Jesica Beaty is a passionate journalist, editor, blog owner of Dreams and Seams and wife of Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Matt Beaty. Their journey together began in the town of Dresden, Tennessee during their sophomore year of high school and has continued through the minor leagues. We spoke with Beaty about her career, life in Minor League Baseball and more.
Beaty’s worked as the only full-time reporter for two Texas newspapers. Her passion is covering sports, but her position required that she covered other local news and events. Faced with a fork in the road, she made the decision to step back and evaluate her career.
“When I was at the papers in Texas, I had to put sports on the backburner. Whenever Matt and I got married, we were really deciding if I was going to travel and what was going to be happening. The day that I had to go to a city council meeting instead of a basketball game, that was the moment for me that I took a step back. I loved working at the papers. I got great experience. Sports is what my passion is and that’s what I want to do. I know that I’m going to have more opportunities to do what I love and be able to cover sports in a bigger, fuller capacity than I did with my first job out of school. I miss it. I made so many great connections.”
Beaty’s journalism and editing background formed the foundation for her to branch out and enter the world of blogging. The inspiration for her blog, Dreams and Seams, started back in college, writing about Matt’s draft experiences.
“When Matt got drafted in 2015, I blogged about the experience. It was a good experience, but you don’t know what it’s like until you’re living it. We went through it three different times. I just wanted to write and let everyone know how that process works. It took off. So many people read that. I saw that there was a curiosity of people wanting to see that side of it besides what you see on tv.
Once I decided to start traveling I launched Dreams and Seams as a place to be very transparent and authentic with the journey that Matt and I were going through. So much of it is his life in the minors and that’s easy to write about. I’ve come to use it for what I’ve learned. My main focus was letting everyone know behind the scenes. I can give those little details that other people aren’t going to see. It’s not just for baseball fans. It’s for anyone that would be interested in what this journey is about and how we approach it as a newly married couple with a dog.”
There are many challenges that come with the territory of the lifestyle. The uncertainty of roster moves, living arrangements and travel arrangements can all become sticky situations to deal with.
“You just never know what’s next. Matt and I got very lucky. He was in one place the entire season. There was another wife that by the time they got to Tulsa, that was already their fourth team and their fourth move of the season. There’s always that chance that he could be moved up or down in an instant. We saw that. We had seven different roommates over the course of the entire season because moves were made. There were 60 different guys on Tulsa’s roster throughout the entire season. They put him on a plane to the next spot and he plays the next day. Thow myself and our dog in the mix and it’s I’ve got to pack all this up and drive there. Not knowing where we could be tomorrow and wanting to plan things, but there’s absolutely no way to plan it.
There are always logistical things with apartments, that gets sticky because of the constant moves. Renting furniture, that gets sticky with the constant moves. Making sure you have all the things you need, but not too much because you can only bring what fits in your car.”
Financially, the minor league life is anything but glamorous. Staying out of the red isn’t easy and it takes financial discipline and frugality to stay afloat.
“Matt and I are lucky that he did get a decent signing bonus for him being a senior sign. We do have a little bit of cushion. Other than that, trying to make sure we’re not in the red every month with paying our bills and still trying to save something. We’ve been to Goodwill so many times. When we moved to Arizona, we didn’t have much for our kitchen stuff. We knew that’s where we would spend the least amount of money. It’s constantly being aware of that. That’s how Matt and I handle it. We constantly try to think about what we’re spending money on. Is it gonna be worth it? Do we absolutely need it? Do we absolutely want it?
Towards the end of the season, we had to be out of our apartment, but the Drillers made the playoffs. For the whole playoff run, we were in and out of hotels. We shared a hotel room with a teammate so that we could split it. It is a struggle, but it’s worth it. It’s heartbreaking. There’s no way around it. Matt and I added it up, they’re there 10 hours or more, but they are only getting paid for three hours during the game.”
The professional baseball season is a grind. With few days off until the season is over, it’s important to take a deep breath.
“We didn’t even have full two weeks before we had to be out here for Fall League. We spent a little bit of time in Tennessee at my parent’s house and we made a trip to Georgia to his family. Even then, it was hectic. It was a sigh of relief, especially for Matt. He played a lot of games the second half of the season. Not that many off-days. For him, it was being able to take a deep breath and enjoy time with family and friends. He’ll have a two and a half month break before Spring Training. You don’t realize how baseball is consuming you. It consumes our schedules, conversations, our minds. We wouldn’t have it any other way.”
If you’re new to the lifestyle, may join the lifestyle in the future or are struggling to grasp the reality of MiLB life, Beaty offers her advice.
“Have fun. It sounds so cliche, but that’s really it. If you aren’t having fun and living in the moment, you’re going to miss so much of it. I still struggle with it. I made so many connections and so many friends in Tulsa. Not let this whole process overwhelm you because if you do that you’re going to lose track of it all. I can imagine telling my grandkids or even our kids about what we were going through. All of these stories that we have from going through Minor League Baseball. ”