When Sean Burroughs was 12 years old, he not only threw two no-hitters while leading his Long Beach (Calif.) team to the Little League World Series championship, he also appeared on the David Letterman Show and had the wit to tell Dave and several million viewers that when he grew up, he wanted to be a gynecologist.
When Burroughs was 17, he was a first-round draft pick. When he was 20, he represented his country at the Olympics and wore a gold medal around his neck.
When Burroughs was 21, he was in the major leagues with Sports Illustrated touting him as the year's "can't miss'' prospect. "Life is about experiencing everything you can,'' he told the magazine. "I don't know how my baseball career will go, but I know I want my life to be an adventure.''
And by the time Burroughs was 29, he was out of baseball, checking in and out of the cheapest motels he could find, wandering the streets of Las Vegas at all hours and abusing every substance he could ingest. He says he was living a "Leaving Las Vegas'' existence, a reference to the Oscar-winning and thoroughly depressing Nicolas Cage movie about a man who commits lengthy suicide via alcohol abuse. There was no Academy Award for this lifestyle, though. Burroughs says he was so desperate and paranoid that if you picked a couple particularly bad days in 2010, you could find this Little League hero, this Olympic gold medalist, this former big leaguer … eating cheeseburgers out of garbage cans. Yes, garbage cans.
Life certainly had been an experience.
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