Moss, who ended up having a breakout campaign with the Oakland Athletics that season, was prepared to pursue a baseball opportunity in Japan and then consider life as a firefighter. Receiving a call-up from the A’s only figured to complicate matters as he looked to opt out of his contract nine days later.
“You can just see the writing on the wall,” Moss recently told MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian of nearly making a significant career change in 2012. “It was something I was really thinking about.”
Moss, now a member of the Cleveland Indians, appeared in only 17 major league games with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010 and five games with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2011. The outfielder, according to Bastian, was ready to cash in on a more lucrative baseball job overseas and then walk away from the game completely.
Moss, who had a wife and young son to support, had discussed with his close friend, Brian Headspeth, the possibility of becoming a firefighter back in their Georgia hometown.
“Baseball had been his life for so long,” Headspeth told Bastian. “He still wanted that team aspect and that brotherhood. He wanted to still experience that, and not really go to a 9-to-5 desk job. We have a lot of former military and former athletes that work in the fire service as a whole, just because of that aspect. It really becomes like a family, and that’s what he was looking for. That’s what he was used to.”
Things have drastically changed for Moss since his 2012 call-up. He hit .291 with 21 homers in 84 games that year, blasted a career-high 30 bombs in 2013 and earned his first ever All-Star selection in 2014.
Moss made $4.1 million in 2014 and is set to earn $6.5 million with the Tribe in 2015. It’s safe to say everything worked out despite Moss’ brush with stepping away from his lifelong dream.
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images
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