By Charlie Roumeliotis
Former Chicago Cubs second baseman Adrian Cardenas was considered one of the top-ranked MLB prospects coming out of high school.
He was voted the High School Player of the Year by Baseball America in 2006 and was later drafted in the first-round by the Philadelphia Phillies.
After being traded to the Oakland Athletics in 2008, Cardenas spent the next four years bouncing around the minors before eventually landing on the Cubs.
Cardenas made his Major League debut on May 7, 2012 in a pinch-hit role for the Cubs and appeared in 44 more games to finish the year with a .183 batting average and 2 RBI.
But when the season came to a close, the 24-year old decided to walk away from the game for an unexpected reason.
"I quit because baseball was sacred to me until I started getting paid for it," Cardenas wrote in an essay for The New Yorker. "The more that 'baseball' became synonymous with 'business,' the less it meant to me, and I saw less of myself in the game every time I got a check from the Philadelphia Phillies Organization, the Oakland Athletic Company, or the Chicago Cubs, L.L.C. To put it simply, other players were much better than I was at separating the game of baseball from the job of baseball. They could enjoy the thrill of a win—as it should be enjoyed—without thinking of what it meant to the owners’ bottom lines. These players, at once the objects of my envy and my admiration, are the resilient ones, still in the game. I am no longer one of them."
Cardenas joined Twitter Wednesday to share his full essay, which you can read here.