In 2020, Stone Garrett was released by the Miami Marlins organization in an exercise to prune down the team size following the damaging impact of the pandemic on sports.
At the time of his release, Garrett had a real estate license, one he secured in 2018 to make extra income during the off-season. When he was released, he decided to venture into real estate. He started selling homes in the Houston area and by 2021, he had already sold 10 homes and was making good fortune compared to when he was earning a monthly paycheck.
“I was making literally 10 times my baseball paycheck to sell one house,” 26-year-old Garrett told CNBC Make It. “So, I mean, it was great. But I didn’t want that to be my job.”
While doing real estate, Garrett was still eyeing one more baseball season and vowed to go into full-time real estate if he was unsuccessful.
“I said I was going to play for a year,” Garrett said. “And if that didn’t work out, if I didn’t get picked up [by an MLB team], I would just do real estate full time.”
However, his chance came in a rather odd way. He recalled logging into his LinkedIn account where he found a message from Dan Budreika, a former video coordinator with the Marlins. Budreika wrote to wish him well in his real estate business. However, Garrett saw it as an opportunity to request another chance to play baseball.
“I said, ‘Hey, do you know anybody that needs an outfielder? I feel like I can still compete at Double-A or above,’” Garrett told the Arizona Republic. “He said, ‘No, but let me ask around.’”
Following his request, Budreika connected him to a former Marlins employee and two days later, he had a minor league deal with the Diamondbacks.
“I really didn’t talk to the front office (people) or non-teammates like I do now,” Garrett said. “But I was always nice to them. I feel like that came back around. Because, you know, if I was a jerk to him, why would he go (above and) beyond to find me a job?,” Garrett said of Budreika.
Garret made his MLB debut for the Arizona Diamondbacks on August 17. He picked up two hits against the San Francisco Giants in his debut, then followed that up with two more hits including another double the following day.
He was originally drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 8th round of the 2014 MLB Draft out of George Ranch and spent six seasons in the Marlins’ organization before signing with Arizona as a minor league free agent prior to the 2021 season.