This was never part of the plan for Roemon Fields. Baseball was supposed to be a means to an end, a way to get an education first at community college then at Bethany College, a small NAIA school in Kansas.
Fields wasn't supposed to be here, playing Triple-A baseball for the Buffalo Bisons with a hitting streak that reached nine games on Monday when the centerfielder went 2 for 4 while driving in a pair of runs in an 8-6 win over the Syracuse Chiefs.
At 5-11, he was too small for the only Major League team which looked at him in college – the Kansas City Royals. So after graduation from Bethany Fields he was ready to hang up his cleats and took a job with the U.S. Postal Service in his hometown of Seattle.
His college coach asked him to play in one more tournament. Fields didn't really want to, but he did. And that one weekend changed everything.
"After college I had no baseball offers so I just started working at the post office," Fields said after batting practice at Coca-Cola Field Monday afternoon. "My college coach called me and asked if I wanted to play in a tournament. I was like not really. I've got a good job offer. I'm not going to just play baseball for a weekend. It's over.
"Then he kept calling me and calling me and my brother, Anthony, convinced me to play for a weekend. A Blue Jays scout was there and he saw me."
While other teams passed, the Toronto Blue Jays liked what they saw in the outfielder. Fields decided to put his "real world" career on hold and live the often unglamorous life of an undrafted free agent in minor league baseball.
"My grandma, she said it's a once-in-a-lifetime thing. USPS is always going to be here," Fields said. "This offer to play baseball might not be here tomorrow. She said go have fun. Live your dream and just have fun with it. That's what I do."
He played 2014 in low-A ball in Vancouver. He went through three levels in 2015, splitting most of the season between Single-A Dunedin and Double-A New Hampshire. He made his Triple-A debut with the Bisons that season, picking up five hits in six games.
He found stability in 2016, spending the entire season in New Hampshire where he was the Fisher Cats every day centerfielder, hitting .227 and ranking second in the Eastern League with 44 steals. So much for the teams that said he was too slow.
"Teams said I was too small and not fast enough. Things like that," the 5-11 Fields said. "I'm not proving them wrong. I'm guess they're just wrong."
Fields earned his second career Triple-A promotion on April 29 and has been on a hot streak since joining the Herd. He had multi-hit performances in three of the four games against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in Allentown, Pa., last week. During his nine-game hit streak, Fields has gone 13 for 36, while over his 10 game-stint with the Herd he has driven in seven runs and is batting .394.
"For Ro I think a lot of times it's how things work out before you really start to feel confident," said Bisons manager Bobby Meacham, who worked with Fields in Double-A last year. "I think a couple just basically cheap hits on the road trip really helped him. Because when you get fooled and you hit one off the end of the bat and it ends up being a hit versus an out, now you feel better about yourself. You go home and the box score says 1 for 3 or 2 for 3 and it feels better than 0-fer. Then you gain confidence and you feel better when you get up to the plate the next time. Hopefully that will roll into something really good for him the rest of the season."
For Fields, it's even simpler than that.
"I'm just getting good pitches," Fields said. "Pitches I want and what I'm looking for and I'm putting a good swing on it, honestly. After that you can't control it. That's part of baseball.
"Some days you're going to have tough days. Even in the real world. I don’t really think about that. I take it day by day. You know tomorrow's not promised and while you have the opportunity, just have fun with it and take advantage of it and God will put things in place."