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Professional baseball players face a lot of adversity as they begin their professional careers. Not only do they face tougher competition than they had in the past, but a grueling travel schedule takes a lot out of them physically and mentally.

As the dog days of August rolls on, the season gets tougher. The Cyclones find themselves in the middle of a playoff race and in the hunt for a division title too.

August 10th was a special day for many Cyclones players. As they were preparing for their game against the Vermont Lake Monsters, many received their first professional baseball card.

“I was definitely excited,” Cyclones first baseman Jayce Boyd said. “It’s such a gratifying feeling knowing you’ve made it to the next level and to see it on a card is really cool. I have a trophy case back home full of stuff back all the way to tee ball. I’ll stick it in there and have something to look at with the grandkids when I’m 60,70, 80 years old.”

“Everyone saw theirs a couple days ago and I was like ‘Did I not get a baseball card or what?’” Cyclones reliever Paul Sewald said. “It’s got cool facts and stuff and my parents were real excited to see it too. My picture was perfect, it made me look like I was concentrating really hard on the mound which doesn’t happen all that much so I kind of fooled the fans into thinking I’m aggressive on the mound.”

Beck Wheeler is a second year professional, but didn’t get a baseball card during his first pro year in the Gulf Coast League.

“I didn’t even know they were doing one of them and this guy had me sign one of them,” Wheeler said. “The picture is pretty good. Maybe it will go on the wall of fame at the Wheeler residence or maybe the refrigerator for the year.”

Cyclones catcher Kevin Plawecki also didn’t know about the playing card and was equally surprised when fans approached him asking for an autograph.

“It was pretty cool,” Plawecki said. “I haven’t seen the back of it yet so I have to look a little more. I’ll probably keep it for now but then I’ll give it to my parents so I don’t lose it.”

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