Josh Suchon has encountered his share of crossroads while on his journey to becoming the Oakland A's beat writer for ANG Newspapers.
There was the time that he decided to move cross-country on the very day that he was graduating from San Diego State University to start a not-so-glamorous position with the minor league Watertown Indians.
"They offered me $25 a day, all I could eat, and free rent," recalls the 32-year-old Suchon. "I sold tickets, I sold ads on the radio, I swept the concourse, I put the tarp on the field for rain delays — you name it, I did it."
To this day, Suchon laughs about the time when he was summoned to paint the outfield fence on Opening Day.
"Seriously, I was saying what in the world have I gotten myself into?" he says with a laugh.
After his three month tour of duty was complete with Watertown, Suchon decided to return to his Bay Area roots with no money, no job, no place to live, and no room left on any of his credit cards.
It wasn't long after taking a job at Chili's that his past experience of working as a stringer on college breaks for the Tri-Valley Herald newspaper paid off. The former prep editor that he had worked for called to offer him a part-time job.
"I was scared of being out of the sports world for too long," he said. "At the time, I didn't have much confidence, because I kept getting rejected for jobs."
Three days after accepting the job, Suchon would face another difficult decision. The Modesto A's came calling offering him a full-time position in public relations and a dream role as play-by-play announcer for 60 games. He jumped at the opportunity only to learn the day before opening day that the team had not secured a radio contract and the play-by-play gig was out the window.
"That's when I had no idea what I was going to do," Suchon recalls.
Wanting to quit on the spot, Suchon was talked into staying with the Modesto team for six weeks. A week before his time was up, he received a call from his old boss at the Herald again. A full-time prep sports position had opened up and back he went.
After 3 ½ years of covering prep sports and being passed over for better positions internally, Suchon started to question his desire to work in sports.
"I agonized for a month," he remembers. "I had no life."
Fully prepared to leave his position as a sportswriter and move back to San Diego to start a different career, Suchon would then receive the break that he had long desired. A writer was leaving the paper and the beat writer job for the San Francisco Giants was his for the taking.
"I walked away from $20,000 more a year to stay and do baseball," Suchon says.