Rays minor league pitcher will live in school bus this season to save money

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/teams/tampa-bay/" data-ylk="slk:Tampa Bay Rays">Tampa Bay Rays</a> prospect Jack Labosky is going to live on a bus this season. (Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Rays prospect Jack Labosky is going to live on a bus this season. (Getty Images)

Minor league baseball players don’t always make a ton of money.

And with them on the road for a large portion of the season, spending whatever money they do make on rent may seem like a waste.

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So, pitcher Jack Labosky and his girlfriend decided to think outside of the box.

Labosky and his girlfriend, Madi Hiatt, are planning to live out of a 1999 Blue Bird International school bus during the 2019 season — which they purchased using his $3,000 signing bonus.

"It's kind of the one time in my life I feel like I'm able to do something like it," Labosky told the Associated Press.

Labosky was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 22nd round of the MLB draft last June, and then played the final months of the season with their Class A affiliate in New York, making $1,100 a month.

While he awaits his assignment for this season, Labosky and Hiatt are determined to go wherever he ends up together. Yet with Hiatt working on her master’s degree, and Labosky not expecting to make much more than he did in his first season, they realized money was going to be tight.

After looking at RVs — which they thought would be a cheaper alternative to renting an apartment — they realized a new motorhome was going to be out of their price range. So, they turned to renovated school buses, or “skoolies.”

"It's a little hippie," Labosky told the Associated Press. "Personally, I don't consider myself, like my grandma says, the flower children of the '60s, living in buses, stuff like that. I don't really consider myself on that level. I'm doing it more for, I'm 22, turning 23 this summer, I don't really have much responsibility outside of baseball."

After purchasing the bus, the pair got to work. They stripped the inside, insulated the walls, gave the bus a new white paint job, added heating, air conditioning, a kitchen, a toilet and a shower. In total, the project cost them $13,000.

While on the surface it sounds like a wild idea, it’s ended up being no different than a renovated mobile home.

"Once people see the finished product and they realize, 'Oh, it's a motorhome, it's pretty normal,' they're a lot more positive toward it as opposed to being like, 'Hey, I live in a school bus.,'“ Labosky told the Associated Press. “That just sounds crazy.”

So whenever Labosky learns where he’ll be playing on opening day, expect to see a big white bus rolling into town.

"I've learned throughout the process when Jack did get drafted and went to New York that this lifestyle requires no planning," Hiatt told the Associated Press. "Now I'm not that stressed out, because we have a house on wheels. Now, everything I own literally comes with us."

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