Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Ventura is a 'student assistant' on his college team

I wonder if he gets a meal plan.
@michaelsclair
January 14, 2020

The life of a pro ballplayer normally follows a pretty predictable path: After their playing days are over, they usually get into coaching, snag a managerial job, do some TV analysis or simply golf all day every day until their skin is as leathery and cracked as an alligator's. Robin

The life of a pro ballplayer normally follows a pretty predictable path: After their playing days are over, they usually get into coaching, snag a managerial job, do some TV analysis or simply golf all day every day until their skin is as leathery and cracked as an alligator's.

Robin Ventura is taking a very different path. After the former White Sox and Mets third baseman retired in 2004, he helped kick-start a boom in young managers taking over teams when he was hired to lead Chicago in 2012. But now, like Rodney Dangerfield before him, he's back in school as the "student assistant" for the Oklahoma State University baseball team -- the same team where he was a three-time All-American and registered a record 58-game hit streak.

Though he's a little older and grayer, he even looks the part as he's gone back to finish his degree. (The real question: How long until he's rocking sweatpants to class?)

While Ventura will surely be afforded more respect than most other "student assistants," I do love the idea of Ventura running late to practice because he was in the middle of taking a final, and being chewed out by the players for not taking the team seriously enough.

Ventura is not the only former big leaguer returning to their old schools this year. Tim Hudson has signed on to be the volunteer baseball coach at his alma mater, Auburn.

Michael Clair writes for MLB.com. He spends a lot of time thinking about walk-up music and believes stirrup socks are an integral part of every formal outfit.