If you think minor league baseball is a young man's game, don't tell that to Round Rock Express pitcher Brandon Mann. The 34-year-old reliever says he feels like his best is yet to come.
Since getting drafted out of high school by Tampa Bay back in 2002, Mann says he has been with several organizations including four independent ball teams and one of the top teams in Japan.
For 16 season, all in the minors and overseas, Mann has kept coming back year after year. But it has a lot of people wondering what keeps him motivated when the majors has been elusive for so long.
"You know I've been asked that question a lot. My faith in God. My work ethic," Mann says. "I just always believed that God kep me healthy for a reason. Kept me getting stronger. Throwing harder every year for a reason."
"I just never wanted to walk away from the game and not reach that goal," Mann adds.
After going through the grind and never giving up on his dream of making it to the majors his hard work and perseverance finally paid off this season.
Mann finally got the call just three days before his 34th birthday. He made his MLB debut with the Texas Rangers on May 13 against the Houston Astros.
"My wife and my sister were in the stands. I think there was 38,000 people there. They weren't cheering for me so it was fairly quiet in there but I could hear my sister and my wife screaming. It was just a calming moment hearing them," Mann says.
Mann says he's been up three times now and hopes "this year is a platform for a longer career."
"I definitely think that this has shown me that I'm done yet," Mann says.