Chicago White Sox system, as a guest of FutureSox. This is part of our ongoing Prospect Perspective series: articles written by the players themselves. Matt was faced with a tough decision during the 2017 season, one which required choosing one dream over another. Here he tells us why, even as his prospect star was rising, he elected to retire from baseball. We hope this gives our readers a unique view into a player's perspective on life in the minors.***
By Matt Cooper
On October 11, my beautiful fiancée Stephany and I welcomed our amazing son Eli into the world. I accomplished a lot on the baseball field in my life but he is and always will be what I am most proud of. Stepping away from the game was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but to support my family I am always going to be here for them.
I am and always will be a ballplayer, and at times I think I’m even kinda good at it, but I know I’m an even better father. Being a father has changed my life in all aspects, in a positive way. When I am at work I can’t wait to get home and see my family. It’s a feeling of true happiness when I come home and see them. Those are the moments I cherish, as simple as they may be.
As far as what lies ahead career-wise for me, I’m not really sure yet but I know I will figure it out. Spring training is around the corner and I will miss not seeing all the great people in the organization, but I know I will be close to those people even though I’m not in the game anymore. There are a lot of people that come to mind that have been there for me throughout my career and they know who they are. I can’t thank them and the White Sox enough for all the support. I’m not a member of the White Sox organization anymore but I still feel like I always will be because of that.
I will be a fan now and when Eli is a little older I can take him to The Cell or Guaranteed Rate Field or whatever the fans call it nowadays, and that will be awesome.
I will forever be grateful for the opportunities and the support that the Chicago White Sox have given me on and off the field. The organization from top to bottom knows nothing but class. From the front office, to managers, coaches, trainers, strength coaches, players, and everyone else, I have experienced nothing but good things. These people have showed me love and support in times when I most needed it. I will always be grateful for that.
Thanks to FutureSox for letting me post this. Good luck and health to all my buddies with the rest of their careers.
For more on Matt's baseball background, you can check out his profile here.
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