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Braves closer Mark Melancon’s baseball season ended Sunday night with a crushing NLCS Game 7 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. While Mark’s teammates are now off to relax after a long season of COVID baseball, the 35-year-old crusty vet who made $14,000,000 saving 11 games gets back to work at his second job as founder of an artificial turf company.
Mark’s humble bio on the Diamond Turf website doesn’t mention that he’s spent 12 years playing Major League Baseball.
“Mark has an extensive background in sports facilities + field/turf performance, and his network includes many pro athletes,” the bio reads. “Mark ensures each Diamond Turf project meets the same standards the pros demand in an artificial turf sports field surface. He has played some of the world’s top golf courses and enjoys spending time with his wife & 3 kids. Mark’s degree is in Sports Management from the University of Arizona.”
Joe Patrick, a Braves reporter for 92.9 The Game in Atlanta tweeted during the playoffs that he was tipped off about Melancon’s side gig. “Like, he takes phone calls with clients by day and pitches on nights and weekends,” Patrick wrote.
Melancon, who now has plenty of time to handle Diamond Turf business, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to brag about his turf business, something he hasn’t done publicly very often in the past.
“That means someone cared enough about you & the environment to send you that tip!” Melancon responded. “No watering, a beautiful lawn that your kids and pets will love, and the only time you’ll ever need to pull out a lawn mower is on the dance floor.”
Many current and former MLB players have ventured into other industries. Some guys like Vernon Wells and catcher Chris Iannetta have gone into the wine business. A-Rod has turned himself into an entrepreneur. Derek Jeter went out and started a media business called The Players Tribune.
Former MLB pitcher Matt White got lucky when he bought a piece of Massachusetts land that turned out to have 24 million tons of highly desirable stone. By sheer happenstance, White found himself a quarry owner. His business eventually went bankrupt, but White walked away with some cash.
Athletes developing their own businesses isn’t some groundbreaking news. What’s news is that these guys tend to brag about their businesses in order to drum up even more business. And then there’s Melancon, who lets his turf speak for itself.
You have to admire a guy who just wants to put his college degree and life experiences to work by slinging turf for everyday Americans. It’s a business he can enjoy long after his days playing baseball for $76,508,000 are over.
“Thank you! This has without a doubt been the strangest season of my career, but this fan base figure out ways to make it such a fun ride,” Melancon said in a final note to Braves fans. “This has been one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Thank you.”
Now it’s back to the off-season and the turf company.
— Zach DeCicco (@zdecicco) October 20, 2020