Last year, at the age of 36, I made an Opening Day roster in the big leagues for the first time. I did it again this year, but I certainly don't take anything for granted.
This year is special, like every moment I spend in the big leagues, but last season was extra special because it was the first time I broke camp with a club. It will be difficult to top that feeling of accomplishment.
Performing well last season when I had the opportunity gave me the confidence to know I would have a job this season. You never know what the future holds in baseball. That's why you have to always keep working and learning and enjoying the present.
I'm working hard and taking my career as it comes. I'm running with it to see how many more years I can get out of this part of my life
Playing this game at this level has truly been a blessing. I have a smile on my face everyday. I'm taking everything seriously leading up to and during the game but, the experience just brings a smile to my face all the time.
I've always focused on being positive. I don't think I would be here today if I hadn't kept a positive attitude. I've hit a lot of bumps on the road, and I've overcome them. I feel as though I'm on a straight path right now.
I'd be naïve to think there won't be more bumps down the road, but you don't want to anticipate them. You just focus on the here and now and go from there. It's been great to experience the big leagues, and it's nice to know that all the hard work and Minor League games have paid off.
I love playing so close to home, too. I grew up and still live in Oregon, about five and a half hours from Seattle. I played college ball at Oregon State. Growing up in Oregon, whenever you turned on the television, the Mariners were on. I remember when Bob Wolcott was pitching in the playoffs, and everyone was so excited because we had faced him in high school.
Bottom line, I'm living a dream, and I appreciate every second of it.
Jamie Burke, the Mariners backup catcher, played parts of four big leagues seasons with the Angels and White Sox from 2001-05 before getting the opportunity last year to play with Seattle near his home in the Pacific Northwest. Last season, Burke hit .301 in 50 games. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.