The Cocktail Hour
Cocktails and Baseball: A Conversation With Former Major League Pitcher Zach Miner
WHO: Former Major League Baseball pitcher for the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies and current Fidelity Investments Financial Consultant Zach Miner
WHAT: The Stoli Sandia Martini paired with the Hamaci, sliced finger lime, avocado, sumac and cilantro; the Pulpo a La Plancha, with charred Spanish octopus, black garlic, frisée and scallion jalapeno salsa; and the Salt Baked Branzino, with arugula emulsion, grilled lemon and olive-caper tomato relish.
WHERE: Costa Palm Beach, 150 Worth Ave., Ste. 234, Palm Beach / 561.429.8456 / costapb.com
1) What I remember most about my first game ever in the major leagues was: how relieved I was just to get out of the first inning. It was a day game versus the Boston Red Sox. Our manager, Jim Leyland, pulled me aside earlier that morning to ask if I had family coming and to tell me to remind them it was an early 1:05 p.m. start time. He said, ‘Make sure they show up on time, because if they arrive at 1:10, I may have already yanked you out of the game.’
2) The very first thing I bought with my first Major League Baseball check was: a Breitling Super Avenger watch. I would go to the mall and visit it all the time, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger on buying it for myself. One day I showed up at the ballpark, and in the clubhouse there was a box on my chair at my locker. My wife had gone and bought the watch for me.
3) Something that most people don’t know about the travel life of a Major League Baseball player is: how much better it is than the minor leagues. In 24 hours you go from riding old buses for hours to flying on private charter jets with Wi-Fi. You go from $20 a day in meal money to $100. As a rookie with the Tigers, we weren’t even allowed to touch our own luggage. The veteran players made sure that we let the bellhops handle everything so they could make a living with tips. If a vet saw you even touch your own bags you would get fined.
4) In my life after baseball as a financial consultant with Fidelity, something I’ve come to realize is: just how lucky I was to get to play Major League Baseball, and how lucky I am to get to do this now—something that I also love. I look back and realize how I was always trying to improve and always stayed on that grind, just as I am now.
5) As a father of two young sons, now playing sports of their own, I get to: see how seriously they both take it. I’m actually the coach of both of their baseball teams, so I get to be at all of their games. I notice how good my 10-year-old wants to be. I see the qualities in them both that I had. As a parent you can see so much of yourself in your children.
A graduate of Palm Beach Gardens High School, Zach Miner was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the fourth round of the 2000 MLB draft with the 106th pick. After being traded to the Tigers in 2005, Miner was called up to Detroit in the summer of 2006 to make his major league debut. He spent a total of five seasons with the Detroit Tigers and another season with the Philadelphia Phillies before undergoing Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow. With a lifelong interest in finance, Miner studied business, and now he serves as a financial planner and investments consultant with Fidelity Investments in Palm Beach. The coach of three youth teams, Miner resides in Jupiter with his wife and sons, ages 7 and 10.
ABOUT THE DRINK
The Stoli Sandia Martini
2 ounces Stoli Vodka
1 ounce lime juice
1 ounce simple syrup
4-6 cubes of watermelon
3 slices yellow bell pepper
Fill shaker with ice and add all ingredients except bell peppers. Shake vigorously. Strain into martini glass. Garnish with bell peppers and 2 to 3 turns of salt and pepper spice grinders.