Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Follow the Call

Here's a story you don't hear about everyday,

"Grant Desme entered the 2009 season with an injury-prone past.

The A's prized prospect exited the season with a head-turning presence, accompanied by a bat that produced 31 home runs and a speedy 6-foot-2 frame that stole 40 bases in Class A ball -- making him the only player in Minor League Baseball to enjoy a 30-30 campaign.

An exceptional performance and MVP honors in the Arizona Fall League followed, so surely Desme was close to getting a call, most assumed -- if not for a trip to The Show, then at least for an invitation to Spring Training.

Yet, Desme insists he'd already received the call long before his final at-bat in the fall came and went -- the one that would take him to bigger and better places.

It just so happens it wasn't what the A's organization -- or anyone else, for that matter -- had in mind.

The call, Desme announced Friday, came in the form of a vocation in the Catholic church.

"Last year before the season started, I really had a strong feeling of a calling and a real strong desire to follow it," the 23-year-old said. "I just fought it."

Thus, Desme chose to play out the season as a test of sorts, "just hoping and praying about it."
"As the year went on," he said, "God blessed me. I had a better year than I could have imagined, but that reconfirmed my desire because I wasn't at peace with where I was at. I love the game, but I aspire to higher things.

"I thought, I'm doing well in baseball, but I really had to get down to the bottom of things -- what was good in my life, what I wanted to do with my life. And I felt that while baseball is a good thing and I love playing, I thought it was selfish of me to be doing that when I really felt that God was calling me more, which took me awhile in my life to really trust and open up to it and aim full steam toward Him."

The telling result: A phone call on Thursday to relay his life-changing choice to A's general manager Billy Beane, who chose Desme as the club's second-round pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

Beane's reaction to the news was "great," says Desme, who claimed to be even more taken aback than the team's head honcho during the conversation.

"I was surprised [Thursday] when I called Billy to inform him about my decision," Desme says. "I was interested to see how I was going to react, knowing that when that phone call was over I'd be done with baseball most likely for the rest of my life. I was able to experience a great amount of peace because of it."

"I want to give my life completely to God out of love because of everything He's done for me. Something like this is even very little compared to what He's done for me."
-- Grant Desme