WCPO 9 Sports Anchor Marshall Kramsky tries out for Florence Y'alls

An inside look at the dream of playing pro baseball through the experience of our own sports anchor
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Posted at 7:44 PM, May 09, 2023

FLORENCE, Ky. — Our sports team wanted to get a close look at the stories of young baseball players who still have a dream of making a career out of the sport they love. With that in mind, we put a microphone on our own sports anchor, Marshall Kramsky.

Marshall, a former college baseball player himself, tried out for the Florence Y'alls (an independent professional team in Northern Kentucky). Marshall pitched at New York University during his college years, but hasn't pitched competitively since then.

For many baseball players, the dream of playing professionally can extend years into adulthood. Some are simply looking for one more chance to prove they have the talent to make a career out of the sport.

Independent pro teams – like the Florence Y'alls – are often a good place to start pursuing that dream.

It can come with considerable challenges, though.

Some independent league players also work full-time jobs. Some stay with "host families" throughout the summer, if they don't live in the area. Others gather multiple teammates and split rent for an apartment throughout the season.

"I graduated college this year, so I figured if I have the chance to play somewhere else [I should try]," said one player who tried out in April.

Some players made long road trips to get to tryouts. One player drove to the Cincinnati area from Alabama. The very next day, he drove about an hour south, and tried out for the Lexington Counter Clocks (formerly the Lexington Legends).

For some players, an independent team can serve as an alternative to playing college baseball.

"I'm done [with school]," said one player who tried out as a catcher. "I love baseball ... but I don't like the classroom much."

With most roster spots already filled, 27 Players showed-up for tryouts in mid-April. Only two of those players received invites to the team's preseason camp.

The Florence Y'alls 2023 season begins Thursday night, May 11 with a home game against the Gateway Grizzlies.