D.J. Boston has the same goal as the players he coaches with the Chicago Dogs: he wants to be in the major leagues.
“That’s one of the reasons I do it,” Boston said. “I love the game, but I also have a goal of getting to the big leagues.”
Boston, 46, is the younger brother of White Sox first-base coach Daryl Boston and serves as the Dogs’ hitting coach. And though he hasn’t made the majors like Daryl, who played for four teams and has been on the Sox staff since 2013, D.J. still is grinding in the sport he loves.
“Being with these guys has been very rewarding, just to see some of the guys who have been picked up from independent ball and you see those guys in an organization and playing well,” Boston said. “That’s rewarding in itself, so as long as I’ve got a jersey on, I’m happy. That’s the goal — just to stay in the game because that’s something you love to do.”
And Boston has worn a lot of jerseys.
He signed with the Blue Jays organization after they selected him in the 39th round of the 1990 draft, and began his career with the rookie-league Medicine Hat Blue Jays. After that, his career took him all over, including stints in Class AAA in 1996-98 and stops in the Mexican League and in independent leagues.
Boston’s last year as a player was 2006, and in 2008 he took a job as a hitting coach with the rookie-level Greeneville Astros. He also coached in the Braves organization and worked under current Dogs manager Butch Hobson with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the independent Atlantic League in 2015.
“A lot of times, just being in independent ball, sometimes you get discouraged. Like I tell [the players], you never know who’s in the stands,” Boston said. “As long as you’ve got a jersey on, you continue to play hard because you never know who’s watching. That usually seems to get guys back on track as far as the mental aspect.”
USWNT in Bridgeview
The United States women’s national soccer team is facing Brazil at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Toyota Park in Bridgeview n the finale of the four-team Tournament of Nations. The first game of the doubleheader — Australia vs. Japan — begins at 4:45 p.m.
The U.S. and Australia are tied with four points, Brazil has three.