Jesse Meaux was a standout baseball player at Glendale (CA) High School and then at UC Santa Barbara before playing with the Colorado Rockies farm team, the Asheville (SC) Tourists. After he was accused falsely of a crime in a case that has since been dismissed and expunged, Jesse Meaux drew on the lessons he learned in baseball to maintain perspective and build a new career.
Q: When did you first discover your love of baseball?
Jesse Meaux: I fell in love with baseball as soon as I picked up a bat at four years old. I loved it immediately. I played a few seasons of soccer, one season of basketball – but baseball was it. When I got to high school, baseball was year-round. I couldn’t get enough of it.
Q: How has baseball impacted your life?
Jesse Meaux: Besides my family, baseball has been the most significant influence on my life. At a basic level, baseball taught me how to work hard for something I love. Now, when I commit to working on something, I can tap into that devotion and drive. That’s something I carry with me for the rest of my life. Baseball offered me the opportunity to attend UC Santa Barbara on a scholarship, I have baseball to thank for that.
Q: What are you most proud of from your time playing baseball for UC Santa Barbara and the Asheville Tourists?
Jesse Meaux: When I look back on my time at UCSB, I’m most proud of the friends that I made. There’s a group of us that put effort into spending time together and taking trips together. Even though we’re all over the country, we cherish that connection we have. Our parents, who sat in the bleachers together for four years while we were at UCSB, are now all close friends.
A minor league baseball season is tough, spending countless hours in the bus, playing 140 games per season. Minor league baseball is hard work, but I’m proud of the work I put into it. I’m also proud of having a positive influence on the fans, especially children. When I would be walking back to the clubhouse, it felt great when a kid would reach up a baseball to me and want a signature. Reflecting on that reminds me of what’s important.
Q: In 2013, you were accused of a crime. What is the status of the case now?
Jesse Meaux: The case was dismissed in April 2015. A few months ago, the record of the case was expunged.
Q: How did being falsely accused of a crime impact your life?
Jesse Meaux: Well, the first thing is that my life was in limbo for 20 months. I would wake up in the morning not knowing if it was a nightmare. It was hanging over my head from day to day. No one should have to go through that. If I didn’t have love and support from family and friends, I don’t know how I would have gotten through it. False accusations of this nature can do tremendous damage. Meeting new people, either socially or in business, I’m dealing with what they might be thinking. It forces me to only focus on what’s in my control. I can control how I treat people; I can control the compassion and kindness I show to others.
Q: Now that the charges have been expunged, how are you moving forward with your life?
Jesse Meaux: As soon as the charges were dropped, I started moving forward and I was able to advance within my company. Going through that ordeal gave me the independence and strength to establish a new life to call my own.
Q: What is your new career and where do you see yourself taking this career path?
Jesse Meaux: I’m a Project Manager for a software company, where we create online applications for pharmaceutical companies and clinical research organizations during the clinical trial process. At its core, it’s project management. The most important skill is being able to effectively communicate. It’s a strength of mine and something I’m continuing to develop on the job. It’s rewarding being at a company that supports new, more effective drugs that make people’s lives better.
Q: What lessons did you learn on the baseball field and how do you incorporate those in your life and career?
Jesse Meaux: The most important lesson from playing baseball is to take things one pitch at a time. For example, if you’re pitching and it’s a close game, the bases are loaded and a big hitter is up next, the only thing that matters is executing that pitch. It’s all you have control over. Not what happened last time you faced him or the upcoming playoffs. The only thing that can help is focusing on that one move. That’s something that helped me get through the legal battle and I still use that every day.
This inteview was conducted by: