There continue to be growing opportunities in the world of professional sports for Chiros and the care we provide. And with the MLB season at its halfway point – the All-Star game having just taken place near my hometown in Miami – I wanted to share an experience which reminds me why we have one of the best jobs in the world.
The first World Baseball Classic (WBC) tournament took place in 2006 after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) removed baseball from the Olympics. Since then this international festival of baseball has grown into a huge sporting event, with venues in each country, as this tournament is played around the world.
As a Chiropractor, I was invited to Orlando in the spring of 2006 to work with Team Venezuela. This took place at the Atlanta Braves Spring Training facility. This was the first WBC, so everything was new: uniforms, countries participating, training staff, players, venues, fans, etc.
I recall arriving in the training room and receiving a very warm welcome from the players, coaches and training staff. They showed me where to set up my table and I immediately went to work. The players were extremely grateful for the care they received, and it was exciting to be part of such an amazing event. Major league baseball is a tremendous environment, especially come playoff time, but the international rivalries of contests like the Olympics, the President’s Cup, World Cup and the WBC take sports to another level.
In 2009 I was invited back again by Team Venezuela to the Miami venue (Miami Dolphins Stadium/Florida Marlins Stadium). This was a great because the Marlins Clubhouse was familiar territory for me. I received the same warm welcome as in 2006. Once the word spread that I was available and in the venue, I was called in for Team Puerto Rico. Again everyone was very thankful to have access to chiropractic care and I was once again excited to be so well received and a part of the team.
In 2013 I flew out to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to work again with Team Venezuela and also Team Puerto Rico. The WBC event was held at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan. This was an awesome experience traveling out of the country to deliver chiropractic services to these elite baseball players. The interesting thing is some of the same players I worked on back in 2006 were there, still playing for their country. I also saw a lot of the other players I knew from working with MLB teams such as the Miami Marlins, Washington Nationals, and Colorado Rockies, so it was kind of like seeing old friends. This moment really drove home that all the hard work I had put in along the way to get to this spot – having the opportunity to use my chiropractic knowledge and skills to help some of the best athletes in the world – was well worth it.
So here we are in 2017, and as a profession we have advanced so much with Major League Baseball and Professional Sports as a whole. Almost every MLB Team has a chiropractor and every NFL team has one also. We now have an official chiropractic baseball organization known as the (PBCS) Professional Baseball Chiropractic Society.
It’s also been a great year for the WBC and chiropractic. In the United States, the Classic took place at three different venues: Miami (Round 1), San Diego (Round 2) and Los Angeles (Round 3).
During round 1 in Miami, I had the pleasure to work with Team Canada and Team Dominican Republic. This was an amazing experience. Most of the players that I had worked with had received chiropractic care from one of their team chiropractors in the past. Plus I knew some of their doctors, which made the players feel more comfortable. It was a pleasure working with the athletic trainers, and our relationships with them have become so much stronger over the years now that they really understand what we do and we understand what they do. It’s really fun and we have a great symbiotic relationship.
The moment the word got out that chiropractic was being utilized for Round 1 of the WBC, organizers asked San Diego Padres chiropractor Dr. Doug Roche to provide care for Round 2 in San Diego. Los Angeles Dodgers chiropractor Dr. Eric Blum was also soon contacted to provide care in L.A. for the final round of the WBC (an experience he’ll discuss in part 2 of this article).
All of these experiences are great reminders of the value we provide our patients every day – and of the exciting potential a chiropractic career holds for those who fully commit themselves to it.
For more information on how to become a member of the PBCS – or for info on the multidisciplinary sports and baseball seminar that will be held at Life University, November 11 & 12, 2017 – check out our website at http://probaseballchiros.com/