Sports

With Cactus League Play Under Way, an Ex-Minor League Pitcher's Fair-Pay Lawsuit Is Scaring MLB

Bryan Henry was sitting in a business management class at Burlington County College when a number with an Arizona area code popped up on his phone. It was 2012, and Henry had just arrived home in New Jersey after his second season as a Diamondbacks farm hand. He darted for the door anxious to answer the call.

"This is either going to be really good news or really bad news," he thought.

The voice on the other end of the line was that of Mike Bell, director of player development for the D-backs organization.

"I just wanted to let you know we've decided to give you your release," Bell said. "We have to make room for the new draft picks."

Henry felt sick. Just like that, his dream of playing major-league baseball ended the same way it has for thousands of minor-league players -- with a phone call, an offer to help catch on with another team, and a dwindling bank account.

The plight of the minor leaguer has been well documented. Cramped and dilapidated living arrangements, poor diet, 14-hour bus rides, 11-hour days, and poverty-level wages. Until now, nothing has been done to improve minor-league pay, but a St. Louis-based attorney and former minor-league pitcher is trying to change that.

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Mitch Ryals
Contact: Mitch Ryals