For every minor league baseball player, making their way to the majors is the dream their entire careers. Many never make it. Lawton native and Oklahoma City Dodgers' outfielder Brian Burgamy has never let the odds get him down.. In his 14th season of professional baseball, Burgamy has finally reached Triple-A for the first time, and hopes to make that final jump soon.
"I felt like I could have played here a while back given the opportunity," Burgamy said. "I'm finally very fortunate with the Dodgers giving me this opportunity and it was a deep exhale. It was a sense of relief like you got to the next level. It's not where everyone wants to be exactly, but it's just another step along the road."
Burgamy's road has been long and winding since he graduated from MacArthur in 1999. He played college ball at Wichita State before being drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 9th round of the 2002 draft. In 14 seasons since being selected, Burgamy has had stints in the Padres, Phillies and Mets organizations, has played for multiple independent league teams, and has even gone outside the US to play in Australia and Mexico. Through it all, he's never doubted his decision to stay with baseball.
"It's been tough at times and obviously great. I mean a lot of people would give a lot just to be in my position and I'm very thankful for it but at the same time the things you that go behind the scenes in what you have to do to stay in the game for a long period of time is trying and tough," he said. "You contemplate whether you want to make a career change or do something else but I wouldn't be happy doing anything else but this."
Over the years plenty of talent in every sport has come out of Lawton and been successful. Burgamy is happy to be one of the athletes people look at as one of the best to ever come out of southwest Oklahoma.
"There's been a lot of great players. You think of Butch Huskey who made it to the big leagues, Kelly Stinnett is from Lawton and he made it to the big leagues and played for a long time. So I'm very fortunate to play as long as I have and it's awesome for me to know that I'm one of the few considering how many great athletes there are in Lawton to make it this far.."
Being with the Dodgers has also been a blessing for Burgamy's family. After spending most of his career in other parts of the country, it's now just a 90 minute drive for his family to come watch him play.
"It's cool to have them to come up and watch and see what I've been doing for the last 14 years. All they know is that this is what I do. I play baseball, and they haven't been able to watch me.